He rubs his sweet little head against my belly as we wait for the school bus. It makes you want to say yes, no matter what the request.
A scientist lady friend without kids told me once that it was emotional blackmail. That kids had manipulative strategies. She said conscious, I said unconscious.
I said “it’s love too.”
Pity. She and I were good together.
“If only you would say yes this once. Pleeeassse dad.”
“Sounds like life and death, Noah.”
“I know you’re going to say no…”.
“So if you already know the answer don’t ask the question.”
He rubs his little knotted-hair feral head against me a little harder.
Manipulate all you want kid. I love rubbing his head, his sweet and sour smell, milk and cookies mixed in with toothpaste and semi-clean feet.
Bottle it…for when he’ll be too old and I’ll be too lonely.
“Just say it Noah.”
“Could I please, just once, borrow your credit card?”
“Which is why you’ll be using the computer less and less.”
“Eh?” He pulls his head away suddenly, snagging my fingers in one of his knotted curls.
“Owww, you pulled my hair.”
Focus. He’s looking to bitch.
“You go on the computer to play, sure, now and then you learn something, but more than anything you’ve become an online shopaholic with no credit.”
‘That’s not true.”
“Let me guess, you saw a ‘one-time only online super-special not-available-in-stores Pokemon super-booster pack limited time-offer for only, only….’ “.
“…only 19.95, dad.”
He looks up, happy, sees my “gotcha” expression.
Priceless. And everything else that needs a card can wait.
He mumbles, loudly so I can hear, just in case I might give in.
“I never bought nothing on the net, like, all my friends buy all sorts of stuff, and I never, ever, get anything…”.
If it wasn’t so comical, I would be annoyed. I could make an inventory of all the stuff I’ve bought for him on and off the net with cash, credit, debit and even with sweat and sacrifice. Especially sacrifice.
Luckily, the bus pulls up. I crouch to hug him. He hugs back.
“Have a nice day, kid. I love you.”
“I love you too, dad.
He climbs into the bus. We throw kisses and grimaces as it pulls away.
Yes, scientist lady friend who left.