“Please, Mom? Pul-ease?” The teenage girl pled with her mother on the grocery aisle. I was looking for olive oil and wondering why there were now fifty-‘leven brands in three sizes, remembering the days when olive oil meant extra virgin Pompeian in its distinctive bottle.
We kept crossing paths as we shopped. The kid continued to make a case for something involving the use of a car. “What if I promise we’ll fill the tank up?”
I couldn’t hear the mother’s responses but apparently they were negative. I figured she was reminding her daughter of other times when things hadn’t gone so well.
“He’s a good driver, Mom. It’s just for a couple of hours. Mo-om!”
When a child wants something passionately, she can be a real Energizer Bunny about it.
In front of the lunchmeat, they seemed to be working things out. Mom had stopped the cart and faced her whiney offspring with a monologue. They were so intent, I was able to sneak a peek at their faces. The woman looked serious but calm; the wide-eyed girl looked hopeful; I supposed she had won her case.
Her persistence paid off, I thought. If only children could be so persistent about important things, like getting their homework done or staying with any assigned task long enough to finish it or saying, “No,” to their peers about self-destructive behavior.
Our kids learn from the example we set, though. By capitulating when they wheedle, we not only reward their nagging, we show them it’s okay to cave. After all, mom did.