Children take the cake when it comes to negotiating to get their way. They do it with such ease and such finesse. Not to mention the fact that no one is as persistent as a young child who wants a shiny new toy or chance to ride on a pony!
Yesterday my boys were desperate to get me to take them to Beachwood Park, where new equipment had been erected in the last few days. This is obviously a momentous occasion in a park’s life, as well as the life of a little boy! In fact, it is so unprecedented that as a child I can’t remember a single occasion that our local school playground or park acquired something new!
Jarvie and Giles had been to Beachwood Park with their driver, Dan, earlier in the week. When they came home, they did everything they could to describe the new apparatus on the playground, but sensed something was lacking. The words just weren’t sufficient. Their campaign for me to see it, began almost immediately. My boys began to chant in unison, “We want you to see it. We want you to see it. We want you to see it.”
After the bullying ended, here’s how the negotiation went down. Jarvie got his foot in the door by saying, “Mama if you don’t want to go for a long time, we could just go for a few minutes to show it to you.” He just drew out that “you” and let it hang in the air. Kind of like “yyyy oouu oouu oouu oouu!” And he said in such a sweet little child voice too. Now I have to say I thought that was a masterful sales pitch, because he made it about me and not about him. So he let that just linger in the air awhile. The silence was powerful. Then he rebounded with, “You know Mama, we could play on the new equipment for a few minutes once we’re there!” That suggestion was so reasonable, I found myself nodding my head up and down in agreement, while confirming with excitement, “Of course you can honey!”
To that, he dashed into the other room and busied himself with a self determined task, with apparent glee in his heart! The trip to the park was a definite go! Now all he had to do was figure out how to increase the amount of time allotted for the contracted trip.
About 15 minutes later, Jarvie proxied for more time on the playground by saying, “You know Mama, it would be nicer for us, if we got to play for longer than just a few minutes.” I mean who couldn’t see the truth in that statement.
We tried to get out the door and go almost immediately, after they arrived home from camp, at 4:15 PM, but that just wasn’t in the cards. We had come back to drop off our bags, go potty and grab a quick bite. Once we were all satied, I had to lay down a bit to get my back straight before heading out. I must admit I was feeling pretty comfy in my bed and worried I might have set them up for true dissappointment. I sensed my boys were in despair, fearing the trip to the park was off. In the nick of time, I dragged my self out of bed and we were off and away.
It was a beautiful breezy night, I was in heaven at the park. I met a new friend, sitting on the bench chatting away, while the kids played in the sand and on the jungle gyms. Turned out my new friend is friends with another mom we know. She is in my Single Mom By Choice Group on FB! Small world! Who would have guessed their connection? Rock climbing! So if the truth be known, had my son not been such a highly skilled negotiator, I might never had had the chance to make Stephanie’s acquaintance! Thank goodness for small favors and thank-you Jarvie, my little lawyer in the making!