I’d like to see Barack Obama and Tony Abbott feed that line to my almost 4 year old and 1 and a half year old. They are dead set future terrorists and the only way to get stuff done is negotiate.
After 10 years of managing small people, I would have thought I’d nailed it by now but I’m a complete failure. One of the gals was telling me at coffee this morning she attended a talk last night about ‘raising boys’. Apparently boys are different (YEP) and when we’re talking to them, all they hear is “Blah, Blah, Blah, Nag, Nag Nag” so apparently the way to approach them is to LITERALLY approach them and state “I would LIKE you to go upstairs and get dressed now and if you don’t do it straight away I will turn the TV off immediately”
Action = Consequence.
It’s a simple concept however this is how it’s working in my house at the moment (Mr almost 4 is the best negotiator I’ve ever seen in my life).
Me: “I would LIKE you to go upstairs and get dressed now and if you don’t do it straight away I will turn the TV off immediately”
Mr Almost 4: “NO!”
Me: “If you don’t get dressed right now, I’m going to turn the TV off”
Mr Almost 4: “Well I’m going to turn your TV off and hide the remote so you can’t find it”
Me: “Please listen to me or I will cancel your birthday party, you MUST listen to Mummy”
Mr Almost 4: “Well, if you cancel my party, I’m not going to go to my party”
Mr Almost 4: “Well, I”M NOT GETTING DRESSED (this is now just pure opposition disorder) but when I DO get dressed, I’m not wearing shoes or a jumper!”
Me: “Yes you ARE, and you WILL and if you DON’T, I will have to leave you here as we have to leave NOW”
Mr Almost 4: “Well if you leave me here by myself, I will call the police and tell them you left me here by myself and then you will go to jail.”
Me: Gawd. He’s onto me. He’s getting the police involved, that was my trick, damn. Time to pull in the big guns. “I’m calling SANTA” (It’s JUNE people and I’ve been using this on the terrorist since February).
Mr Almost 4: “Don’t call Santa, please don’t call Santa. I’ll get dressed and I’ll wear shoes and a jumper but if I come to the shops (he’s now really negotiating hard), you HAVE to buy me and Harry a milkshake, a donut, a lolly and a sticker book AND A ride on one of the coin rides” (I HATE THOSE COIN RIDES)
20 minutes has passed. We’ve missed the school bell and another late note is undoubtedly going to raise alarms at the Department of Education about that family of 5 who appear to never get their kids to school without a ridiculous excuse written on a late note (our late notes are never attributed to traffic or lost shoes, the Big Guy and I tell it like it is and have been known to write absurd excuses like “Mum’s away, flying solo, epic fail” or “None of our children listen to their parents” or “3 year old tantrum, epic meltdown, his fault” or “Entire family slept in till 8:25am – yes seriously”.)
So with sheer panic and no more negotiating tactics to dish out to Mr 4 he gets his answer:
Me: “Whatever, yes milkshake, yes donut, yes lollies, yes, yes, yes JUST GET IN THE CAR NOW!!!!”
After negotiating with the three terrorists before him, I simply choose my battles and have worked out that every Friday it’s just a fact that it will cost me $10 in crap to get him in the car. It’s like paying to get a taxi to the shops, except I’m the taxi driver and I pay for the ride.
Mr 1 has taken terrorism to a new level. It’s something I’ve never experienced in my life. Being the 5th child he’s worked out that he gets no attention, everyone ignores him and lets him just get on with doing terrorist things like pulling the house apart, destroying everything and unpacking clean dishwashers and clean buckets of washing, because that’s his duty as terrorist no 5. Because he is left to his own devices so often, he has worked out that the only way to get attention is to SQUEAL. Not just a scream but this is a glass shattering, ear piercing highest pitch ever squeal that could stop a game of U7 giggling netballers – it sounds like a whistle but it’s a very long hurt your ears kind of whistle. Horrid. I tend to walk away from it at home but noticed today that Mr 1 has decided the shopping centre was a good place to test the acoustics and squeal like a pig for 2 hours straight. Everyone was looking at me. Judgmental looks from those mothers who have raised their families, now spend their days doing shopping and getting their eyebrows plucked and toenails painted, they’ve forgotten the toddler years and they’re delighted about it but now the little pests infiltrate their shopping centres and their coffee tables. You know ‘those Mum’s’ who give you the freshly plucked one eyebrow up look as if to say “CAN YOU NOT CONTROL THAT ONE YEAR OLD?”
I wanted to say “no, I can’t, I can’t negotiate with this one. How do I try to bribe a one year old with a lolly, even when I put food in his mouth he squeals in delight, in anger that it’s not the right colour donut – anything really, he just does it for attention but NO I CANNOT CONTROL HIM”
And so it begins again, I pick him up in my arms and gently whisper in his ear “If you don’t stop squealing I’m going to call Santa”
The negotiating begins again…..
How many more years of this do we have to put up with!
Are you the mother of terrorists too?