Do you know the difference?

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).

They are subtle points, I know, but I am sure you can relate.


About Carinn Jade

Mother, lawyer, yogi, writer, non-sleeper. Published @NYTMotherlode. Contributor @Mommyish @Moonfrye @HuffPostLive. I like beer (not wine) & tea (not coffee) & being a contrarian.
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