The Win: Mama? Can we stop at the chip shop?
Me: I’m thinking about it.
The Win: We’re almost at the chip shop.
Me: You don’t need to remind me. I said I was thinking about it.
The Win: Oh. You didn’t answer.
Me: Because I was thinking about it.
The Win: What are you thinking?
Me: Well, sweetheart, that’s a good question. You know, every fiber of my being wants you to be happy. So, I always want to say yes to you. But, always saying yes to you only makes you happy right now. It might not make you happy in the future. Sometimes, making you happy right now, will make you really unhappy in the future. Like if I let you eat candy ever day for every meal. What would happen.
The Win: I would get very sick.
The Win: You have to say no to candy all the time.
Me: Right. But I don’t want to say no. Because I want to say yes and make you happy.
The Win: Oh. (thinking)
The Win: That’s really hard.
Me: It is the very hardest part of being a good Mama. I don’t like saying no. It is not fun. Not at all. But, it’s my job. Sometimes, I have to let you feel disappointed or unhappy so that you can be healthy and happy.
The Win: So what are you thinking?
Me: I’m thinking that you’ve been eating a lot of vegetables. I’m thinking that you did a lot of exercise. I’m thinking that we haven’t gone to the chip shop in awhile. It’s been kind of a long time since we’ve been to the chip shop.
The Win: So, we can go to the chip shop?
Me: Your Granddad always says, “Everything in moderation.” You know, a little bit here and there is okay. As long as you don’t do it all the time. So, I don’t see why not.
The Win: I love you Mama.
Me: I love you.
The Win: I know.
A few weeks later, he asked again to go to The Chip Shop. The conversation went like this:
The Win: I am not eating very many vegetables.
Me: Yeah. A good diet is important to your health. So is exercise.
The Win: Oh. I watched a lot of tv this week.
Me: (sigh) Yeah.
The Win: No. Not today. Today is not a good day to go to the chip shop.
Me: I think you made a great decision.