Just yesterday Ryan came in to where I was getting ready for the day and informed me that Mac was very upset. Just as she said this, Mac walked in crying the saddest cry I had seen for a long time. When I asked why he was so sad Ryan told me it was because he found out that he is the youngest in our family. (My first thought was... I wonder where he got that idea... RYAN!) As I rubbed his back and he hugged my leg sobbing I came up with a stroke of genius. I said, "Mac, who is the youngest boy in our family?" He of course said in a very sad sob "me."
"Who is the oldest boy?"
I corrected him by telling him that parents didn't count, only kids count. "Who is the oldest Boy kid?"
This time he responded with wonder "me." (you could all but see the light bulb go off!)
"Who is the oldest girl kid in the family?"
(In his sad voice again) "Ryan."
"And who is the youngest girl kid in our family?"
(this time he is just in shock with what he has found out) "Ryan."
(Ryan has also caught on to the reasoning I have used and is looking a little surprised at this point too.)
"See Mac, you and Ryan are both the oldest and the youngest! That's nothing to be sad about!"
It worked, Mac put that sorrow behind him and moved on... at least I thought... it was only about 20 mins later that I heard the sad weeping again. This time I went to him in the kitchen to see just what would cause this young boy to cry so sadly.
"What's wrong Mac?"
"I wish you and dad were gone and would never come back." As you can imagine, I was a little taken back by this comment. There is no reason he should wish me away, we were having such a good day.
"Why would you want me and Daddy to be gone forever?"
"So that I could eat all my treats whenever I wanted." Now I was catching on. He had been begging me for days to eat the enormous chocolate and peanut butter bunny that he had gotten for Easter. Each time he asked I had to say no because of the amount of candy and sugar that he had already eaten that day.
"So you are telling me that you want me to pack my bags and leave today so that you can eat your candy?"
"And you will never see me again... EVER, but you will be able to eat your treats as much as you want."
"Ok, well, I guess I'll go pack my things and go then. I'll never see you again if I go though." At this point he walk up to me and gives me the most tender hug, tells me how much he loves me, and waits for me to go pack my things! I was shocked, he loves me deeply, but is willing to trade me for candy! I had to tell him that without parents no one could take him to the store for treats. No one could buy the treats. No one could pay the bills for him to stay in the house where he could eat his treats. After that, and only after all that, he realized that parents are a necessary EVIL!