So we have entered the phase of asking and asking and ASKING again.
“When can I get some of that Toy Story Lego? I don’t have any of that Toy Story Lego.”
“Tau, you have SO. MUCH. LEGO!”
“I don’t have any of that Toy Story Lego.”
Inspecting the Lego in our local Target– we have dropped by the aisle, he promises me, just to LOOK, not to buy.
“Look at this cool one! Oh man, that’s so cooool!”
“What is that? You don’t even know what that is.”
“It’s Prince of Persia Lego.”
“How do you know that? You haven’t even seen the movie. It’s a grown-up movie anyway!”
“It says on the box. Prince. Of. Persia.”
Yeah. I forget sometimes he can read.
It goes on and on this way, and he’s a bit Alzheimer-esque. We’ll be driving to school …
“Mom, WHEN can I get some of that Toy Story Lego.”
“Tau, you have fire-fighter Lego, and police Lego, and Star Wars Lego, and Lego Space Police, and your Lego camper, and your Lego three-in-ones, and buckets of Duplo …”
“But I don’t have any Toy Story Lego.”
“You have LOTS of Lego.”
“I don’t have Toy Story Lego. I really WANT some Toy Story Lego. And I also like Prince of Persia Lego.”
“You don’t even know what Prince of Persia IS!”
“But I really like the one with the ostriches.”
Out come the age-old standbys:
- “Well, I WANT doesn’t get.”
- “Lego costs a lot of money. A LOT of money and you don’t have any money in your wallet right now. You spent it all on your Droid Tri-Fighter and the Anakin Speeder. “
- And, finally, every parent’s I-can’t-believe-I’m-saying-this-last-ditch attempt … “There are so many kids in the world who don’t have ANY Lego. Kids who don’t have ANY toys, Tau!”
There is silence for a bit in the car while that sinks in a bit, and then:
“Maybe I will get some Lego for my birthday … let’s make a list, Mom, of the Lego I need.”
Followed by calculations on how many months remain until October and then counting off October 1, October 2, October 3 … all the way ’til the eighth.
Telling him how much it costs is pointless. He knows exactly which sets are small boxes ($5), medium boxes ($10-15) and big boxes ($30-40). He knows some even cost $80-$100 and more! He really wants a Star Wars At-At Walker.
I’m seriously considering starting to give a four-year-old weekly pocket money, so he can begin to understand how long it takes to save his money every week and then spend it all on a set of Prince of Persia Lego that will take him — seriously — 15 minutes to build.
And I know my frustration is pointless and normal. So we continue to navigate the wanting and the asking. And we know the right thing is to reinforce the story — you have a lot of toys, you need to play with the toys you have, some kids have no Lego, you are very fortunate to have all the toys you have. You are a very lucky boy. And explaining the difference between WANT and NEED.
The other morning, I slipped into Target before work. Ahead of me in the deli line, where I was picking up a salad, was a mother on the first day of summer vacation with her two older boys.
“No, you are not!”
“I WANT a red one. Please?”
“No way. Absolutely no way!”
“No! You are NOT having an ICEE at 8:15 in the morning!”
I am thinking I might as well get used to the asking.