November 26, 2012 by benmblackman
Have you ever tried reasoning with a 3 year old? I have, every day for 299 days now. You’d think this would be easy considering my job sees me dealing with diverse ranges of people at all times. I negotiate a lot but, much as I pretend that I’m a laid back, laissez faire kinda guy, these days I’m pretty used to being in charge and getting my own way at the end of that negotiation.
Ideally I will persuade and motivate those involved to come together and see it ‘our’ way, most of the time this works. I’m not an advocate of ‘rocket science’, I go for the tried and tested. I negotiate by consulting. I don’t often pretend I’m the best person to decide what we should do, but my job is to make sure we do decide to do something and then actually do it.
Compared to negotiating with a strong willed 3 year old this is a doddle.
I like to try and see things from her point of view. The world must be an incredibly frustrating place for her, from the minute she wakes up. There she is, all gay and joyful, singing away at 6am when she’ll get grumpily told to quiet down a bit.
‘WTF?’ she must think (I guess she undertakes the majority of her thinking in facebook style abbreviation). ‘It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling goooooood.’ Ahead of 1 of 3 days a week playing with friends at nursery, 2 days a week with Mummy, and better still, 2 days with Mummy and Daddy why would you feel otherwise?
On Sunday we went to Southport to buy some new red boots.
Mrs B and the Calpol Kid had been on Friday but with limited success. By limited success the feedback included, ‘the worst behavior I’ve ever had to deal with.’ This was the from Mrs B, although, there are two sides to every story and the Calpol Kid was certainly not happy about the fact her sweets and drink got chucked in the bin before she was whisked home because of said terrible behavior.
After tantrumming stronger than Mariah Carey does, when only green m&m’s remain, she had to be pulled, by the feet, out of the lift, and across the floor of Marks & Spencer like Anton du Beke dancing with Ann Widecombe. A standing ovation was not forthcoming. One kind lady offered Mrs B the advice, ‘she needs a good smack, she does.’ Thanks for that, Super Nanny.
We decided closure was needed so headed back there on Sunday, together. I can’t say I was looking forward to the prospect but she’s a clever sausage the Calpol Kid, it’s why she gets so frustrated sometimes, I think.
Next time you’re happily perusing the toy section of the shop you’re in (or maybe high fashion; sports equipment; kitchenware; whatever it is that floats your boat), imagine how annoying it must be to be asked to leave it to look at a load of tatt you are not at all interested in. Having politely declined the request, imagine how fist clenchingly rage inducing it must be to just be picked up and taken away against your will. How rude.
If you covet a sequinned, bubble gum pink, ballerina party dress more than anything in the store but are told all you can have is a navy blue cardigan it must be disappointing.
I would estimate she is told ‘no’ 93.27 times a day.
‘Can I eat this?’ No.
‘Can I wear that?’ No.
‘Can I watch so & so?’ No.
Of course, it’s never this simple, there is usually the negotiation I allude to.
Negotiation from my point of view:
‘Listen darling (oh how I hate my Daddy voice), you can’t have the magazine because you’ve already got one at home haven’t you?’
Negotiation from her point of view:
I’m hearing you Daddy, but let’s cut to the chase, you can either buy me the fricking magazine now, and I don’t cause a scene, or we can do this the hard way.
Back to me:
‘Come on darling, you need to be a good girl to get a sticker don’t you? Remember only four more stickers on your behaviour chart and you’ll get the Playmobil Princess set you want, won’t you?’
Don’t sodding well patronise me you tool (she says patronize the American way I presume). As if I give a shit about that right now. We know those four stickers are a lifetime away what with the Draconian system Mummy has put in place whereby, for every good behavior sticker I get, I lose one every time I’m bad. FFS, I lost five on Friday alone. Forget the long game, I’m living every day to the max. Give. Me. The. Fricking. Magazine.’
Causes a Scene.
Distraction tactics. ‘Oh look darling, there’s a banana, why don’t we buy a banana instead?’
Phew, that’s stopped her tantrumming.
Pleeeeeeease – do I look like I was born yesterday? As if I’ve forgotten about the magazine. I’ll take the banana now but only to stop you embarrassing us any more with that annoying Daddy voice. So don’t be thinking the accidental elbow to the nuts later tonight is unrelated to this incident you moron. You can run, but you can’t hide Mr Dad.
It’s not easy being 3. I know I’ve got a strong one. Last week she told me that I had ruined her whole life. I had refused a fifth chocolate biscuit. The recession hits us all sooner or later.