Wednesday, December 19, 2007

QUIET, Please!

My kids crack me up and constantly surprise me. To others, they couldn’t possibly be as funny as they are to me because you would have to know and understand the depths of their personalities to appreciate the things that make me laugh. For instance, last evening, after we explored the Winter Wonderland Christmas light display, we went to out to dinner. After the kids finished their entrée (or about 1/3 as usual), they were playing their DS’s. (This makes for a much more enjoyable dinner for Brian and me) When Grant (age 4) plays his DS, he turns the volume to the MAX level. All the time. He has accustomed himself to playing as he hums along to the Star Wars tunes while his character collects Lego kits to gain more powers. He has himself convinced he can’t perform well without the sound. Needless to say, in a restaurant close to the illuminated park approaching Christmas Day, the background noise level was elevated. Grant could not hear his Star Wars melody, thus causing him to play below par. He, naturally, whined to me about this problem.

Grant: I CAN'T HEAR.
Me: First, of all, don't speak to me that way. Secondly, I can do nothing about it. It is a restaurant and it is loud in here. The only way to fix that is to ask every person in the restaurant if they would be quiet so you can play your Nintendo.
Grant “Will you go with me?”
Me: (WHAT!?) “No, I won’t go with you.”

I must interlude to explain a bit of Grant’s personality. He is a sweet boy once you get to know him. He is extremely affectionate, loves to snuggle, and has a lot of fears, but he would never let you in on this upon first, second or third impressions. You find out in inadvertent ways. On the outside, Grant comes across as very gruff and as the expression goes, “full of piss and vinegar.” I can’t think of another way to describe him well enough. He has high demands on the world, too. He truly would want everyone in the whole restaurant to quiet down just for him and wouldn’t think this a bold request. I have come to understand this is a part of Grant’s personality, but will not enable him. We are constantly trying to teach him to be friendly, compassionate, well mannered, and just kind. Back to the story. I didn’t think Grant would seriously consider the task because I know while rough on the outside, he would be terrified to follow through. After I made myself known no less than 15 times (Grant is also extremely persistent) that I would be no part of this, Grant put down his Nintendo, declared he was not going to play anymore (because he thinks this would actually upset me causing me to become party to his plan), and sulked in the corner of the booth. After a minute or two, he went to the bathroom by himself. (We were in the booth closest to the hallway leading to them). When he returned from relieving himself, he started his appeals again for my assistance. A bit surprised at his renewed vigor, I once again firmly established my position on the matter.

Me: No, Grant, I will not go with you.
Grant: Mom, I will ask the boys if you ask the girls.
Me: No.
Grant: But, Mom, I don’t want to go by myself.
Me: Then don’t go, but, there is NO WAY that I am asking anyone to be quiet so you can play your video game.
Grant: But, M-O-M.
Brian: Grant, what we are trying to do here is make you understand that it is a ridiculous request to ask anyone to be quiet in a restaurant just so you can play a game.
Grant: Well, I asked that man in the bathroom.
Brian and Me: What?
Grant: I asked that man in the bathroom if he would.
Me: You asked some guy in the bathroom if he would be quiet so you could play your video game?
Grant: Yes.
Me: What did he say?
Grant: He said nothing
Me: What did you say to him?
Grant: I said nothing.
Me: I mean, how did you ask him? What words did you use to ask him?
Grant: I said, “Please will you be quiet so I can play my Nintendo?” and he said nothing. He just looked at me.
Brian and me: (stunned silence and impressed at his audacity) (laughing picturing some grown man relieving himself hearing a pre-schooler ask him to be quiet so he can play his video game)
Me: See, it is a silly request. You can’t ask people to do that. No one will do it.

At least he said “please.”



  1. This is the funniest story - ACK!!! He asked the man in the bathroom and he said nothing - too funny!! I loved this story and I love that you now have it documented for your son to read when he is older. Too cute.

    Thanks for coming over and leaving the nice Birthday wish for my mom and yes ... maybe I was doing a little smoozing! Take care. Kellan

  2. Next time your kids use their DS'es in public let them use headphones, works for me...

  3. LOL!!!

    I can only imagine the story that the man went to his table and told the people he was dining with!!

    Too Funny


  4. Grant would get alone just fine with my boy....oh my....what a story!!! They take things literally. Kids!

  5. LOL - OMG! Seriously? You are going to have one bold kid on your hands - wait, you already do! I think that is amazing, and really really cool :-)

  6. My daughter was much like this as a young pup. I'm happy to report that she is now a kind, thoughtful 17-year-old who no longer thinks the world should just get on out of her way. But, boy, those first few years were something else.

    I send you oodles of patience...clearly you have the sense of humor piece firmly in place. What a wonderful blog.

  7. I can't stop laughing at that one. I am picturing the expression on the face of the man in the bathroom. He must have been flabbergasted!

  8. If my kid were there that night with him, I'll bet you the two of them would have hushed the whole restaurant. Grant just needed a compadre who shared his vision. Marcus LOVES his Star Wars Lego game too, so he'd empathize.