The Mom of No: His heart’s desire


The Son of Never Stops Eating has been working diligently on his Christmas wish list.

How do I know this, you might ask? Because he reminds me about it constantly. He has all his favorites bookmarked or memorized, and just when you’re busy doing something like trying to take a lasagna out of the oven or paying bills, he’ll walk over with the iPad and show you exactly what he’d like to find under the tree on December 25.

A few days ago, I was down with a stomach virus. Not just any ordinary stomach bug, either. This one seemed especially designed to kick my butt into the next century. I was laying in bed rolled up into a human ball of endless agony while fervently wishing that aliens would come abduct me and take me to another dimension when the Son of Never Stops Eating walked in the bedroom and stood over me, a concerned look on his face.

“Hi Mom,” he said. “How are you doing?”

I think I replied by moaning something like, “Go away,” or, more likely, “Uuhhggghhhh.”
He leaned over me with the family iPad in hand and said, “Mom, I just want to show you this Lego City Prisoner Transport set on Amazon. It says right here there are only four left. Maybe you should buy it now.”

A thousand curses on whoever taught that kid to read.

Hint to all youngsters working on their list of heart’s desires for Santa Claus to fulfill on Christmas morning: when your mother is lying down in bed because she’s too sick to get up, that is not the most strategic time to bring up your Christmas shopping list. Your only move should be to ask, “Can I get you a glass of ginger ale and then leave you alone?”.

The Son of Never Stops Eating’s birthday is only twenty days before Christmas, so if he’s not pondering what he wants for Christmas, he’s pondering what he wants for his birthday. I totally get that. I’ve been known to spend hours on the computer drooling at cameras and binoculars that I wish would magically be dropped down my chimney by the guy in the red suit with all the reindeer. But he’s just so darn persistent in making his heart’s desire known.

I actually feel like there is a double standard at work here. He has no problem showing me his heart’s desires on the iPad several times a day, even though I tell him that I got it. I know what he wants. His wish list is embedded into my brain. But if I ask him to pick up his room or feed the dog more than once, I’m being an annoying, nagging mother and I get the sigh and the eyeroll and the attitude.

The other day he was very curious as to what my plans were for the day after Thanksgiving.

I have a personal rule of never venturing near any retail establishment on Black Friday unless it is under extreme duress. As an introvert, I am not a fan of massive crowds in narrow aisles all aiming to get the last of whatever the hot gift item is of the year. Ordering online is a dream come true.

“Why do you want to know?” I asked him. “I’m probably going to try to go for a hike if it’s nice outside.”

“I thought you might want to go to Target,” he responded.

“Target?” I said. “Why would I want to go to Target on Black Friday? I’m not going anywhere near there.”

He stared at me like I was missing some extremely vital fact. Then he sighed, pulled out the iPad and said, “Mom, because the Lego City Volcano Explorer set might be on sale! It’s my heart’s desire!”

“I’m not going to Target on the day after Thanksgiving,” I told him. He looked disappointed for a brief minute and then cheered up.

“Don’t worry, Mom!” he said. “There’s always Amazon!”

So between now and Christmas, if you see me in my car hiding out in a parking lot or at the local coffee shop, sitting in a corner and trying to look inconspicuous, I’m escaping from the iPad with the list of heart’s desires on it. Don’t tell anyone where I am.

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