Does this exchange look familiar?
Parental Unit: “Alright, it’s bed time.”
7YO: “Five more minutes?”
PU: “No. Let’s go.”
5YO: “Ten more minutes and then we’ll go right to sleep.”
PU: “You’re going right to sleep either way. Now let’s go!”
4YO: “If you let us stay up fifteen more minutes and give us ice cream, we promise to brush our teeth and stay in bed.”
PU: “What are you talking about? C’mon!”
And before you know it, they’ve worn you out like that downtrodden, heavily-stained carpet on the steps. You wake up on the couch to an episode of Phineas and Ferb blaring from the TV only to realize that the kids have hotwired the vehicle and made a run to town for Dairy Queen. And tattoos.
We’ve all been there.
Children pop out of the womb as master negotiators. This came as a real shocker to me as a parent. I didn’t figure kids would start haggling and brokering deals until they were in their teens, like Michael J. Fox did as Alex Keaton on Family Ties. But such is not the case.
Take this for instance.
Sweet, right? But hold on. I’ll let Cebee, who submitted this piece, explain:
I’d like to submit a note a good family friend wrote to our son. There is an 8 year age gap between the two, but they are chums. She (AS) was nine at the time she wrote this and he was just about to turn 2. To any old reader (Editor’s Note: On behalf of Stuff Kids Write, we apologize for this blatant ageist comment), this may not appear that funny, but let me point out a few reasons why I have kept this in his scrapbook and chuckle every time I read it.
1. The reference to pizza shows great empathy. Our son was very allergic to milk/dairy at the time and she was concerned that he was not going to be able to partake in the pizza we were planning to serve at his party. Very thoughtful.
2. “The table we gave you!” She may only be nine but she is a master negotiator. We paid $40 for that train table, and we settled on $40 after she came down $10 in price. She did throw in a thorough scrubbing, but no delivery.
With that combination of kind-heartedness and killer negotiation skills, can you imagine what AS’s bedtime must look like?
Cebee is a mother to two amazing little boys, and the younger sister of a charming, witty, funny, charismatic, benevolent, dashingly-handsome man who completely dominated her ass in Easter egg hunts on a yearly basis while growing up. You can read his blog at SomeSpeciesEatTheirYoung.com.