Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Getting My Way

I was what you would call a rather precocious child. I was anxious around other kids and tended to be more comfortable around adults. I found out early the best way to explain myself to anyone was through writing. I focused this primarily on my parents and primarily as a way to get what I wanted.

The first essay I recall writing was "Why I Deserve to be a Latchkey Kid." I think it focused on me being a whole 11 years old and way too old for daycare, and being really, really responsible and such. I believe I promised to call as soon as I walked in the door, open said door for nobody else, and stay put until a parent came through said door.

I presented the essay to my parents, they conferred, and I was allowed to be a latchkey kid. Let me make one small point of clarification: It was for approximately 30 minutes. But I got a taste of freedom and I went with it.

Essays ensued from there on to include Why I Deserve a Cat (I ended up with a bunny, after being extra manipulative and ending with "I just want something of my own to love"), Why I Deserve a Later Bedtime (I got that one, too) and Why I Deserve my Own Phone (a beautiful dark dusty rose that actually came a few years after the essay, so I guess I was losing my touch).

I've decided this is how I am going to handle things with Wee 'Burb. If she wants something, she has to present a logical argument for it. And accept she may not always get it.

How were your requests handled when you were growing up?

11 comments:

Sparkling said...

They were handled with a firm NO, BECAUSE I SAID SO and that was it!! So sad! The only letter I wrote like that was Why I Should Not Be Confirmed. The priest was very alarmed and conferred with me and suggested that indeed I should not become part of the Catholic church. My mother was like YOU WILL BE CONFIRMED AND THAT's THAT!

I love that you want Wee Burb to present logical arguments, especially through writing. Are you secretly a teacher??? I mean, isn't all of our adult life about presenting logical arguments so we can get our way?

Genious

Rachel said...

That is so funny you wrote that essay at age 11 - and it worked! I used to do that too but it was more like a list of bullet points on why I should be able to do something (like go on vacay with a friend or something). Haha!

Mellisa Rock said...

What a brilliant way to get what you wanted!

Ameena said...

My parents basically said, "no." And that was that.

My friend has a better approach, however, similar to yours...she lets her kids write up proposals for things they want (Xbox, Wii, a pet, etc.) and if they prsent their request with enough support then she considers it. I'm going to give this a shot when Maya gets to an age where she can actually write things that make sense!

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

I remember always presenting my case to my parents too. I had it all planned out and everything. Perhaps I'll have Donut do the same--after all, it's a great way to think things through.

Kat said...

The fact that you got a bunny when you wanted a kitten is actually kind of hysterical when you consider the fact that they're like...WAY more work than feline-types, no?

The day that Wee 'Burb presents you with her first petition, obviously we will all need to know.

LambAround said...

My requests never went over quite as well, but to be fair, my strategy wasn't as refined. Although I could write one heck of an essay at school, my demands at home were typically handled with screaming/crying/begging/whining on the floor while my parents rolled their eyes.
I love that you wanted to be a latchkey kid :)

LambAround said...

PetsMart sells the perfect batteries for naughty dogs who love to bark at nothing ;)

LambAround said...

*I should probably add to that last comment that it's really NOT as bad as it sounds!!

Mama Spaghetti said...

This is too funny! My parents called me the debater...though I may have done better with essays. I was pretty convincing, though.

My best debate was over having a later bed time. Great minds think alike!

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