A few months ago, Bryce learned how to put together a little sentence to express his needs. The problem was, and is, that everything became a need.
I need water. I need crackers. I need yogurt. I need dinner.
He has become good at expressing his needs, even when it’s 10a.m. and the need is dinner. All along, I’m trying to find out why this boy doesn’t need to go to the potty consistently, why he doesn’t need to go to grocery shopping or to get a job. But I digress.
He needs things he doesn’t need. I feel like I should print a sign on myself—wrap it around my neck and pin it to my jacket. I’ll wave it in the air when at a birthday party and when I use that daddy-says-no face even when everyone else in the room is so moved by the simple, lovely, and convincing communication. The sign will say something like, “My kid doesn’t need water. He just wants water.” Or, “Don’t listen to him. He’s not being neglected.” Or, “If you want to meet his needs, ask me for my address so you can send large, frequent amounts of unrestricted gifts to his parents.”
When I hear the boy say what he needs, it’s always a moment for me to question if I’m doing my job. Am I doing my part to ensure that his needs are met? I don’t want my son hungry. And I don’t want people to think he’s hungry. So his expression makes me question that. The other thing is when I hear him say this, I almost always find myself thankful because his needs really have been met. He doesn’t know hunger. Perhaps, he’s hungry in the morning when he wakes up, especially if he didn’t eat all his dinner the night before because he thought he lived in a house where he got to choose the meal. But that’s different. His needs have been met. I’m grateful I can say that.