I’ve determined that kids don’t become spoiled by receiving big gifts like a pony or a trip to Disney.
No, they get spoiled through all the little wins they get every day in their regularly-scheduled lives. Case in point:
Once a week Mikey and I stop and get a doughnut on the way to school or summer camp. This will change in the fall when he starts kindergarten and begins taking the bus. So, for now, I enjoy our special weekly treat. Usually.
Now, ever since Mikey could chew, he has favored a doughnut with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles. That’s it. If there was a box of doughnuts and all the chocolate frosted sprinkled ones were gone, we had a problem.
Then, at some point, he also started liking munchkins. So, I would have to ask him if he wanted a chocolate frosted sprinkle doughnut, or munchkins. I would confirm his answer no less than three times as we approached the counter to place our order to make sure he was sure of his answer.
Recently, the shop was out of chocolate frosted sprinkled doughnuts (the horror!) so Mikey was forced to choose between munchkins and a different doughnut. My husband was able to convince him to try a chocolate glazed doughnut, telling him it’s like a chocolate munchkin, but it’s the whole doughnut.
Well, he loved it, and now he strictly asks for what he calls a “munchkin doughnut.” Now, this makes things a little complicated when confirming his order, in that we have to quadruple check to make sure he’s telling us he wants a chocolate munchkin doughnut, and not that he wants munchkins.
This is why I take blood pressure medication.
Last Thursday, during our weekly morning treat excursion, Mikey said he wanted a chocolate frosted sprinkle doughnut.
“Wait. Mikey, you’re saying you want a regular doughnut with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles? Not the chocolate munchkin doughnut?”
“So, you want the one that is like regular cake on the bottom, with the chocolate fudge on top and sprinkles?”
“Not the chocolate cake doughnut that’s like a munchkin?”
Then I went through the same questions again, because I wasn’t born yesterday. He insisted he wanted a chocolate frosted doughnut with sprinkles. So that’s what I ordered.
I gave him his little bag with is goods and we walked back to the car. I buckled him in, shut his door and walked around to the driver’s side. I opened my door and heard him whining.
“What- What is happening? What’s wrong?” I asked, sitting in the driver’s seat with one leg still dangling out. What could have possibly happened in the time it took to walk around the vehicle?
“I didn’t want this doughnut!”
You’ve got to be kidding me.
“Mikey! I asked you no less than four times if that’s the doughnut you wanted and you said yes!”
“No!” he whined, tossing his head to the side for added drama.
I pulled my leg in the car and shut the door. “Mikey, you like that doughnut. It used to be the only one you would eat. Can you do me a favor and just take a bite, and if you like it, eat it today. Next time we will get you the other doughnut.”
He took a bite, and I took a deep breath. He shook his head. “I don’t like this one!” he cried. Because the doughnut was fresh, the fudge was gooey and left chocolate lines going up each cheek and he looked like the Joker.
I rubbed a hand down my face as my little supervillain threw a tantrum in the back seat. I shook my head, telling myself, “I am not going back in there to get him a different doughnut. It’s not happening. That’s where I draw the line. The little turd can eat the chocolate frosted sprinkle doughnut. Nope. No way. Nooooo…”
Guys, I went back and got him a munchkin doughnut. And with every step into the shop, I cursed myself, telling myself I’m such a seven-letter word starting with a-s-s for doing so. My mother would have never! Not only would she have not gotten me what I wanted, but she would have taken the sloppy seconds doughnut that I rejected away from me, too, and told me to starve. She would have let me cry all the way to school and let me “think about” my actions all day.
But, no, there I was, returning to the car with the chocolate munchkin doughnut, handing it over to the little prince in a white baggie. I almost asked him if it was the right temperature for him. Does it have enough icing? Should I go back and ask for a little extra on top?
The little brat!
And that, my dear readers, is how you end up with a spoiled rotten little child. Feel free to follow me for more expert parenting advice!
Oh! And, of course, I had to eat the rejected doughnut, which is a great segway into my next column… Reasons why my pants don’t fit.
Holly Crocco is editor of the Putnam County Times/Press and mother of a 5-year-old. She can be reached at email@example.com.