Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Negotiator

Cal negotiates for more sandbox time
Probably about a year ago I started telling the boys that they had one minute to sit on the floor and “brush” their teeth after I brushed them first. I use quotation marks around the word brush because really it is them loudly sucking the water and toothpaste off the bristles. Now they also like to sign the word water as they sit there in their jammies. Because of this ritual, they developed an idea of how long a minute was.

 A couple months ago they worked that knowledge into a tool for their own use. One day we were outside our building playing after a walk when I announced that it was time to go up the stairs and into our house. Calvin pointed his one finger at me and then into the air and said, “one minute outside.” Of course it was just too cute to do anything but laugh and agree with. Now when I say “one more minute and then we need to go upstairs” Cal doesn’t skip a beat. He either says, “Five minutes.” Or “Three minutes.”  
It has now spilled over into their sharing squabbles. If Clark is on the rocking horse and Cal wants on it he’ll frantically say, “Calvin’s turn, Calvin’s turn!” and if Clark doesn’t respond, Cal will either comfort himself with, “one minute Sharky’s turn” or freak out screaming more about his rights in the third person. If Cal is on the horse and Clark wants on it (which usually involves Clark muscling his way onto the horse) Cal yells, “one minute Calvin’s turn!” Sometimes they can solve these problems on their own, sometimes Brian or I have to get involved.

Clark considers negotiating with Melina for sand toys

After they did this for awhile, Cal naturally created “Running Minute” which is his last ditch attempt at putting off bedtime at night. This is after he has negotiated for an extra minute or four during teeth-brushing time. So now the four of us run around the house chanting “running minute” over and over for roughly a minute and they love it. Then we plop them into bed.

I’m sure Cal’s negotiating skills will only sharpen as he gets older. I have my eye on him.

p.s. Here are two pictures for those of you who complained about no pictures on the last post. A picture of my bathroom...ha!

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