On the days I pick my son up from kindergarten, we come home through the neighborhood. There are a lot of very nice, roomy houses on the school side of our neighborhood. The homes get smaller and plainer as we get closer to ours. When there is nothing left to envy about the houses we pass, we know we are home.
There have been three or four houses for sale along our path since we began taking it. They are all near the school, over on the swanky side of town. We couldn’t afford to upgrade to any of them, but with the addition coming to our family, it is tempting to fantasize about living in a bigger house.
My son always points out each house with a for sale sign in the front yard. We make a game of picking out which property each of us thinks is the nicest. It’s kind of a stupid game, since they are all nicer than people of our ilk can afford. But it passes the time.
One day, on our trip home, I asked the boy, “Would you like to move to a new house?”
“Not even a nice, big, fancy one like these?”
“Because the new house might have a girl’s bed in it.”
“A girl’s bed? What does that mean?”
“It might come with a girl’s bed in my bedroom instead of a boy’s bed.”
I’d never thought of that. Who would want to take such a chance? “When you move to a new house, you take your own bed with you,” I explained.
“Oh. That’s a good idea. I should keep my same bed.”
Yesterday was my morning to take him to school. All of his favorite pants and shirts were in the hamper, so we had to make do with whatever was clean. He balked at the two pairs of pants I could find that fit him. Then, when I finally got him to understand that there were no other choices, he complained that the shirt I found went with a different pair of pants. The situation escalated. I yelled at him to just put something on before we were late. He whined and got all pouty about having to wear such unappealing clothes.
And there I was arguing fashion with my five-year-old son. I’d never imagined a scenario that would lead me to this result.
It’s a good thing I don’t have any money to buy a new house. There was an hour yesterday morning when I might have shopped for one that came with a girl’s bed.
That knee-jerk reaction faded fast. It soon occurred to me that he was arguing about his loss of control more than about fashion. Even so, he can be into fashion or whatever else he wants. He’ll always be my boy and he’ll always be able to bring his own bed wherever we might go.