Last week I denied my nine-year-old son some triviality – staying up late/ chips/ ice cream/ whatever – it was minor but he was really tired. This is what happened:
Him: *storms into his bedroom and slams the door*
One minute later… He stomps out of his bedroom…
Him (to me), cry-screaming: “TWO THINGS! First, last week at school I had to write a persuasive text and mine was that you are the best mum in the world. Well you’re not! You’re the worst! And I’m going to change my persuasive text!”
*pause because crying and snot*
Him: “Second, Father Christmas isn’t real and I know that because he always gives me books… AND I HATE READING!”
The bit that crushed me? The ‘I hate reading’ part.
Then I thought about what he’d said and I realised what a clever little cookie he is – he goes in for the kill with the obvious (that I’m the meanest mum in the world) but he clearly had had time to work on his second point, that was designed to surreptitiously upset me.
The outcome? He calmed down. And Father Christmas will still bring lots of books because Father Christmas loves to read.