Yesterday, we did not take difficult child out for sushi. We did, however, surprise him by doing sushi takeout for his birthday. I am SO glad we stuck to our guns. He harrassed us all wk that he wanted his friend, Iv, to come along. We said no, it's just a family dinner. difficult child went ahead and invited Iv anyway, who told H, who invited himself. Sigh. They are both invited to difficult child's birthday party Sat. at a steakhouse, and afterward, for football or Texas Hold'em at the house (depending upon the weather). Period. difficult child refused to give it up, and then, during the wk, was very ill-behaved. We totally cancelled the sushi dinner out. He still strung along Iv, but told H he could not come Last night, difficult child pulled a fast-one--told Iv that we didn't want to pay for him! Arrrgh! Then Iv told his father, who told Iv and difficult child he would be happy to pay. I swear, this kid is put on the planet just to embarrass us! Apparently he thought he'd painted us into a corner ... because on top of it, he and Iv stayed on the phone so husband and I couldn't call to explain the real reason. Finally, difficult child hung up, at which point husband explained to the dad that we'd been had, and that difficult child was on restriction, and that the party is still Sat and they should have gotten the invitation several days ago. The dad groaned and then laughed, so they had a nice chat. Despite the fact husband surprised difficult child with-sushi at home, difficult child was a pill at the table, sat and read and refused to make eye contact, talk, or eat. After about 10 min., he couldn't stand it any more, and ate a easy child of tekka maki. It was just a matter of seconds b4 he gave in and started eating the whole thing, talking, and acting "normal." I am so glad we cancelled the dinner out, especially since he tried to blackmail us with-his friend. I am also glad we were able to eat sushi at home, because he knew that we still cared about his birthday, but also knew that we weren't going to fall for his tricks. husband bought Stratego for difficult child and we played it after dinner. (No computer!!!) One of the few times husband and I have worked together and had it turn out okay. Whew.