In hindsight I maybe shouldn’t have even contemplated discussing the rationale of compromise and deal-making with a two-year old, but unfortunately I did so I’ve only myself to blame.
My main problem is I’m a terrible negotiator (I don’t think I mentioned that on my CV before landing a job in Sales funnily enough). Frustratingly Sonny appears to be a natural.
The general pattern goes as follows:-
- I make a suggestion as to what we’re going to do. (I know, just a suggestion, how weak a starting point is that?)
- Sonny cocks a deaf ‘un and continues about his business.
- I invariably give him the benefit of the doubt and continue with what I’m doing.
- After a few minutes he’ll amble over and whisper “I love you so much daddy! Are you really happy?”
- With my guard not only down but completely obliterated, he’ll then set out his position on which he’s prepared to start meaningful talks.
- To be fair to him, we do then quickly agree on the terms of a deal; which he’ll patronisingly suggest is massively in my favour.
- I’ll initially come away with a smug feeling of success, before slowly realising what I’ve actually done is cave in to the demands of what is effectively a toddler trade union (and a militant one at that!)
A recurring theme is the afternoon nap (which he no longer allows me the courtesy of).
I’ll suggest that seeing as Luca quite fancies a nap, why don’t we all take a nap. He’ll come to the table with,
“I’ve got a really good idea daddy, lets go to the park/library/Costa/Chinatown/America/the Doctors(?)….”
The final compromise will generally consist of him sacrificing his desire to leave the house, as well as agreeing to go upstairs of his own accord and without any hint of a tantrum, on the proviso that he be allowed the following concessions:-
- One FULL (25 minute) episode of Team Umizoomi (a 4 minute Peppa Pig episode is apparently an insult).
- Once upstairs and in his cot we sing some songs of his choosing.
- He’s allowed to have one book in the cot (which he promises not to read?)
To give him his dues, he generally stays true to his word, however by the time we’ve reached his bedroom, name-checked all of his teddies in the cot, and sung the half a dozen songs Luca has already had nearly an hours sleep and is starting to stir.
On a positive note, he has now started talking to Luca directly (and surprisingly politely) rather than using me as his intermediary. Unfortunately Luca is still naive enough to be persuaded that swapping his favourite dinosaur for a rusty peg is an offer he’d be mad to turn down. It’s only when he then traps his little finger in the spring mechanism and loses it to gangrene that like me, he realises he’s been mugged by his big brother … again!