Sunday, April 10, 2011

The comedy and tragedy...of Pokemon

A few nights ago as The Mr. and I were settling into bed, Wonderboy calls out and, "Wants to talk to Daddy."  With the heavy sigh of dealing with the umpteenth stalling tactic, my husband goes into his room to find out what he needs.  Next thing I hear is the unmistakeable sounds of the Wonderboy ramping himself up into an emotional frenzy.  The Mr. comes back into our room.
"What's going on?" I ask.
"Apparently, WB loaned his giant Pokemon card to Sam last week and now Sam won't give it back."

Not three minutes go by before WB is now in our bedroom, continuing his tale of woe.  We manage to get out of him that he loaned this card (purchased for him as a gift by his Grandfather for receiving Student of the Month) to Sam and when he asked for it back, Sam kept putting him off.  Of course, righteous indignation asserts itself in The Mr and me.  We're giving each other the, "What a little jerk" eyeballs over WB's head as he continues his sob-story.

But then, of course, the plot thickens.  It turns out that you are not supposed to bring Pokemon cards to school, something the WB knows.  He just couldn't resist bringing in the illicit goods in to show off to his friends.  The card was loaned to Sam, with the understanding that it would be returned at the end of the week.  When WB asked for it back, Sam threatened to tell the teacher that WB had brought it to school.  (So, essentially, still a little jerk.)

Now getting in trouble at school is one of WB's biggest fears.  Not the simple, "be quiet" kind of trouble, but Serious Trouble.  And he knew he was courting danger bringing in the cards as he had already been told once not to have them at school. So the frustration over not getting his most special card back was countered by the absolute terror of getting busted.  All of this we learned through many tears and the hitching of breath that comes with such emotional strain.

We talk it out.  WB must approach Sam again.  He should tell him, in his own words, that he is not being a very nice friend.  We give him permission to use the "My parents will call your parents" threat if he has to. (Of course, he wanted us to do the dirty work for him and asked if we could call Sam's Mom then and there!)  We held firm that he needed to try to figure this out himself and if Sam threatened to tell again that WB should let him. (Ha! We'll call your bluff you little bleepedy-bleep!) That suggestion had the effect of somebody dousing you with ice-cold water while you were sleeping.  Once we put WB's eyeballs back in his head, we explained that it would be better for him to be honest and apologetic with his teacher instead of afraid.

He finally calmed down and with many declarations of The Mr. and me being, "really awesome" and "the best," he finally went to sleep.

The next day when I picked him up from school, he very proudly told me that Sam had given him the card back. Of course he used the parental threat, but the fact was, he did it.  I was proud of him. 

Or, you know, as proud as I can be over a kid who breaks school rules and is foolish enough to loan out his most prized Pokemon possession. 


Logical Libby said...

I would have folded and bought him more cards. I need to get better at confrontations.

And Sam is a jerk.

Captain Dumbass said...

Hahahah. Good for all three of you.

for a different kind of girl said...

Oh, we have been there. It ALWAYS comes to a head after bedtime! And I am like Libby. The temptation to cave and just replace the item is so tempting because you don't want them to be sad anymore, but getting them to resolve the matter really is better, and WB will surely remember how standing up for himself was the right thing. Good for you and for him!

Laggin said...

Awesome parenting!

Maggie May said...

This exact thing happened with my Dakota in the third grade, over a Pokemon card. (shows you how successful that brand has been, that was like eight years ago!) And the same rule of NOT bringing them to school had been broken! ha!

Cheryl said...

You guys win Parent of the Year awards. I thought Pokemon had died a horrible death at the hands of the Yu-Gi-Oh. I just can't keep up with the latest news.