This morning, already late for school, my Youngest came out of his bedroom holding his iPod and looking forlorn.
"Do you have an extra set of headphones?"
For some reason, which I do not actually understand, I always do have at least one extra set of headphones. I think they breed in the top drawer of my file cabinet.
"What happened to yours?"
"I don’t know, they just don’t work."
I would like to point out that just yesterday I informed this child that the floor was perhaps not the best place for electronic gear since placement on the floor mightily increases the chances of something being stepped on.
He must have seen something – shall we say, judgmental? – in my face because he hurried to say:
"I’ll pay you for them."
"OK," I responded, "we can figure out later how much you should pay me for them. They are used after all."
He nodded eagerly and grabbed the headphones, heading out the door before I could change my mind. As he reached the door, when he knew he was well out of reach, he threw the following over his shoulder:
"I should get a family discount too, right? Even stores have a family discount!"
At which point, with a smile on his face, he gently shut the door.
So, since Resolution Tuesday #6 got crushed by my feminist drum-beating yesterday, I thought I might use today to ask myself – and you, if you feel inclined to weigh in – what would be the least amount of mothering I could have done/should now do in this situation?
1. Take back the headphones today and make him go to a store to buy new ones with his very own money. Retail.
2. Sell him the headphones with just the "used" discount.
3. Sell him the headphones with both a "used" and "family" discount.
4. Give him the headphones.
For all I know, they were his to begin with.