My son, JC, who turns 10 at the end of the month, has what he calls “interests.” These “interests” range from particular types of jellyfish (the arctic comb jelly is his current favorite) to Star Wars, to his favorite app, Minecraft. During the life span of any one of his “interests,” he likes to research incessantly on the iPad, particularly YouTube, where you can find a video about anything. (I mean, ANYTHING. Where do people have the time to make YouTube videos about such weird stuff?)
For awhile Joe and I allowed him to take the iPad up to bed at night and watch his stuff until a certain time. Soon, as you can imagine, he was waking up tired and cranky. We also feared he’d go blind and realized he may watch inappropriate stuff. When we cut off the nighttime iPad watching, JC was not happy. His iPad obsession turned into a nightly battle.
Me: You can’t bring the iPad to bed.
JC: Why not? What did I do?
Me: Nothing. It’s not a punishment. It’s just not good for your eyes.
JC: But I’ll dim it.
Etcetera, etcetera. Every night. The same conversation.
Well, a few nights ago, JC flat out refused to give up the iPad at bedtime. As he and I marched up the stairs towards his room, he held it to his chest. We had The Conversation. I told him he had to listen to his mother. I tried the ol’ “Jesus is watching you” and when that didn’t work, I gave a shout out for Eugene the Elf to take note. I threatened to “get Dad involved.” When neither Jesus nor Eugene nor Dad managed to convince him to hand over the goods, I tried to pry it from his little hands. That didn’t work either. The kid is strong.
Me: GIVE ME THE iPAD or YOU’LL NEVER SEE IT AGAIN.
JC: I’M NOT GOING TO LISTEN TO YOU.
Me: YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME. IT’S LATE AND YOU HAVE TO GO TO SLEEP. AND YOU’LL GO BLIND!
JC: BUT I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING! WHY ARE YOU PUNISHING ME? (JC pauses while I sigh) Who was that lady on the bus?
Huh? I thought. Is this kid nuts? I should have known I was being set up.
Me: Miss Karen? (M.’s bus driver)
JC: No. The lady who had to sit in the back of the bus.
Me: Rosa Parks?
JC: Yeah! ROSA PARKS! She didn’t listen when they told her to sit on the back of the bus, and she’s an AMERICAN HERO. So I’m not going to listen to YOU.
Me: (Stares at kid, dumbfounded).
For about three seconds while I stood there staring at a proudly defiant JC clutching the iPad to his chest, I thought about laughing, then maybe crying, then begging Calgon to “take me away.” I attempted to formulate an argument in my head about how the Civil Rights Movement is a bit different from a ten-year-old bringing an iPad to bed at night. We stared each other down.
I can do this, I thought. I can beat this kid. But it was late. I was tired and worn out from the day. I didn’t have the fight in me (Ms. Parks would have been disappointed).
I squinted at JC and shook my head. Rosa Parks? Really?
“Just take the iPad,” I said as Evil JC grinned. “Go,” I demanded. He scurried up the stairs leaving me in his dust.
Clever little bugger.
A few years back on Halloween, JC dressed as a character from Harry Potter. His favorite part of the costume was the wand. On his candy-induced sugar high, JC got a bit excited and started knocking people with his wand. When he hit me with it, his father, rightly so, freaked out and sent him to bed.
JC cried and shouted and real tears poured from his eyes as he stomped up to his room. Joe followed him and gave him a talk about respecting his mother on the way up the stairs. My parents and I stayed downstairs feeling a little bad that JC was being punished on a holiday, but agreed he was out of control. We heard JC and Dad arguing upstairs and JC’s door slamming repeatedly. Finally, we heard Joe coming down the stairs.
Ut-oh, we thought, figuring Joe was going to be steaming mad. Instead, Joe comes down the stairs laughing.
“What happened?” I asked.
Turns out that in the middle of their argument, JC went into his room and shut the door on Joe, wrote a note, then marched back out and handed it to Joe before retreating back to his room. Here’s the note:
The note read: “Wores my loyer!” (Translation: “Where’s my lawyer!”). Really? He was 8! Thank God he didn’t know how to use the phone or he probably would have called the Public Defender’s Office. We couldn’t help but laugh.
Recently, his teacher gave him an index card and wrote: “Today is a great day because” and had JC finish the sentence. JC wrote, “We have a spelling test.” The teacher then wrote: “Do you really like spelling tests? Why?” JC wrote this:
“I like them because I like them.” So there!
Sometimes he can be really sweet. Check these out:
This kid! I don’t know what to do with him. Despite his defiance, he’s super sweet (he said I was beautiful and compared me to a sunset and the moon, Blogtropolis!). Smart, sweet, and defiant may be a lethal combination. Did I mention he’s handsome too? Who knows what he can accomplish with that mix. It starts with winning the iPad Challenge. What’s next? Only time will tell.
I’ll keep you updated on the Adventures of JC. Have a nice night!