One skill that I get to work on a lot at home is negotiation. Nothing is easy with the kids, that goes without saying. However, B is in this phase where he’s always looking to cut deals, on basically everything. Eating meals, bedtime, getting ready, cleaning up etc… all this stuff is done once a mutually beneficial agreement has been arranged. Do you know hard that is to live with? To constantly be negotiating? Next time that there’s a hostage that needs to be taken down, gimme a call, I’ll send B over to take care of the situation.
Want an example? Alrighty yo. This conversation happened a few months ago:
Me – ‘OK, you can take three cars to bed tonight.’
B – ‘But I want to take lots of cars!’
Me – ‘No, just three tonight.’
B – ‘I want a few cars!’
Me – ‘How many is a few?’
B – ‘It’s lots.’
Me – ‘No, just three!’
B (picks up a car) – ‘I want this one, (picks up another) , this one (this goes on like twelve more times until he’s pulled out all of his Hot Wheels)
Me – ‘You’re not taking all of those, just three!’
B grabs as many cars as he can hold, and cradles them against his chest. And then:
B (picks up a car, adds it to his armful of cars) – ‘One. (picks up another, adds it). Two (and another). Three.’
Me – ‘Nice try! Just three. Here, I’ll pick them for you.’
I grab three cars.
B grabs two more – ‘And this one and this one?’
Me -‘That’s more than three.’
B – ‘But I want Stitch!’
B saw Lilo and Stitch a while ago, and he called one his cars Stitch. Why? I don’t know. I take a car away, and add Stitch.
B – ‘And Lilo!’
Me – ‘Who’s Lilo?’ I really didn’t know, I only know Stitch.
B (picks up an orange Chevy, adds it to the other three) – ‘This one.”
Me – ‘Is that Lilo?’
B – ‘No (picks up another car, adds it to the four). This is.’
Me – ‘That’s more than three! You can only take three!’
Anyway, eventually B did settle on three cars to take to bed. And that’s that, right? Wrong.
Half hour later, K went to check on him. I stupidly left the rest of the cars in the hall, and B sneakily went and got them. So, of course, K caught him playing with all his cars in his room. Naked, for no apparent reason too. I got him dressed, and had to lay the heavy on him:
Me – ‘So now we’re going to have to take all your cars away. Instead of three cars, you were sneaky, and now you don’t get any.’
And that’s that, right? Wrong.
B – ‘Can I play with my firetruck?’
Because, there’s always room for negotiation!