Growing Up?

by - December 6, 2010

The Pokéwalker came with his Pokémon DS game.  It's a pedometer.  Apparently it's a big deal.  It counts his steps.  More steps mean more points and more points mean something totally awesome gets transferred to his game.  That's all I know.  I don't try to understand this weird Pokémon existence.  It makes me dizzy.  He tries to tell me about Chumchar and Pikachu and Ash.  I smile and nod and throw in an appropriate, "Oh really?" or, "that's cool!"  Just enough to make him think I'm an attentive parent and that I actually care that What's-His-Face evolved into a Who's-A-What.

So.  The Pokéwalker.  He wore it everywhere.  He researched cheats so he could up his points.  He asked if he could attach it to the ceiling fan because that would rack up the points and he'd just have to sit on his butt.  "No, Zander, you can't duct-tape your Pokéwalker to the ceiling fan.  Go outside and run around the house three times."

"Empty your pockets before you put your jeans in the laundry hamper!"  This is a recurring rhetoric.  As the Rusnak-Family-Laundry-Genie I will wash, dry and fold.  That is all.  I do not check pockets.  If you put your pants in my basket it is strictly on an At Your Own Risk basis.  I take no responsibility for shrinking, colour-bleeding, missing socks or pockets full of treasure.  If you leave change in your pants I collect it from the bottom of the washer, put it in my tip jar and buy myself a cup of coffee at the end of the week.

"Have you seen my Pokéwalker?"
"No, Zander.  When did you have it last?"
"I'll let you know if I find it."

I'm emptying the washing machine into the dryer.  Guess what's at the bottom?

He comes running.  "Did you find it?"
I hold it out to him.  "Do you know where it was?"  We're standing in the laundry room.
"My pants?"  He asks.
"Your pants," I say.  "Your pants in the washing machine."
He tries to turn it on.  Nothing.  I'm bracing for something.
"I guess I should have kept it somewhere safe."
"It sucks, Zander.  It's a hard lesson."
He's still hardly reacting and I'm strangely disappointed.  I kind of like an I-told-you-so moment.
"Do you know what kind of battery it takes?" he asks me.
"A watch battery, I think."
"Oh...well, those are only a couple bucks at WalMart.  I'll get another one."

And that's it.  No melt-down.  No Mom blaming.  No nothing.  Is he growing up?  Has he matured enough to just let something like this roll off his back?  To immediately recognize that there is usually a simple solution?  To accept his own guilt instead of pass it off as someone else's responsibility?

And I'm proud.

"Good for you, Zander," I say as we make our way into the kitchen.  "You have a really good attitude."
He grins.
"You're really growing up."
He beams.
Liam walks by.
Zander body-checks him into the wainscoting.


One thing at a time.

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  1. No matter how "grown-up" they get......they still have those "child like moments".

  2. He's growing up.... But he still body checks his 4 year old brother like a hockey player.... Good boy.


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