We are sooo in trouble. We’ve got a clever one on our hands that has an impressive learning curve with using our own words and techniques against us. Such as? Click on to learn more.
We have (thankfully) transitioned past the phase of semi-hourly on the floor tantrums. However, this negotiation technique has been replaced by something more insidious. That’s right. The kid has a repertoire of gambits and he’s not shy about using them. Let me illustrate with a story.
Papa, who couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy his grandson a big toy, got Remy one of those toddler cars. We call it the gator, because that’s what it says on it’s side. So Remy loves driving it around when we visit (the Gator stays there) and we did that last weekend. Remy then get’s tired of it when the vehicle is pretty far from the hangar, where we park it. The Gator is too small for an adult to drive, so my Dad starts negotiating with Remy.
“Remy, can you drive the Gator back to the hangar while Papa helps steer?”
“No. You can do it.”
“If you drive the Gator back, Nana will give you a cookie.”
Remy agrees to this arrangement and the Gator makes it’s way back. Remy’s feet haven’t hit the ground when dismounting before he’s asking where his cookie is. He NEVER forgets when you make a deal with him. NEVER. If you make a bargain, you’d better be prepared to deliver on it.
So Nana takes Remy into the kitchen and brings out the animal cookies. Nana asks, “How many do you want? Three or four?”
Remy replies, “Three.” Gets those three cookies, then corrects. “No. Not three. I want four.”
Nana lets him have four.
But Remy’s not done. “How about ten?”
This is the kind of thing we deal with all the time. In theory, bribes like the cookie one above sound like bad policy, and I would have agreed with you before I had a toddler. The thing is that they work when nothing else does. Just gotta be careful about what we’re agreeing to is all. I usually pick something I would have permitted any way, but present it like it’s an awesome deal that he can’t get until he does whatever thing I want him to do first.
We also are getting “not yet” in place of no a lot of times. It’s a good replacement, because it doesn’t sound totally disagreeable even when he’s disagreeing. He’s also gotten very good at asking really sweetly for things he wants. In fact, he’s a sweet talker and a smart aleck all in one. If we ask him if he can say a particular word, he may say it, but he’s just as likely to respond, “yes.” Yes. Just yes. If I take the time to then ask will he say it, I get “Nope!” Nope. This is one more word that he’s learned from me. Class A parenting over here.
One new thing we’ve done is implemented the No Boob countdown calendar. Yes, you read that correctly. Boob is what we call nursing around here. Classy, I know, but that’s the lingo. I got the super clever idea to have months January through March taped up on the wall where we can cross off each day that takes us closer to April 1st– the big day that Remy is a big boy and doesn’t need boob any more.
In a stroke of what I considered genius parenting, I figured he could learn more about the passage of time, days of the week, months of the year and prepare gradually for weaning. If you ask Remy what the NB stands for, he knows. So everything’s going swimmingly until I turn my head for 10 seconds while Remy has the Sharpie in hand. Now we have this.
Ah. Oh well. It will still work I hope. Now back to reading stuff and watching the boys play Angry Birds.