Have I mentioned my nephew Grayson is particular? I'm pretty sure I have already. He is also extraordinarily stubborn. He may even match my Zayd on that.
Just to recap for a moment, my sister Yasmine, and her two kids, Anya, 9 and Grayson, 4, are here from Florida visiting for a week.
Yesterday, we had to figure out a way to distract Grayson from the fact that we couldn't take him to Grand Forks for a day of swimming at the swim park, because Auntie Chino ended up working all day. (Fortunately, Anya went up to the GF with Uncle Paul and the boys).
Yasmine decided the best way to distract him was to take him to the mall where he had seen a candy store and get him some candy.
Trouble is, Auntie Chino parked in different entrance of the mall.... one Grayson was not familiar with... so Grayson was insistent that we were NOT at the mall.
The following statements made by Grayson are at a high C, with a strong sing-songy, whistle-type whine. Highly effective.
Grayson: Chiiiinnnnnoooooooo! When ard we go-in to da mawww?
Me: I am taking you to the mall Grayson.
Grayson: Dis is not da mawwwww Chinnnoooo.
Me: Yes it is Grayson. This is the mall.
Grayson: Chinoooo. Dis is not da mawww. Chinoooo? When ard you tak-in me to da mawww?
Me: I am taking you to that mall Grayson. I promise. Auntie Chino is taking you to the mall.
Grayson: Dis is not da mawww. Mommmmmmyyyyyy, when are we go-in to da mawww? Why isn't Chinoooo tak-in me to da mawww?
Yaso: Grayson. Auntie Chino is taking you to the mall. This is the mall. We are at the mall.
I pull into a parking spot.
Me: Grayson. Here we are! We are at the mall! And we are going to get candy! Hooray!
Grayson is now clearly disturbed by my statement. He is thinking, "Who is this Auntie Chino anyways? First, she screws with my trip to a water park and now she is taking me to this place she claims is the mall. This is crap. Crap I tell you."
Grayson: Dis is not da mawwwwww. Nooooooooo. I don't love dis place. I don't love it Chinoooo. I do not want to go here. I want to go to da mawwwwwww!!! (whining is intensifying now).
For whatever reason - probably because it's been a while since I had a four year old around... also probably because I have never been around someone like Grayson... I keep thinking he'll snap out of this any time now.
Yaso pulls him out of the car and we start walking towards the entrance.
Me: Grayson! Hold Auntie Chino's hand!
Grayson looks at me like I am the devil. Whoa. This is serious.
Me: Grayson. I swear this is the mall! This is the mall. There are lots of ways to get into the mall and this is different than the way Papa took you. But this is a better way because it is faster. The candy store is right here.
Grayson: Dis is not da mawwwww! (he is now crying).
Yaso: Yes it is Grayson.
Grayson begins trying to hold Yaso back. It is freakin' cold outside and she stops to reason with him.
Yaso: Grayson. This is the mall. Mommy promises you this is the mall. Okay? Chino is bringing us to a place that is closer to the candy store. Now stop. We are going inside the mall.
Okay. At this point, if this was my child, I would pick him up and put him back in the car and say to heck with it. Forget the candy. Forget that I screwed up your trip to the water park. I am freezing and I am not going to argue with you in the parking lot of the mall - a mall that I, in fact, have been to thousands of times and know like the back of my hand. But, this is not my child. This is my nephew and fortunately his extraordinarily patient mother is with him. So I do what any other mother in my position would do in this situation. I walk away and pretend I don't know either of them.
Yaso: Grayson. (she and Grayson have stopped in the middle of the parking lot) Grayson. This is just another way into the mall. I am taking you to get candy.
Finally. Finally after some arguing that I heard from a distance because I left them... Yaso and Grayson make it to the door. I hold it open.
Me: Oh. My. God, Yaso.
Yaso: I know. See? See what I mean? He is sooo stubborn.
Grayson: Seeeee mooommmmmmyyyyy! Dis is not da mawwww.
Yaso: This is the mall Grayson. We are going to see the fountain soon. Remember the fountain were you put the pennies?
I conjure up my positive attitude. I pull out my Mary Kay attitude from deep deep within...
Me: Come on Grayson! Follow Chino to the mall! It's this way.
Grayson: (now crying).
Me: We are almost there!
A few moments later, we emerge from the department store to the main area of the mall - fountain and all. I mean - if a fountain doesn't prove that this is a mall, I don't know what will.
I turn around to look at him.
Me: See Grayson?! It's the mall! I told you I would take you to the mall. See?
His eyes narrow and he looks away in defeat. He knows we are in the mall and he can't deny it.
Grayson: Dis is not da maw.
Grayson: I do not see da candy stow.