Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sucker Bet

At some point recently, I taught LE about making bets. It started off as trying to be a marvelously clever mom teaching him stuff, like, "I'll bet you I can download the 4th season of Regular Show by tomorrow. Just stop bitching." If I won, I got a massage. If I lost, he got to punch me in the arm. So it was pretty much a win-win because he doesn't punch very hard and his aim isn't good enough to hit the dead arm sweet spot. I'm screwed when he learns how to do that.

Then I started using betting as a bargaining chip, like when we were coming home late in a taxi and I knew there was no way in hell I was going to be able to carry him up the stairs if he fell asleep. He's gotten pretty big the last few months. So I'd bet, "If you can stay awake, I'll give you a massage. If you fall asleep, I get to punch you in the arm."

I wouldn't have punched him hard, even if he did fall asleep, which of course he didn't because a winning a massage in a bet is like the Holy Grail of stuff you get in our house.

But tonight, there was the issue of what to leave out for Santa. My dad sent a Santa video telling LE to go to sleep so Santa could come and advising him to leave out milk and cookies. LE was worried because we don't have cookies, so I assured him the candy-coated walnuts that came with our Chinese food would do nicely.

Even the condensation on a milk glass is unacceptable.

But then there was the issue of the milk. The thing is, I hate milk. I hate milk with the white-hot burning passion of 1,000 suns. If I think about milk for too long, I get all queasy. I don't like it when milk touches my skin. If someone were to give me a pile of dogshit and a glass of milk and told me I had to choose which one to stick my tongue into, I would hesitate and think about it for a bit.

I'd probably opt for the milk, but still.

I tried to get LE to agree to leave out a glass of rum for Santa. No dice. He wasn't having it, no matter how much I promised him Santa would like rum ever so much more than milk. So then I tried to get my parents to corroborate my story that Santa prefers a nip of something warming over milk. But they didn't play nice. I claimed to remember leaving Santa brandy or cognac or something-- two glasses at that-- at a house we lived in when I was 7 or so. They claimed I was doing revisionist history. I claimed they were.

We both had our reasons for wanting to believe our particular versions of reality.

My mom suggested something involving a funnel, knowing I would never dump perfectly good milk down the sink just to please the kid. It was a good idea, but I was afraid the funnel idea might involve too much potential contact with milk. My dad concurred because he is also appalled by milk.

So I made LE a bet. I put a glass of milk and a glass of rum side by side on a plate of candy-coated walnuts. And because he was so insistent that Santa would drink the milk, I just went ahead and made a sucker bet with him, and bet that Santa would choose the rum.

Up till now, I've never made LE a sucker bet. Even when he wants to bet something completely ridiculous, like, "We don't have to go to work and school tomorrow," or "The moon isn't going to come out tonight," I'd never abused my superior knowledge of reality to earn massages or money, and that kid keeps trying to bet me money.

All this government corruption has caused me to lose my morals.

Probably it's about the Santa lie. I find myself working a little too hard to keep the Santa lie alive. Even tonight, when he was weeping into his pillow because I wasn't going to sleep (and thus I was preventing Santa from coming), I kept the lie alive. I told him Santa only doesn't come when kids aren't sleeping, but it doesn't count for grownups. I told him I talked to Santa last year and that Santa thought it wasn't fair that LE should receive no gifts because I was being naughty and not sleeping. And the previous year, according to a story I made up right then at that moment, I was watching a movie and watching for Santa at the same time, and I looked away from the tree for just a few seconds but when I looked back, the presents were all there and I didn't even see Santa.

It didn't work. He was still upset. Christmas gets a bit intense for kids. But that didn't stop me from making a sucker bet. I told him if Santa chooses the rum, he owes me a massage. If Santa chooses the milk, I owe him a massage.

Guess which one I'm drinking right now?
Red for haram and green for halal was an unfortunate Christmas decor-related mistake.
It's not like LE gives very good massages anyway. But at least we're sorted for beverage choices for future Christmases. So that's got to be worth something.

Maybe I can teach him to mix a martini.


Francois Victoria said...

"Red for haram and green for halal was an unfortunate Christmas decor-related mistake."

I love that! Have a very happy Christmas, I love reading your blog!

Stranger said...

Thanks, and merry Christmas to you too!

Claudia Turgut said...

I loved it too!!! What your poor kid makes of it all, I'm not sure but I bet he enjoyed it in the end! Happy holidays!

Stranger said...

Thanks, Claudia, you too!

And I wish you and yours the very best for 2014.


Mandy Indonesia said...

Thanks, Buddy. I have also enjoyed your blog and will continue to check in to read your posts.