JayGee, we had something similar starting around here, and when she was not in that place (hanging out with me, full attention, and several times repeated), we have been discussing the importance of her improving her respect for others, most especially me. And I listed reasons why: I am the only one who does these things, and if I ask what you'd like, that's actually a privilege I'm giving you, and if you become so unbearable, I will take privileges--like playdates with S and riding lessons and toys and movies. Because it takes extra for me to give them, and your behavior is taking up the extra.
Had a separate convo with DS on a separate issue he has, lack of ambition. Got the issues drilled in, so now when either starts to go there, I refer back and they get a refresh, and I remove a privilege if needed, and things smooth out again. It's been good. I need them to rise to standard if I am to survive whatever comes next year.
And sparkle, and . You're so right on giving them what they want, and I totally agree about not committing to a scheme that could leave you owing someone too many favors. That would be the only present my dh would ever want for any holiday, but it would turn into some sort of daily circus act and I'd end up worn out and bitter about it. We didn't do presents at all the last two Eids. More because we're totally out of our element and it didn't feel like Eid, and I think we were/are both too depressed to come up with anything that would bring us pleasure. So we concentrated on making the day bearable. Gave the kids cash and told them they could spend it as they liked.
Nic, you look seriously awesome.
And speaking of holidays, today's UAE Day. The decked-out cars were using Jumeirah Beach Road (70 km/hr limit) as a drag strip all night, some sort of special police force out to enforce it (closing off streets at times to arrest people). No sense, I tell you. We might try to see fireworks tonight if we dare brave the streets.