Home On The Fringe

Fringe Art

Contact Us

Recent Ramblings

The Chronicles

Fringe Reads

  • Powered by Blogger
  • Weblog Commenting and 

Trackback by HaloScan.com
  • Get StatCounter!

Maturity, meet Paranoia

The other day after we had put up all of the decorations the Christmas tree and as I was running down my mental list of obligations I could find ways to avoid over the next few weeks, Bryce looked at me earnestly and said, "When are we going to put up that pretty garland?" I dismissed him and told him everything was put away, we were done decorating. "WHY?!", he demanded. "Well frankly, Bryce, I don't want to have to worry about you and Quinn using it as a superhero cape or a torture device." He was insulted, angered: "I won't do that! And I'll keep Quinn away from it." I felt a little guilty when he said this, but I wasn't faltering: "We'll put the garland up next year when you're both a little older and less inclined to destroy loose objects in the living room. It's not your job to keep Quinn away from the garland anyway." He stomped his foot, his eyes flashed, and his fist sliced an arc through the air from his shoulder to his thigh for emphasis: "I'm really TRYING, mom! I'm just TRYING to find a job around here. Nobody ever lets me help!"

(News flash, Kristen: You have a kid, not a baby. Remember? You just wrote about it.)

The garland is now up. Also, Bryce's new "job" is to wash the windows and straighten the living room. Everybody wins!

In recognition of Bryce's impressive maturity, I took him with me to do some shopping, one of the things I couldn't cross off of my list of holiday obligations. After a couple of hours spent fishing through picked-over, broken, incomplete, or just plain crappy merchandise, and then standing in line behind people who had purposely chosen broken or incomplete merchandise so as to haggle with the Garden Ridge cashier (classy, by the way), Bryce was tired and hungry. I took the route any conscientious desperate mother would and promptly brought him home for a healthy dinner and relaxing bath before bed fed him french fries and candy and sped to the next store on my list. By then, his fatigue was starting to become a problem for me. Not because he turned into a whiny lump of tantrum, which is what I expected, but because of this:

Me: Do you think she'd like this gigantic statue of a giraffe?

Bryce (eyes darting, whispering loudly): Yeah, that's cool. But mom. MOM! I think the store is going to close.

Me: No it won't. We have time. Oooh, I wonder if they'd like that insanely oversized bird bath. What do you think?

Bryce (concerned, agitated): I don't know. MOM. What if they don't know we're in here and they close the store?

Me: Calm down. They will tell us before they close.

Bryce: But they can't tell us if they don't know we're here! I think we need to go, mom! They're going to CLOSE!

Me: Bryce. What is your deal? They know we're here, and they will tell us when it's time for the store to close, and then we'll leave. Now, how about this random rock carving of a sleeping pig? Hmm??

Bryce (eyes popping out of skull, still speaking in a loud, frantic whisper): We are going to be locked in this store! They don't know we're here and they're going to close and they're going to lock those doors and then we'll be stuck here. DO! YOU! HEAR! ME?!

At the next place, every time I turned a corner to look at something, Bryce thought we were leaving, that I was finally heeding his warnings, and he'd say, with a new spring in his step, "Okay! Good! We're going STRAIGHT to the cashier. We're not stopping along the way." and then I would stop and pick up something else and his elation would turn to terror again, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING, WE CAN'T STOP! CASHIER! NOW! WE HAVE TO GET THERE! THEY ARE GOING TO CLOSE!" His head was spinning from the shock and disbelief he felt over the fact that his own mother was so oblivious to this great threat, Store Closing.

I'm working on a way to turn this irrational fear to my advantage. Psychological abuse is something I can so rarely use against the dark lords. So, you know...I need to savor this.

Labels: ,