I don’t suppose that Katie’s any worse about it than most kids, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t bad. It simply means that she’s just medium terrible. However, in one way she may be actually be worse than most. While virtually all kids will ask the same question over and over, most kids, I believe, will let it rest and move on to something else after they get the answer they want. But not Katie. She will continue right along asking the same question every few minutes until someone finally says, “If you ask that one more time, I’ll change my mind, and the answer will be ‘No’.” After that, she’ll normally wait at least half an hour before running the risk of asking again.
One of Katie’s favorite activities is eating out. Fortunately that’s something that Elizabeth and I also enjoy, and we’re often able to use it as an incentive for Katie. Of course she’ll continue to ask whether we intend to go, even while we’re in the car on the way to the restaurant. Well in any case, breakfast out on Friday is a long-standing reward for good cooperation during the week, and quite understandably, Katie has come to view it as something of an entitlement program. However recently, due to scheduling issues, we missed a couple of Friday breakfasts. This fact was not in the least overlooked by Katie. On Saturday she launched a pre-emptive barrage of questions, in an all-out effort to make sure that two weeks didn’t turn into three. Well, by about Tuesday, we’d had all we could stand.
Elizabeth actually had the conversation with Katie, and I haven’t seen the transcript, so I’m not exactly sure what was said, but it was effective, and the questions about Friday stopped immediately. Then Thursday evening as I was driving Katie to karate practice, she looked at me through the rear-view mirror and began:
“Daddy, when you’re talking with Mommy this evening, I need you to remember that I’m supposed to be going out to eat on Fridays for breakfast and remember that we’ve already missed two Fridays, and remember that I really like those Friday breakfasts, and Daddy, please remember that I didn’t ask.”
For the record: On the morning of Friday, June 19, Katie, Elizabeth, and I had breakfast together at the Flying Biscuit in the Stonecrest shopping center. I was still laughing.