Thursday, April 27, 2006

Resorting to Nonsense

The Mayor’s will is like a hammer. This past weekend he said “I want to go to Walden’s house” about 54 million times. Though we attempted to invite ourselves over to Walden’s house we couldn’t so much as get his mom on the phone. Turns out she had guests in from out of town and wouldn’t have been able to have us over no matter how rudely we demanded it.

So. The. Incessant. Requests. Continued. And continued.

By Sunday, K and I wanted to scratch our ears off before listening to “I want to go to Walden’s house” one more time. With a nearly two year old, apparently no answer matters. We told him that baby Otto (Walden’s younger brother was taking a rest) to which The Mayor replied, “Baby Avocado taking a rest. I want to go to Walden’s house.” We told him that Walden went out of town to visit his grandparents. We made up reasons why we couldn’t see him. We tried affirmation, as in, “That’s a great idea. Let’s go see him soon.” We reasoned. We cajoled. We lied. We heard, “I want to go to Walden’s house.”


Finally, remembering the only strategy that seemed to work at all with Indian touts – the only rivals
The Mayor has in persistence – we resorted to insane behavior.

In India, touts would pester us to the point of complete frustration and near tears. “Madam, you ride my rickshaw…” or whatever over and over and OVER and OVER. We learned that engaging with them in a sane manner was the biggest mistake we could make. It was MUCH more effective to start singing the theme from the Beverly Hillbillies at top volume. This served as a reasonably effective ‘confuse and divert’ tactic.

When my friend Therese met up with us in India we had already been traveling there for nearly two months. At the end of her week with us she confessed that upon arriving she thought we really needed to wrap up our trip and head home because we had lost perspective on being kind and patient with the local hawkers of wares. By the end of her week with us, Therese was all: “LISTEN TO A STORY ‘BOUT A MAN NAMED JED…”

So FINALLY, when The Mayor said, “I want to go to Walden’s house” for the 54,000,001th time, Kand I started arguing back and forth at TOP VOLUME – --



[Repeat many times. Stop. Repeat process again if child speaks of Walden.]

The Mayor thought this was funny and he stopped asking about Walden. Mostly. But poor Baby Avocado can’t catch a break.


Anonymous said...

Really enjoying reading your blog, J! --therese

Haewon said...

This is hilarious. Ed & I go through some version of this every single day, just substitute "watch Elmo" for "go to Walden's house." Except now the surprise element is gone, she's wised up to the ploy and just redoubles her efforts. Why oh why do they have to LEARN STUFF???

BTW, I love your blog!