Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Is it Wrong?

To use your greater understanding of the world to trick your kid?

The five year old loves to negotiate.
If I ask her to eat three pieces of broccoli, I know we are in for several minutes of debate.
Same thing at the park when it's time to leave.

Sadly, she has grown out of her request to have 'one hundredy seven eleven' more minutes.
I thought it was the cutest thing and she did not seem to care if one hundredy seven eleven minutes was actually five or twenty.

Now, however, we are into specifics.
She must name the number and it must be different from the one I gave.
So, back to my first question. If I say five minutes and she says, "No mummy, three more pleeeaase."
Is it wrong to take the deal? Am I obligated to point out what I hope, to you, is obvious? (Well we are sleep deprived.)

I ask because at the park the other day I heard a mommy explaining that the number of minutes her kid was asking for, was lower than what she had offered.
It took all my strength not to yell "Are you CRAZY?!"
Actually, that's not true. All my strength was being put to good use throwing my hands over the five year olds ears.

Surely, these little 'misunderstandings' are given to us to make life easier.
The five year old will learn to tell the time soon enough - don't look at me I'm not teaching her.
I have this little window that allows me to get vegetables in and end play-dates with a minimum of fuss.
It's justified right?


  1. So very true. My kids complain if I skip the minutes. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Sometimes it reminds me of my former work life when we use to page minutes left until dailies. 5 minutes then a minute later, 2 minutes. Everyone would come in and say "That wasn't 5 minutes!" Also, I must confess as a young babysitter, I'd ask my charges if they could tell time. If they couldn't. I'd put them to bed 1/2 hour earlier!

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  3. Absolutely justified!! For them, it's all about the negotiation, the feeling of having some control in this crazy world of adult regulations. C'mon - adults do the same thing. Sitting at a crowded restaurant with my sisters last night, the waiter came over twice to hint that perhaps it was time to free up the table, and out of defiance and indignation at being rushed, I waited until he walked away to mention that maybe we should give up our table and continue our conversation outside... The kids will tell time soon enough. Until then, allow them their small battles.


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