Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Negotiator

"I do not negotiate with terrorists" is a common thing you'll hear me say these days.  Sarah has mastered the tantrum.  She can bring on the tears in a matter of seconds and cry until she practically dry heaves.  At times like these, I hold fast and firm.  I do not negotiate with her.  I walk away.  I go sit on the couch and read a book.  I wait for her to calm down and then I ask her what she wants.  Sometimes I figure it out, sometimes I'm still trying to figure out what set her off.  Sarah has a fair number of words and does a pretty good job communicating what she wants through words and pointing but other times she just starts freaking out like she has lost her mind.  Eh, she's a toddler; what are you going to do?

But that's not the kind of negotiating I want to talk about.  Sarah has been negotiating with me to get things that she wants and while I'm sure I should squash it, sometimes it's just so darn cute and it's not hurting anything (right now) so I let it ride.  The conversations are pretty hilarious more because of her tone and facial expressions and I wish I could get one on video but except for a few rare instances she does not perform for the camera.

So here are a few stories I'd like to remember:

I think the problem started about a month ago with a conversation that went like this.  (I know a transcript doesn't do it justice for you all, but I'll remember how it sounded and it makes me smile.)
The setting: lunch time, Sarah's in her high chair, mommy is gross from the gym and wants Sarah to hurry up so she can go down for her nap so I can shower
Mommy: Sarah as soon as you're done with lunch it's time for night night.
Sarah: show?
M: night night
S: shooooooow?
M: niiiiiight, niiiiiight
S: (whispering) show?
M: (whispering) night night
S: (with a different ennuncuation) show?
M: NO (a little firmer, but not angry or anything) night night
S: No, Show.
At this point I just laughed.
M: Are you done?
S: (hands up) All Done!
M: night night
S: (pauses like she's thinking about it) night night!

The other day she was negotiating with Chris about how much lunch she had to eat before she could have more cheese and I had to turn my head and leave the kitchen I was laughing so hard.
The setting: Sunday after church, trying to feed Sarah lunch so we can put her down for a nap, change out of church clothes, and make ourselves some food
Sarah: more cheese please!
Mommy: (seeing she had barely touched her turkey) Eat some turkey first and then you can have more cheese.
S: (Sarah puts some turkey in her mouth)
M: (to Chris who is closer to Sarah.) Daddy, go ahead and give Sarah some more cheese.
Daddy: (puts some cheese on her plate)
S: (takes the partially chewed turkey out her mouth and tries to put some cheese in)
D: Hey!  No!  You put that piece back in a finish it before you get some cheese.
S: (Puts the turkey back in her mouth)
D: Open your mouth, let me see that you swallowed it.  Open up.  Say ahhhhhh.
M: (I turn my head and laugh) Chris I don't think that's necessary.
D: Apparently it is, she fooled you!  She cheeked the turkey just to get more cheese!
M: (laughing harder, has to leave the kitchen.)

I proceed to hear calls of "more cheese please" from Sarah and Chris directing her as to what she had to eat to earn the cheese from the bedroom while I changed.  I KNOW this is the type of negotiating I should nip, but at the time it was just too funny at the time to see a grown man checking the mouth of a toddler for turkey and lima beans like a loony bin patient who hides their pills.

Last night I got home from the chiropractor around 6:45 and Sarah's door was already closed.  I could hear her in there in her crib.  Chris explained that she had been super cranky and fussy the whole time I was gone, all through dinner, and at 6:30 she looked at him and said "night night" and he asked if she wanted to go to bed and she said "shyesh" (yes) so he put her down.  I could hear that she was up messing around in her crib and while we have a strict do not go in once she has been put down she and I had a tough day so I didn't want to not tell her good night and be apart of the routine.  So I went in there.  Here's how it went down:

Mommy: (Enters Sarah's room. Sarah is sitting up in her crib.)
Sarah: (Sees mommy and proceeds to stand up) Hi!
Mommy: Hi baby.  Are you going night night?
S: shyesh (put her arms up)
M: (leans down to give Sarah a hug) Do you want mommy to sing you a song?
S: (throws her arms around mommy's neck and latches on.) a book!
M: (Picks Sarah up) Oh, you'd rather mommy read you a book then sing a song. (I'm a little sad about that one)
S: Shyesh! Two books!
M: One book.
S: Twoooo books.
M: One book.  Do you want to read Brown Bear?
S: Biba! Biba! (Brown Bear) Shyesh!
So we go out to the living room to sit in the chair to read brown bear.  Sarah sees another book she loves right now Roar of a Snore.
S: Roar!  Two books.  
M: ok, two books, then night night.  Ok.
S: Shyesh.
(We finish reading Brown Bear.)
S: two books
(She's reminding me in case I forgot to what I agreed to.)
M: Ok, we'll read Roar then its time for night night.
(We finish reading Roar of a Snore.)
S: Night Night (turns around and gives me a kiss)
Daddy picks up Sarah.
S: Night Night (gives Daddy a kiss)

Looking adorable today before the gym!  But don't let that innocent face fool you.  She's mad at me in this picture.  She wants to go outside and there is a big crocodile tear on her cheek because I told her no that we needed to get ready to leave.  

See the attitude now?

Luckily she was distracted from the budding tantrum with a promise of brushing her teeth.
So what if she doesn't really do it the right way.  It makes her happy!


  1. I'm jealous hat she likes brushing her teeth. Seriously, fight with Portia, every morning at 8:30.

  2. You're such a good momma. way to be stern.