Sunday, September 6, 2009

Spoiled Rotten

     When Ian wakes up in the mornings, I can tell within ten minutes what kind of a day we are going to have. He's either "on" or he's "on one."  Saturday was the latter. My eleven-year-old, Zackary, saved his mowing money and went to the store, bright and early, to buy a remote control helicopter. Upon his arrival at home, the pestering began.
     "Ack? You wet me use it? Pwease?"
     "No, Ian. I bought this with my own money. It's special."
     "No, Ian."
     "You are mean!"
     It was just the beginning. During chore time, while Ian was washing door knobs and Zack was dusting, I heard, "Meanie, Zack! Big fat meanie! Meanie poo-poo!"
     "Ian, you need to talk nice to Zack. No name calling."
     "But he won't share!"
     "He doesn't have to," I explained. "It's his special toy. You have special toys. Zack has special toys. It's okay for him not to share."
     To Ian, who is used to ruling the roost, this was intolerable. He was incapable of wrapping his brain around this kind of restriction. His behavior escalated with his frustration. The verbal taunts turned into outright bullying. Deliberate acts of terrorism and mind control landed the little prince in a time out. Biting his mother did not help his case.
     Scott and I were planning on taking the boat to Jordanelle that afternoon and we were taking the boys with us. I hoped, with the distraction of fishing, Ian would forget about the forbidden helicopter. We got in  the car and buckled up. Unfortunately, we stopped for gas. While Scott filled the boat and car, Ian took his cast to Zack's head. It's like getting hit with a rock. To Zack's credit, he didn't retaliate or even cry, although I'm sure he wanted to. I banished Ian to the back seat by himself. As we entered the highway, I realized I couldn't see Ian's head. He slid so far down in his seat that his seatbelt was around his neck. He didn't care. All he cared about was being able to reach Zack with his feet so that he could kick him. I moved Zack to the front, between me and Scott. By now the whole thing was feeling almost comic to me. I glanced back in time to see Ian slither over the seat and buckle himself right behind Zack... again. The kicking resumed. I put my arm behind Zack to protect him, while Scott decided to jump in with a distraction.
     "Hey, Ian? How 'bout if I sell Zack for you?"
     "Do it now!" shouted the determined demon.
     "I can't do it now. I'm driving. I'll put an add in the paper when I get home."
     Scott continued, "How much can we get for Zack?"
     "Two dollars!"
     "That's it?" cried, Zack.
     I jumped in. "I think we could get two hundred thousand for Zack."
     Zack looked at me in gratitude and smiled. He was enjoying this little game.
     "Sell him, sell him!" cried Ian.
     Zack turned around and looked at his little brother with a wicked grin. "You can sell me. But I'm taking all my stuff with me."
     I'd like to say that the fight ended there. We played musical chairs once again, this time with Ian wedged between me and Scott. That proved to be the best seating arrangement. Why it took so long to figure out I do not know. Mental fatigue I guess. Once at the reservoir, we enjoyed a reprieve of approximately two hours, until rain drove us from the lake. But Ian is like an elephant. He never forgets. We'd just turned onto highway 40, heading towards Heber, when a small voice spoke from the back.
     "Ack? I pway with yours hewicopter?"

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