My son has a real beef with the word ‘want’. He doesn’t use it. Instead, he uses the word ‘need’ exclusively. Dramatic as he is, every request sounds like this ‘Mommy, I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed.’
‘I neeeeeed something from the frigerator’ is how he asks for meals.
Potty time? ‘I neeeeeed to go poopy’ (and apparently I need to stand watch).
‘I neeeeed to go to school’ (that one is borderline but since I am not homeschooling, I let it slide).
Then yesterday morning he crossed a line.
We were running errands when he told me ‘I neeeeeeeed to go to the playground’. (I promised him we could go, since, you know – it’s 60 degrees in February!!)
“Ok, we’ll go after we are done at the store.”
“No, I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to go now!” and proceeded to thrash around in his stroller like some lunatic being put in a straight jacket.
This little episode made me realize it was time to focus on the finer points of language, such as the proper uses of need and want. Sort of a nuanced topic (even though he is exceptionally bright) so I thought hard about how to explain to him. Then I remembered the best way to teach is to show by example. Here are some of mine:
I want that hooded Montcler coat. I need to stay warm in the cold winter.
I want a Mason Pearson hairbrush. I need to not look such a mess all the GD time.
I want privacy in the bathroom. I need privacy in the kitchen (cause if you see me eating those Dutch Cocoa cookies, you are going to want one. And mommy does NOT share her cookies).