Is it wrong to convert my son’s playhouse into a chicken coop against his wishes?

Chicken vs Son

I know that I could just buy a chicken coop for less than £100, but that’s still a lot of money when there is already a vacant wooden structure in situ. It just seems like a waste, and what with the shed and the greenhouse in close proximity, the addition of another small building will make my garden look less rural self-sufficiency, more shanty town.

I’d pretty much decided to go ahead and was on the verge of getting my saw out when it occurred to me that the decent thing to do would be to quickly check with the little fella that it was OK with him.

I see now that was a mistake.

His little blue eyes began to fill with tears almost immediately. At first he was so shocked by the suggestion that he didn’t even understand what was being suggested.

“You mean I’d share the house with the chickens?”

(me) “No, it would become the chicken’s house, that would be nice wouldn’t it?”

(him) “But it is my house.”

He’s quite a smart kid for a three-year-old, clearly this blinking incomprehension was just an act. So he was trying to manipulate me, however emotional blackmail only works if you give a shit right?

Unfortunately it seems I do. I headed off the impending tantrum with the parental mantra “We’ll see”, and now I don’t know what to do.

Points to consider:

  1. Morally speaking the house is his. We were given it, and we presented it to him as a birthday present, so I didn’t even pay for it.
  2. He plays with it a bit. It’s not like when I slyly got rid of his dolls house which I felt no compulsion to discuss with him beforehand owing to his total neglect. Or that scooter or that drum kit, or the keyboard. -OK, I’m beginning to understand why he’s clinging on to one of his few remaining possessions.
  3. How much does a kid’s opinion really count for? I mean c’mon this isn’t the UN here, we don’t have to pretend that everyone’s equal. My husband pays for stuff = High value family member. I know where stuff is around the house = High value family member. The kids are cute, but when it comes to measurable worth, they really are more takers than givers. Especially the little one. At least the eldest son occasionally fetches small objects, and the middle one is easily manipulated into taking my side in family arguments, but the little blond one has two main qualities, cuteness and stubbornness, and neither is any use to me, so why shouldn’t I just ignore his wishes? It sounds cruel, I know, but I’m just trying to be practical.

Anyway, I feel I have much to consider. Buy a new coop and I risk wasting money, and space. Convert the playhouse and I could put my son off eggs for life. It’s a tough one.

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