The art of negotiation is alive and well in my house. Both GWE and I heavily rely on our negotiating skills on a daily basis both personally and professionally. So, it should come as no surprise that our sons have absorbed all of our conversations, tactics, (and some cases) my ‘colorful’ language and attempted to use their new-found skills against us.
Justin is figuring out how to negotiate, but he does not understand the concept of ‘leverage.’ He needs to have something I want in order to begin a negotiation with me….specifically for the Nintendo Wii U he has so anxiously craved for the past year. Many of his conversations have begun with, “Daddy. You will get me a Wii U if I’m nice to my brother for a year, right?” I then have to (again) explain to him that there are certain things I require him to do without expecting any form of gratitude in return. These include: be nice to your brother, clean your room, flush the potty after EVERY use, etc. I have told him that ‘if’ I see grades that I’m pleased with, then we can begin the Nintendo negotiation.
Garrett not only figured out the art of negotiation, but he also recognizes the power of cold….hard…cash! No more Legos. No more stuffed animals. He wants cash so he can get his own toys!
In Garrett’s kitchen, he has a cash register filled with fake money. The more he accumulates, the happier he is. (Smart kid.) However, as we continue to work on his potty training, I need to make sure that he’s actually doing something while sitting on the potty. Like any good negotiator, Garrett recognized that I wanted something…and that he wanted something…and so, he began to negotiate.
“Daddy! Here’s the deal,” he announces, like he’s doing me a favor. “I’ll let you look at my poopoo, but I want money.” See – he’s got the leverage on me because I need to make sure he did something in the toilet before he gets off. And, he’s specific about what he wants – CASH! What he doesn’t realize is that I’m robbing his cash register and paying him with his own money. So, it’s a win for both of us! (Except for last week when Justin caught Garrett taking my debit card out of my wallet and trying to hide it in his ‘secret drawer.’ That’s another story.)
I’ve paid thousands of (fake) dollars over the past few weeks for the honor of seeing my son’s poop. I don’t know what the going rate for poop viewing is, but I suspect I’ve raised the limit!