I’m sitting on the sofa, leg curled under me, the fire blazing reading a book by Paul Gilbert ‘The compassionate mind’ for the second time. Chapter 7 Mindful Preparation on the Road to Compassion.
Chris (my 10 year old) hands me a note. That is to say he simply places in in the middle of the page I’m reading. I look at it benevolently ‘Can I do work for money?’ it says. Mmm thats a new one.
‘Yes Chris’ I say ‘You can tidy your room and I’ll give you one pound.’ He snatches the paper back and scribble furiously ‘£25’. ‘No’ I say ‘£1’ and go back to my reading. However the note is right back and he offers £22.
I don’t even bother to look up ‘£1 and you have to do your bed as well for that’. He stomps of in a huff to return ten minutes later with his I-pad. He taps me and points. What now? ‘Read’ he mouths. His girlfriend (also 10) in Colorado Springs is on the line she sent him a text messages ‘You should get more than that. I get $5.00 to clean my room,’ it reads.
I sigh, but remembering to be compassionate, offer him £5 to tidy his room, including doing his bed and dusting. ‘£20’ he hands me the paper saying £20. I say no, he hands me the paper again. I say no. £10? I say no.
As he finally stomps off defeated and I get back to reading my book I smile happily. Chris and I have just had an argument the same as any normal mother and 10 year old (albeit via notes).