Monday, February 2, 2009

The Art of Negotiation

For the first time in forever, I actually made a New Year's resolution this year. It was to get up early so I could go to work early and therefore come home earlier at the end of the day.

Well, I've been getting up at 6:00 am for the past couple of weeks and out the door by 6:30 a.m.-ish. Let me tell you, it's a whole new world at that time of day! I'm used to leisurely driving into the office two hours later. With an 8:30 a.m. commute ( alright, alright...8:45), there is not much left of morning traffic, the sun is out and about (as out and about as it can be in Nebraska in February), the radio morning personality chitter chatter is winding down, etc. etc. But at 6:30 a.m. it is still DARK!! And there's craploads of traffic! And I am very, very, very tired!

And in addition to these nuisances, I also have to deal with a little something I didn't expect when I implemented this plan....Ashley has started to get up as early as I do.

I know, I know....LOTS of kids wake up in the ungodly 6:00 a.m. hour. And I know some kids wake up even earlier than that! But my kids have always been morning snoozers!! It's one of my favorite qualities about them! Hey, if loving that your kids sleep in every morning is wrong, then I don't wanna be right. Because if I was right I'd also be very, very tired.

Plus, you know that saying....God doesn't give you more than you can handle. And God knows I can only handle 3 children under the age of 3 if said children do not wake up earlier than 8:30 a.m. He's a smart guy, that God.

So, anyway....Ashley's been getting up at 6:00 a.m. lately. And not only is she getting up, but she is also highly displeased when I try to leave for work a half-hour later. Every morning lately involves a big dramatic scene that includes at least two out of the following four scenarios: (1) sobbing and/or screaming, (2) door-blocking, (3) guilt-laying; or (4) negotiating.

So this morning, I had my coat on and keys in hand before she realized what was going on. I said, "Give me a kiss, honey, mommy's gotta go to work!" And in a split-second she had abandoned her banana bread muffin at the kitchen table and plastered herself against the door to the garage.

"Mommy, I want you stay here with me!"

Ooh, a little bit of guilt-laying combined with door-blocking. Nicely played.

"Honey, I want to stay here with you, too. But I have to go to work!"

Cue the sobbing...damn! Door-blocking, guilt-laying and sobbing!! A triple threat!

So I said, "Baby, mommy has to go to work so she can make money to buy banana bread muffins! If I don't work, you can't have banana bread muffins for breakfast." (Which is a total lie by the way, because Nana actually baked those banana bread muffins for us...but hey, I was short on ideas).

Ashley eyed me suspiciously, and then stepped aside to let me pass. Who says you can't reason with a three year old?

Anyway, I was sad all day at work...working mom guilt is powerful stuff! I felt awful leaving her and was worried that I was going to give her abandonment issues. I couldn't get out of work fast enough this afternoon....I sped home, and practically ran in the door to scoop up my baby girl in a big hug and kiss.

Except I didn't get to the hug and kiss part because Ashley took a step back from me as I approached and said:

"Wait, Mommy....I want my banana bread muffin."

Crap, I didn't even realize we were negotiating this morning, too. Ashley would have done way better in law school than me. Well, I guess I need to call Nana and tell her to start baking. ;-)


MP said...

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if your kids are anything like mine it's only a matter of time before Big A starts getting up at 6AM on the weekends too!

Twinsomniac said...

Say it ain't so, big bro! I'm going to pretend I never read this comment. That way, it can't come true.