I’m Either Raising a Master Manipulator Or I Suck As A Mother

While we were on our vacation in Michigan, D (our 5 year old), asked Scoot, “Daddy, will you stop being on the computer?” He then repeated the question to me. The next day, the two of us had a conversation about it and decided that while we’re not on the computer all that much, if our kid is mentioning it to us then perhaps we should cut back. Problem solved.

Until last night.

While driving home from registering D from his first soccer league, I mentioned to him that I have a soccer game at 9 pm tonight. His response: “Mommy, I don’t want you to play soccer any more.”

What? Why? I play one game once a week and it’s one of two outside-the-house activities I do (the other being the neighborhood association board which meets once a month for two hours).

“Because I want you to have fun time with me.”

OK, kid, so why don’t you break my heart while you’re at it? Am I really that bad of a mother?

I’ve always been proud of myself for not participating in a lot of non-kid activities. Though Scoot and I both work fulltime, we spend as much time as possible with our children outside of work hours. We put them in daycare near our work so that we could spend extra time on our long commute together. I can count on one hand the number of times they’ve been watched by someone other than one of us…IN 5 YEARS!

So now I’m vacillating between thinking I’m a horrible mother and thinking I’ve raised a total manipulator. Does he know that when he says stuff like that he’ll get his way? Even if “spending fun time with me” means he’s playing in his playroom while I’m doing the dishes or changing his brother’s diaper?

Don’t think I’m being too harsh on the kid…he really does know how to work it. A couple weeks ago he wanted to get “biscuit” (Lucille’s BBQ) for dinner and Scoot was ready to make a meal at home. D turned to his daddy, and said something along the lines of, “Daddy, can we please have biscuit? I’ll be so happy” and then gave him a kiss. Game. Over.

But even so, if a kid says they want more time, even if they get as much of it as you think you can give, shouldn’t you listen? Is spending a few hours a month on your own activities selfish? I’m so confused. Halp!