A while ago I wrote All The Way to God, a post about my 4 YO's fight to live a life absent societal responsibilities. He's still at it. Last week, on our way home from Thursday daycare, he started talking about their house. (They have spent the last year under construction, doing a massive renovation and build-out on the house and property. It is now drawing to a close.) He offered his opinion that he likes the house now, and thinks 'the guys' can leave and not change anything else.
Then, he started planning. 'When I grow up, I'm going to build my house next to Mommy and Daddy, and you should come see me there, but you will have to follow my rules, because I'll be the in charge of my house. ' Alright.
'Honey, there's no place next to your Mom and Dad to build. You would have to buy one of the neighbor's houses and then you could remodel it like Mom and Dad have. But, if you really wanted to build a house, you could buy Uncle Charlie's land behind me and build a new house- and you could live next to me.' He liked that idea, and allowed how he could have his parents and I over for dinner (and, I'm sure, boss US around for a change). Of course, he could then hang around on the FARM. Big bonus! Future accommodations solved.
Down the road a bit, I stopped to mail my bills. He asked if those were important letters, and I explained paying the bills. Adults have to pay for their houses, vehicles, electricity, TV, etc. I explained insurance payments to protect the things you own- 'In case there's a emergency?' 'Correct, the insurance people pay to fix it. That's why grownups work, Hon. Some people, like your parents, and Tea, are lucky because we have jobs we love, but even if we didn't have our jobs, we'd still have to have jobs to pay for our lives.
The idea of paying for EVERYTHING, I could tell, (even watching TV???) was not sitting well- remember, he'd just committed to home ownership. I also reminded him that his parents payed for all of that, and for their children, and still were willing to buy new toys.
A few minutes later, he broke his silence. 'Hey, Tea, I think maybe when I grow up I'll just live with Mommy and Daddy.' PRICELESS!
We never hedge with them, so.... 'Well, when you finish all of your school, and are a grownup, you could live with your parents, but, because you'd be a grownup, you would still be responsible for yourself. You would have to pay them rent, for the your room, and the part of the electricity and TV and heat and things that you use, and for your food.'
'But it would cost less than a house. right?' Yes, but it wouldn't be yours , and they would still make the house decisions.'
Damn! Foiled again.
He thought for a bit, but before the reveal, I'll tell you how much fun Mommy and I had with this while he was down for Quiet Time. When I got to the life at home, she started, as I knew she would. She did allow that he could remain rent-free for a time after college, but was firm on the fact that an adult life with Mom and Dad would be pricey enough that he'd soon tire of it. She already has a plan for reticent new adults. Love her.
In the end, he opted for a life at home, but he has -as ever- his terms. 'I think I will live here with Mom and Daddy, but I'm moving into Granna's room.' Well played, kid. It is bigger than yours, and it has its own bath.