It’s Christmas Eve, and I cannot wait for Christmas Day—if only to shut my son up about wanting an Xbox 360. For the entire month of December, I’ve heard nothing else from his mouth except how much he wants an Xbox so he can play the game, Minecraft. When he first heard about this game, he thought he could only play it on a computer.
“Absolutely not!” I told him. “You cannot download it onto my computer.” I kept imagining it eating up all my laptop’s memory like little Pac-men, or infecting it with a porn-like virus. I was however, excited he was interested in a game that didn’t involve blood and machine guns and swearing. So I brought my old laptop in to get fixed—the one that fell off the couch while my son was chasing the dog; yes, the one that stopped working the instant it hit the floor; and yes, the one I cried over when it happened.
This will be his Christmas gift, I told myself in November, since he’ll eventually need a laptop for school as well. But then we went to a friend’s house a few nights later, and their son was playing Minecraft on an Xbox. When we left their house that night, my son was like an over-excited boy who had already reached puberty and had just touched his first set of naked breasts.
“Wow! I can’t believe he has Minecraft on an Xbox,” he exclaimed. “Did you see that, Mom? Did you?” “Yup,” I mumbled. “It’s so much easier to play it on an Xbox than it is a laptop. I want an Xbox, Mom.”
“I don’t think so,” I said, and expected to never hear about it again. Ahaha, silly girl that I am! Little did I know every day from there on out, I would indeed, hear about it. I heard about my son wanting an Xbox at all hours of the day and night. “Guess what I dreamed about, Mom?” he’d ask first thing in the morning. “A laptop?” I’d say hopefully. “No, playing Minecraft on an Xbox.” “Guess what I’m going to dream about tonight, Mom?” “Puppies?” “No, playing Minecraft on an Xbox.”
And on and on it went.
His obsessive-compulsiveness kicked into high gear. “I sooo want an Xbox. Are you going to get me an Xbox, Mom? Mom?” He’d follow me into the bathroom, and I’d push him out and slam the door. “Mom?” he’d whisper at the door. “Can you at least think about getting me an Xbox 360 while you’re going to the bathroom?”
I tried to talk him out of wanting one; tried to convince him a laptop was way better, but it didn’t work. His steel-trap mind was set. Less than one week to go until Christmas, and I had a dilemma: Should I stick my son with a laptop he doesn’t really want, and risk seeing the disappointment on his face on Christmas Day—even though it may teach him a valuable lesson about life being full of disappointment? Or should I get him exactly what he wants even though I really can’t afford it, just to witness the sheer pleasure of seeing joy on my boy’s face, thus reinforcing the fact that he’s spoiled, always gets everything he wants, and has Mommy twisted around his little finger?
Do I need to tell you which way I went?