The morning routine has gotten progressively worse at our house in the last few months. I’ll shamefully admit that we have resorted to bribes something that was categorically off-the-table this summer. We had adopted the strictest of policies: “We do not negotiate with terrorists.” Well you try to dress my son and tell me if you wouldn’t whip out a toy or candy after wrestling with him for an hour. Each day there is a particular article of clothing that he refuses to relinquish and another one that after extensive negotiations he refuses to put on. I’m lucky the neighbors cannot see into our apartment. The thought of what pictures might surface on the Internet of adults sprawled on the floor holding onto a child’s leg with both hands and getting dragged across the room would be quite humiliating.
My meager consolation is that it seems that kids tend to do these things except in England where they send them off to boarding school as infants until they are returned to their families on their 18th birthday as perfectly groomed adults. At least that’s what Hollywood tells me and you know that whatever Hollywood puts up on the screen is true, right? So I am asking some friends in London to send me literature. I am also lucky enough to live not too far from West Point. I wonder what their early admission policy is like?
In the meantime, I continue to lay out his entire “wardrobe” like a hysterical stylist each and every morning. My wife and I “ooh” and “ahh” like two idiots at a runway show over a selection of shirts with robots, diggers and dinosaurs. My son acts the part of the pampered diva by hurling our choices, à-la-Naomi Campbell, on the floor with a peremptory “No! No want digger! Another one!” We scurry off like groveling assistants to look for another one until all his shirts are in a heap on the floor.
When all else fails the assistants rebel against the diva and turn into a pro-wrestling tag team. I usually take the legs and my wife works the upper body. Chairs aren’t used, but you get the picture.
This is usually followed by my son happily run down the hallway to press the elevator button as if the past two hours of cage fighting had never happened. My wife and I only wish we had that kind of resilience.
Of course blaming my poor innocent son for all this would be childish of me, but it really is all his fault.