Everybody Else

Standard

This morning, it began. An uninvited (but not unexpected) guest has invaded our home. His name is Everybody Else, and he has some demands.

***

It started like any other day. I woke up, showered, got the kids dressed, and was pouring cereal into bowls for breakfast when Katie piped up, “Mom, I really, really want to get a Tamagotchi.”

“A Tamagotchi?” This was the first I’d heard of her new heart’s desire. “Why do you want one of those?”

“Everybody Else has one and I’m the only one who doesn’t!” she exclaimed, already on the verge of tears that I hadn’t instantly capitulated.

“The only one?” I pressed.

“Well,” she amended, seeing that I wasn’t buying it, “not quite the only one. But Mason has one and Sierra has one and Audrey has one and I want one, too!”

“Hmmm…” I stalled, thinking fast. The mention of Everybody Else had tripped off my parental alarm system. Red lights flashed across my mental screen as I tried to assess the far-reaching implications of this first showdown with the mob. “What do you like about them?”

Caught off guard by this sign of possible concession, she cast around for an answer. “Well….they come in lots of colors.”

“So does the paper I have in my desk, sweetie,” I said gently. “What I mean is, why do you want it? What does it do?”

She paused, thought, and then said, “Uh, it has buttons, too.”

I’d obviously stumped her, and it instantly became clear that her knowledge of the world of Tamagotchi was limited solely to the fact that several of her friends already had one and she didn’t. Not a great reason.

This was the moment, I knew. The moment to meet Everybody Else in battle and kick his capricious little butt before he started to corrupt my sweet child with his siren song of acceptance and popularity. I waded into the fray with armor shining and swords flashing.

We talked about peer pressure. We talked about choices and the reasons behind them. We talked about thinking for yourself and being confident enough to go against the crowd. I had real-life examples; I had hypotheticals; I had everything except visual aids (had I been given more warning, I might even have been able to squeeze out a Powerpoint presentation.) After ten minutes, I sat back in my chair, satisfied that I had covered all the major points and sent Everybody Else running for the hills, pursued by the deadly force of my loving and logical arguments.*

I waited expectantly for Katie’s response to my abundant parental wisdom. Finally, it came:

“I want the pink one.”

***

You may have won this round, Everybody Else, but mark my words: we will meet again!

And next time, I will have Powerpoint.

***

*I’d like the record to show that at no time did I pull out the old standby “If all your friends were jumping off the Empire State Building” argument. In addition to a longstanding aversion to the overuse of that particular illustration, I felt that the hyperbole would be lost on my little literal thinker.

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24 responses »

  1. Great post!! My oldest is in kindergarten now. We haven’t gotten to that point yet of battling Everyone Else. I hope I can stand firm, too!

  2. How are you and your family after the tornadoes? Good I hope, and safe and dry and powered.

    As for Tagawhosie… at least she opted for the cute girley one. It’s kind of stinky that your first battle with E.E. isn’t about something more important… i mean really, an electronic toy is something every computer geek’s kid should be aching for, but at the same time, there’s the lingering “if only” that end with “she had decided she wanted it based on something substantive, like – – oh – – research.

    I feel for you, but honestly, this is why i plan on keeping my daughter (turning 2 in 2 weeks) chained in the basement with locks on all the internet sites that even mention that there are other children alive in the world.

    no, of course, not really.

    I wish you all the best in your battles.

  3. So true, so true. Luckily for me, LM hasn’t met “Everybody Else” just yet. He’s pretty okay doing whatever he pleases without any regard to peers. Could be a good thing, could be a bad thing!

    Of all the things to have to cave for, though, this one might be a battle worth giving in to. Save your strength (and PP ) for a bigger one!

    Have a great holiday weekend!

  4. Hee. It’s interesting that Everybody Else also follows you into adulthood, indicating that wide gap between you and … them. Except now it comes in the insidious form of catalogs – Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, J. Crew, Restoration Hardware, Pier 1, vacation destinations, etc.

    Just be thankful Katie isn’t asking, “Why can’t I have a cute dining room table and a trip to Italy? Please, Mom!”

    I hope I get the opportunity to meet Katie some day. She sounds like a lot of fun.
    -Lisa

  5. Everybody Else has attempted to enter our house several times via Alex, but so far, he hasn’t made it through the door. I know that I will not be able to keep him at-bay for long, so I’m simply counting the days until we meet again.

    If/when the time comes, would you be willing to share your Powerpoint with me?!? I just don’t have the time to put my own together, but it’s hard to argue with a great presentation 🙂

  6. Ha! Excellent. I am taking notes for future reference!! And, I can make a list of the things that I wanted at her age that “everybody else” had. I didn’t get them. Sniff. And I survived!!

