4.22.2015

THE ART OF NEGOTATION


This morning while I was making the scrambled eggs, Huck came to me with a rather unique opportunity.

"Mom," he said in his very serious business-like tone. "Mom, I will eat all my scrambled eggs . . . if I get to watch movies on TV first. WIFFOUT bones." 

"Wiffout bones" is the term Huck came up with to differentiate between kid shows that are made up of live action actors and shows that are made up of animation. Bones means real people are in it, no bones means just . . . ink? is in it? The first time he brought this up to me I was so confused. "Mom, is this a Mulan wiff bones?" Why would Mulan not have bones, Huck? Of course Mulan has bones!? It reminded me of the time my 6th grade gym teacher asked me if I'd always had a mouth on me and when I said yes, because, duh, I had to run a mile as punishment for talking back. Anyway, Mulan came on and of course it's a cartoon, and Huck was so exasperated with me for being so slow, and okay, I get it now. Because cartoons don't have bones, and blood rhymes with flood, and wouldn't it be so weird if we floated to the ceiling in our blood and, like, swam around in it and stuff? So just the other day when Huck said to me me, "Well, I like the Grinch wiff bones because he falled down and it was funny. But the Grinch wiffout bones is sort of scary," I was able to nod along as though it made complete sense to me. 

Making deals and striking negotiations with the four-and-under set is not always so simple as an easy one-off cartoon-for-scrambled-egg trade. Especially when you're dealing with a four-year-old who is still making up words for things. Hell, I'm still making up words for things. But deal-making and peace talks and defining terms and endless go rounds on contract stipulations is just what you do when you're a mother to a four-year-old. Sit still, and then you can have your cupcake. Ask nicely, and then I will get you a cup of milk. Put the movies on wiffout the bones, and then I will eat my breakfast. No I will not go to the bathroom before we leave, because I do not feel like washing my hands right now. 

The one we go around on the most has to do with Huck's skin. Huck sometimes suffers from eczema. It's not terrible, I've seen cases much worse, but if his immune system is compromised, or if he's been spending too much time in the sun and not enough time drinking water, his skin will break out in these angry red splotches around his mouth, elbows, and knees, and the ointments will sting, and he will insist that he likes being scratchy, and of course he won't soak in an oatmeal bath, he doesn't even like to eat oatmeal, why on earth would he want to sit in it? 

But then there are the things you do as a mom that aren't open to discussion. "No, and that's final." "Do it, and do it NOW." Like holding my hand when we cross the street. Not running on the sidewalks. Wearing our seat belts in the car. Saying "please" and "thank you." Sitting still on the subway. Not picking your nose and eating it (that is the sword I will fall on, I swear it. You do NOT eat your boogers, Huck). "Because I said so" is my favorite thing in the world to say, and strangely enough, Huck seems accept it without much complaint, I suppose because I use it pretty infrequently. Or more likely because I have a real scary Mean Mom face. 

It looks a lot like my regular face. ;)

17 comments :

  1. All Free and Clear is my fave! I was suffering from some pretty gnarly skin irritations a few years ago and went to all these specialists, and (among a few other things they suggested) switching my detergent to All Free and Clear made such a huge difference.

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  2. When I had my baby just a few months ago I refused to pay all of my dimes for the fancy baby detergents and instead bought a mass quantity of all free + clear. We can use it for the whole family without breaking the bank or worrying about baby's skin!

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  3. Ooh, I want to be part of this campaign! I could talk about ALL all day. How do I get in on this?

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  4. They don't sell this in the UK :( It's crazy how much soap, bubble bath, shampoo effect your skin. As an eczema sufferer it's horrendous. I hope he grows out of it. My four year old girl keeps getting it on her face and it's the worst trying to clean it :( xxxx

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  5. Three cheers for not separating the colors! Sometime back during college I thought, "Why can't I just cram it all in one machine and save quarters?" So I did. And i've never looked back, with the occasional exception for a new red clothing item or something that might bleed. The good news is that I buy like 90% of my clothes used, so I can assume someone has washed it before. We hope ;)

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    1. Oh and I had eczema like crazy as a kid. I hated using my special brown soap because everyone else's soap looked more fun/colorful. These days I just lather coconut oil on any skin irritation. My relationship with it is like the dad on My Big Fat Greek Wedding and his windex.

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  6. we use all free & clear, too! i've got horrible eczema (which is mainly seasonal-related and food-related) and this is the only stuff that doesn't irritate my skin in regards to products i put on it. seriously, lotions are the worst! i have to use them to moisturize but then when i do, my skin hates me for it and just itches like crazy but then if i don't use it my skin burns from the dryness. it's a lose-lose situation over here. but at least the detergent doesn't bother me! c;

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  7. and i hate to be THAT person but please, have you mentioned before where your coffee table is from? and if not, will you tell me? pretty please?! haha

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  8. all free and clear may be without fragrance, but it still gets an F on EWG for serious concerns related to developmental and reproductive toxicity...

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  9. I think the phrase you're looking for is "hill to die on" not "sword to fall on"

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  10. I think children like it when we make decisions for them. As most adults know decision making is stressful. That's my story and I'm sticking to it :)

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  11. The bones classification is too funny! Kids, man.

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  12. This is the only laundry detergent I use!

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  13. This is the only laundry detergent I use!

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  14. that was the cutest ad ever - i read all the way through before realizing it was for a product. well done! that kid is adorable.
    www.thismomsgonnasnap.com

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