My son is a negotiator. He gets it from his father. I am not a talented negotiator nor am I a talented arguer. Hubby wins at both of these things and now he has passed the negotiating trait onto our boy. I am sure we will full force find out about the arguing trait in about 8 years. And in about 13 years? Scares the shit out of me. If he negotiates this well at 2, what’s he going to be like when he’s 15? I’m doomed.
Part of Bug’s negotiating skills comes from us trying to negotiate with him. You know, things like, “If you eat all of your green beans, you can have a cookie” or “you can play for just a few more minutes and then it’s nap time.” Well, he’s gone and done the smart kid thing and turned that around on us. It’s pretty darn cute… and also pretty darn effective.
After lunch is nap time at our house. For weeks now, as soon as Bug is done with lunch, he immediately says, “I’nna play feeew minutes.” And then, often, after we tell him that is few minutes are up, he says, “Just one more minute.” As if he really has any concept of how long a minute is. I usually give in and let him have that one more minute. Luckily for us, when we tell him that his minute is up, he is pretty agreeable to go take a nap.
As most children do, Bug tries to delay bed time (and nap time) every day. We always read 2 books before bed… and the second is always followed by, “One more book” and Bug hopping out of your lap as fast as he can just in case you might actually let him read that third book tonight. His other favorite bed time delaying tactic is water. It started with him asking for water a couple of minutes after going to bed. And then it turned into asking for water as soon as we laid him down. Now? Now he says, “I’nna some water” as soon as that second book is finished. And you know what? It’s tough to deny your child water, even if you know that they aren’t actually thirsty.
New to the negotiating skills of Bug is “how ’bout.” He has quickly caught on to, “How ’bout one more” or, “How ’bout I do dis or, “How ’bout you play wit me.” Like if he precedes a request with “how about” we’re just automatically going to give in. It seems that his little two year old brain is finally starting to figure out that saying “how about” will get him a lot farther in life than whining.
Sometimes, as he’s going to bed, he’ll ask for orange juice instead of water. And when we say no to that request, he says, “How ’bout some water?” Smart kid.
Maybe I should start posing my requests to Bug in “how ’bouts.” “Eli, how about you go pick up your Legos?” In fact, I’m going to try that right now. I’ll let you know what look appears on his sweet little face.