I am sitting on the couch and Swee’Pea has just returned from using the potty.
She approaches me while I sit and places her head in my lap. I massage her scalp and wonder what has brought on this moment of affection. After a tender moment, Swee’Pea looks up at me with her big brown eyes full of sincerity and finally speaks…
“Daddy…” [blink long eyelashes. blink] “Can I have a cookie?”
It has been over a month since we stopped rewarding her for going pee-pee in the potty but this doesn’t stop her from asking. Especially since she detects a weakness that she can exploit. Me.
I can’t help it. It’s after dinner. The cookie in question is a “mini” vanilla wafer – which I bought knowing that if they ask for a cookie I could give them one and it would only be about 13 calories – so I figure, “why not?”
I get up to go to the pantry and she follows after like a little lapdog anticipating a yummy treat. She is so excited that she runs around my legs causing me to stumble over her as I reach the pantry and pull out the yellow and red box of vanilla-y goodness.
Suddenly, Swee’Pea’s mood changes as she squares up to me and announces loudly while showing me all five fingers of her little hand spread out for emphasis, “I WANT FIVE!”
Hmmmm. Apparently she is on to the “little cookie” plot. I laugh at her audacity as I tell her that there is no way in Hades she is going to get five (holding my five fingers out for emphasis) cookies.
Sensing that I’m serious, she quickly switches into negotiation mode. “How about three?” she asks, positioning her fingers into the very difficult three-finger pose. While I am admiring her willingness to negotiate, I also notice that she has left me with a counter-offer which I quickly pursue.
“Okay, how about two?” And, sensing that this is the end of the negotiation, I pull two out of the box.
Swee’Pea, realizing that she has now gone from a possible five cookies to a miniscule two cookies, remains steadfast in demanding three. But, if you ask me, her method is a tad immature.
“THREE!!! I WANT THREE COOKIES!!!!” she screams.
And, at this, I can’t help but laugh. While this appears funny to me, it is most certainly NOT funny to Swee’Pea. This becomes apparent when she throws herself to the floor and begins an epic tantrum of screaming and kicking. And screaming. And kicking. And… (wait for it…) screaming.
This little maneuver earns her a timeout which pisses her off even more. The screaming coming from the timeout step is quite loud but does nothing to earn her anymore cookies. Meanwhile, TheMonk, sensing an opening, announces, “I’ll have two cookies, Daddy. I like two cookies.” The dude ain’t subtle. But he is eating cookies and his sister is not.
Finally, after the 3-minute timeout is done, I explain to Swee’Pea why her bargaining skills were lacking. She finally apologizes for losing her cool and admits that two cookies are, in fact, quite generous. Which she eats quite happily.
But deep down, I know she is thinking, “I should have countered with four cookies, not three!”
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.