At 9 am the Boy Scouts in the area were meeting to deliver blue grocery bags to the doors of every house in every neighborhood in town in hopes of getting the community to donate to the local food bank for the holidays. Bubba was one of those boys.
He had made the choice to stay up past midnight the night before knowing full well that he would have to rise early to complete this Boy Scout task and yet, there it was 8:30 in the morning and he was complaining about needing more sleep.
His response to the eighty-seventh round of "Get up now!" was "I am quitting Boy Scouts."
I knew this was coming. Bubba is the only boy in his rank because of a lack of leaders and several boys not returning after last year. Dear Hubby does his best to include Bubba in everything with other boys so that he can enjoy his Boy Scouting experience but it has just become too much of a hassle. Too much time strain on the day and not enough activity to keep Bubba's interest.
My response was, "You don't have to be in Boy Scouts if you don't want to. You can drop out. Tomorrow. Today you are going to go help people in need of your help so get out of bed."
The conversation that followed...I guess it couldn't be termed a conversation as I talked and he barely tried to keep his eyes open...rolled off my tongue easily as I had been explaining the same principle to my Girl Scouts only days before.
"There are people, kids, in this world that have nothing to eat. The blue bags you deliver today will be filled with food for those people."
Slight nod from the half asleep child.
"Those people, kids, don't have any money and the adults don't have any jobs to get money."
"Since they have no money and money is necessary to buy food, they don't have any food to eat either."
Sliding to the floor. Okay this isn't working. Another Tactic.
"Do you see all of these toys here?"
Eyes open wide at the mention of toys.
"They were all bought because mommy and daddy have jobs and make money so that you can have everything you need and some of the things you want. What if you didn't have any of these toys? What if you went hungry every day because you had no food and I couldn't buy you any? How would that make you feel?"
"Sad." Yay! Progress!
"You don't want others to be sad either right? So you go do this project, help those kids who are living on the streets and have no food, and after it's all done and over with you can quit Boy Scouts and focus on your wrestling instead."
"I don't want to go!" Said, of course, in a whiny voice.
"How about I take all your toys away since you are an ungrateful little cuss? How about that? How about I give them to children that will actually appreciate all the money that was spent on them and not mistreat and lose them? Huh? How about I do that?"
I stomped out of the room at that point and Bubba proceeded to get dressed for the day. A few minutes later, he found me in the bathroom and I asked him if he was going. "Yes," he said.
"Because you want to help people who have nothing or because I said I would take away all your toys?"
"I want my toys."
I blew a gasket. I stormed through the house and spent the next 10 minutes crying in my room. How is it that I raised such an enormously selfish 8 year old? Really. I am deeply disturbed by this fact.
Was he raised this way or was he born with a selfish gene that I cannot change within him?
My kids have everything they need in life. They have warm clothes to wear in the winter and swimsuits for the summer. They have food on the table at night and in their lunch boxes during the day. They have a roof over their heads and love in their hearts. They have all of that and a lot more. We shower them with love every day. They have toys to play with and books galore to read. They have all they need and much more. Because the children come first. Their safety, well being and happiness is what matters. They are spoiled to a point but not as much as they could be.
I despise those people that purchase video game systems, and other electronics as well as cigarettes and booze when their children don't have snow pants to wear to school or gloves for their hands. Those parents that put their selves and their needs before those of the children. Those that buy their way into the hearts of children through gifts trying to make up for lack of or bad parenting skills. Grow up. Get it together. Put them first for a change.
This is what my son will be getting for Christmas this year.
Why is it okay for me to buy this for him? Because he has everything he needs in life. Because he is a good kid and deserves to be rewarded. Because the video game system he plays on now is a Nintendo. Yes, one of those ancient, original Nintendos and that itself was a hand me down. Definitely not purchased new. And the games were gifts from people we know who had upgraded to a bigger and better Video Game Console. However, the XBOX that Bubba is getting is also most definitely not a new one. My sister happened to have one that needed some fixing and with the help of my other sister, it is now ready for him to have and will be in the mail next week. It is complete with controllers and games for about $60. So when other parents are spending in excess of $200 to buy their children the newer XBOX 360 or a Wii, my little man is getting a hand-me-down old XBOX instead. And other than one small gift, that is all he gets from his parents for Christmas.
It's a little much but it's perfect for her and will be used a fuckton so it's worth it. And it comes with several rooms of furniture and the dolls AND she can use it to play with her Littlest Pet Shop Animals, too! Yay! Totally worth it. Plus we got it on sale so that is always good.
And, of course, that little one deserves a great gift for Christmas. With all of her hard work at Girl Scouts with the Care Packages and the adopt-a-family, she understands the meaning of "Giving" and is always ready to help others. It's just in her nature.
Which brings me back to the original question...are they just born that way?