  7. My daughter has 2 of them. It is horrible. When she is at school (and has left them behind) I find myself having to pick up digital poop and feed the little critters so that they will stop screaming. Trust me, it will just be another pet you have to clean up after…

  8. This was such a cute post! I get such a great mental picture of you explaining and then, “I want the pink one!” haha. Good stuff!

  9. To Kassi’s point….if you give in on this one, Katrina, then you have another lesson to learn…about the responsiblity for caring for something. I got one of these as an adult one time (I’m a geek and embrace it!) and after a couple of weeks of taking care of that thing, I’d had enough! It would be one thing if I could hold it and squeeze and love it…but it’s round piece of plastic!

  10. so… does she have the pink one? I think they are kind of cute – used to have one myself. Wait.. why am I telling you this?

    another great post!

  11. Tamagotchi Connection Version 3: Ice Cream Virtual Pet
    Communicate with friends, raise pets, play games and even exchange gifts with the new Tamagotchi 3
    Age Range: 8 and up

    Note the age range: 8 and up. Perhaps that would help with your literal thinker. Thomas is careful about checking the age range on toys (especially if his brother wants to play with something of his.) If that doesn’t help, they’re $15 at Walmart, and they look a lot like Easter eggs, hmmmmmm. I know. Not helping.

  12. Have you met Everybody Else’s cousin, Nobody Else? As in “Nobody Else has to be in by 9 o’clock,” or “Nobody Else has to call their mother before they change locations.” Nobody Else gets around.

  13. I see that Everybody Else has had lots of time and practice to perfect his wily ways. Glad to know I’m not the only one facing this battle!

    Debbi–My iPod was resting. Regular breaks are part of its working contract, and I wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize our relationship. We had a great workout yesterday to the strains of Toby Mac’s “Renovating Diverse City” album.

    Fin–My family weathered the storms well; thank you for asking. To be honest, tornadoes and electrical storms are just a rite of spring down in that part of the country, so unless one drops on your house, it rarely even makes a blip. As for E.E., I’m willing to consider locks, if it comes to that! 🙂

    Kassi and Rosie–You’re right! I hadn’t even thought about who would be the one to take care of this tiny technical intruder when Katie’s interest has waned. There’s no way I’m going to be stuck giving virtual baths and weilding an electronic pooper scooper for this interloper.

    Da Gal–Do you still play with yours? I vaguely remember the first version of these coming out while I was still in school. They didn’t do much, but for a while everyone had one clipped to their backpacks.

    Kathy–Good idea. That might work–although then she’s likely to go to school and tell all her friends that they’re breaking the law or something…lol.

    Sisiggy–*gasp!* You mean there’s TWO of them? I haven’t met Nobody Else yet, but he sounds dangerous. I’ll be on the lookout…

  14. Haven’t heard of those…yet…currently the toy of choice for my boys in the school are the new star wars transformer…Grandma looked high and low cuz she knew her grandson “needed” one…
    It might take our town some time to get in the phase…or it might be the rage and I’m really out of the loop!

  15. This post is awesome! I think you handled it very well. And it’s so cute that she was still like, “I want the pink one.”

    So tell us — is she getting the toy?

    And good job on the lack of the “Empire State Building” thing. It would have been too easy to pull that card. And it never works, anyway!

  16. In fact, we did not buy her the Tamagotchi, but gave her the option of buying it herself. She’s been saving up her birthday and Christmas money for a computer game that she’s been wanting for quite a while (Sonic the Hedgehog?) She has enough to go buy it now.

    We told her that she can certainly choose to buy a Tamagotchi instead, but she doesn’t have enough money for both. That pretty much ended the matter. Apparently the burning need to be like Everybody Else hasn’t quite trumped her desire for a game that she knows she’ll enjoy.

    Whew. Can I chalk that one up as a win?

  17. Depends, does Everybody Else have a nickname like, oh, I don’t know…Thomas? He may have introduced her to Sonic, it’s his favorite.

  18. Oh my sweet dear friend. I hate to inform you that EE is a regular in our household. Unfortunately my little angel is not quite as literal thinking as Katie. She also has no tolerance for delayed gratification. I blame this all on you. I am not sure why, but I do. Regularly.

    *smooch*

  19. Haha! Great story! I hope one day I’m that resourceful with my future kids!

    Arg, I’m a teacher, and Tamagotchis are becoming the bain of my existence. I’ve temporarily confiscated 4 of them in the last week!

    And yes, I think you can chalk that up as a win! 😀

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