Whistle while you shop
My son and I are at the mall looking for a birthday gift for his mother.
He seems to believe he has a horse in the gift game.
“Dad, can I have an iphone X?” he asks.
“No,” I reply. “We’ll think about getting you a phone when you are 12.”
“How about when I’m 11?” he counters.
I stand firm at 12.
A few stores later, he asks for a Fortnite T-shirt.
I say no, we’re here for a gift for Mom and you just got a Carey Price T-shirt for your own birthday.
(To answer the question on the minds of all Montreal fans, yes, the Price shirt has five holes in it. Arrr. Haarrrr. Har Har.)
I’m craving lineup at Tim’s.
“Can I have a wonders.
I remind him it’s 10:30 in the morning and that his only options are milk, juice or water.
He argues he’s nine now and all nine-year-olds get Pepsi.
I question his facts. He counters with conviction.
“He’s going to be a lawyer,” the guy behind me says.
Many have said that to me about him over the years. He’ll need to be a successful litigator coffee and Pepsi?” he to afford his tastes.
“Can I get a Montreal Canadiens hat?” he asks as we walk through the mall, coffee and water in our respective hands.
“No,” I reply, “you’re wearing one.”
He walks into a video game store and asks if they have Black Ops 4.
I ask the clerk what that is and learn it’s the next Call of Duty game.
“No Call of Duty until you’re 18,” I remind him.
He seeks support from the staff, but the clerk says, “You have to be 17 to buy it.”
That doesn’t break his stride. He is soon asking for a skateboard and a Zoo York hoodie. “They are sick,” he says.
By this time, I’m a little sick too — of his constant requests. I try turning this into a parenting moment, encouraging him to pick an item he really wants — and is permitted to have — and save his money to buy it himself. I’ve been stressing this to him for a couple of years.
We pick up my wife’s birthday gift in a yoga store, and surprisingly, my son doesn’t ask for anything there.
He also finds little of interest in the card store a few doors down — until I’m in the lineup with birthday cards in hand.
From behind a rotating rack near the cash, he bellows, “Dad, can I have a fart whistle?”
Everyone else in line laughs and turns to watch me shrink to the size of Ant-man and turn redder than the cheeks of delegates in the hospitality suite at a Liberal convention.
“Dad,” he yells again with great enthusiasm, perhaps sensing an audience, “Can I have a fart whistle? They are only a dollar.”
He walks over and whispers that he has a dollar and will pay for it himself, just like I was encouraging him to.
After an hour of saying “No” and turning down his requests, he has me, and I cave in.
He bought the whistle, but I’m the one who blew it.
Steve Bartlett is an editor at Saltwire Network. He dives into the Deep End Mondays to escape reality and clothes shopping. Reach him at steve.bartlett@ thetelegram.com.