Lately, Kenyan my 8-year-old, has been reacting to not getting his way by crying that his life sucks. On some occasions, he has threatened to run away, once packing his bag with his prized possessions, wrestling figures. “Kenyan, many kids would give anything to have what you have”, Amie and I would say to him, while giving him examples of why his life doesn’t ‘suck’. “You just went to Disney. You are in the movie, ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ you got cool light up shoes that your friends are jealous of, you perform on stage with Daddy every summer, to name a few.” These always falls on deaf ears
Last week the wheels came off the bus in a big way! While him and I were in the middle of doing something, he mentioned again how bad he had it. Well I also had it! “Kenyan, if you think your life is so bad, I will start taking away some of the good things you have and then maybe you would see how bad it really could be.” “Like what?” He asked. “Your light up shoes.” His reply was that I couldn’t because Santa got them for him, not me.
“Son, I wasn’t ready to tell you this but there is no Santa!” There! I Said it! Sorry Amie, I know we agreed not to let that cat out of the bag until he was at least 10 but I work too hard to get things for this kid to let some fictitious fat man take credit. I did try to back pedal but there was no taking it back.
While I was on a roll, I also dispelled the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy myths as well. He was still a dubious on the Santa revelation and sat and quietly digested what he had just heard. “How about the Elf On The Shelf then?” I pointed to the box sitting high on the top shelf in the closet. “He’s in there.” He wanted to see for himself so I took it down and opened it, revealing that the Elf On A Shelf was in fact now a Jack In A Box.
Kenyan sat for about 20 minutes staring into space. I let him have his moment and answered the questions he had. “I feel so stupid now.” He finally muttered with an embarrassed look on his face. At least now he knows how much his parents work hard for everything he has.
Since that revealing conversation, Kenny has not complained about his life or threatened to leave. He has played Tooth Fairy to his little brother by putting money under his pillow after he lost his tooth and is also eager to be in charge of the Elf next Christmas. As for me, I feel like a weight has been taken off my shoulders. One more kid to go!