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Set Up

We’ve had a string of complaining going on lately - why do I have to go, that’s not fair, I don’t like that, why am I doing this? All fairly benign but I get awfully tired of hearing complaints about opportunities and offers that I think are perfectly fair and sometimes even generous.

So I ran a bit of a set-up operation. It was a hot day and I thought a cool treat from Woodside sounded like a fun option after school - but because I am Mom The All-Knowing and because I can predict the future, I sensed that the one kid who has a complaint for everything lately would have one in this case as well. Prefers Rita’s to the Farm? Yup. The second I mentioned it, I got an attitude. Too bad, I say. This is not a democracy. We begin driving and there is clearly ill will emanating off of this child, the way you can see the heat when it sits too long on the asphalt. I ask “what’s wrong?” and I got more attitude - and so I called an audible, aborted the mission, and we drove home. A sibling argument ensued - I wanted ice cream and it’s all your fault and no it’s not it’s mom, she’s the one who’s being mean. Blah blah blah. I kept my cool, the fought themselves out, and we went on with our evening.

There are plenty of times that I have wanted to "turn this car around" but for various reasons have not. Mostly, the reasons are selfish - staying home to punish the kid also punishes me if we are en route to the beach or a friend’s house or the movies. This time, I decided to forgo the Cappuccino Crunch in a Pretzel Cone in favor of the valuable lesson of “you get what you get.” Did it work? Who knows. Will the complaints continue? Probably. Did I feel slightly vindicated? YES.

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