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Monday, June 26, 2006

Hostile Negotiations

“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” ~Franklin P. Jones

Say there are two countries vying for a mutual space. One country is bigger than the other country and has more allies in the fight, yet still attempts to make concessions. For all intents and purposes, one country is Canada, the other is the U.S. Canada would like some of the Pacific NW. The US is willing to concede to Alaska and parts of Washington, which is fine by Canada because that’s what they had requested in the first place. Then Canada decides that she doesn’t really want Alaska and Oregon; instead, Alaska, Washington and part of Idaho. The U.S. says ok and gives into Canada, with full knowledge that the Canadians had requested something else, but fine. Then Canada still isn’t happy with Alaska, Washington and part of Idaho, she then requests, all of Idaho, but none of Washington. The U.S. says, wait a second, you asked for this, I’m giving you what you want, and so what the hell is the problem? The U.S. is irritated and rightfully so. The U.S. is unable to give in to Canada’s demand and politely requests that it accepts what has been given. What does Canada do? Canada decides to blow up part of Alaska in retaliation. The U.S. gets irritated and tells Canada that if she doesn’t take what was offered, then there will be hell to pay. Canada knows it’s smaller and weaker and lacks the allies it needs, so finally, after much confrontation and whining, Canada accepts, but not without sulking and poor behavior for the next 50 years.

Now, replace the U.S. with someone over the age of 18 and replace Canada with a three year old.

Except in this case, the three year old requests milk in a blue cup. So the adult gives the three year old, milk in a blue cup. Then the three year old changes his mind and requests milk in a Dora the Explorer cup. The adult, says ok, fine and gives the three year old milk in a Dora cup. Apparently, this is isn’t acceptable to the three year old. Even though he requested milk in a Dora cup, he doesn’t want that. Instead he wants water in a Madagascar cup. Fine, says the adult and obliges with water in a Madagascar cup. Here is where something happens that the adult is unsure of. I mean, the adult can hear and is willing to give into most things, but for some reason the three year old still isn’t happy with the choice of beverages and cups. The three year old now requests water in the Madagascar cup, but the cup given isn’t the right cup, so the cup of water gets thrown across the kitchen only to land somewhere in Jupiter’s orbit.

What does the adult do? The adult has tried to meet the demands of the three year old and has been really fucking patient up to this point and yet the three year old still isn’t happy. The adult decides to pick up said child and give him a time out until he’s 18. After the time out is over, the adult sits at the child’s level and proceeds to tell him that if he ever dares throw water at her again, so help her God, he’ll end up somewhere in Jupiter’s orbit. She puts the fear of God into the child (all with the parents consent, because the adult has taken up a vow of celibacy after all of this nonsense). The child responds with a solemn ok and is then required to apologize to his parent for being a pain in the ass.

Of course there are the times when concessions and the talking won’t work. That’s when the child doesn’t get what he wants and instead of requesting something else, the child proceeds to scream and writhe around in a car seat for 20 minutes, while the adults take bets as to how long it will last and try to figure out the physiology of a person who is able to both scream and hold their breath at the same time. Amazing, I tell ya. Truly amazing.


Blogger Dagny said...

You've gotta love kids.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

It's less 'love' and more thanking God that they aren't mine.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Jacynth said...

It's so great when you can give them back, isn't it?

3:33 PM  
Blogger MKD said...

Give up now. It's no use.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Celibacy people, celibacy.

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Jurgen Nation said...

MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMY!!! I need a Xanax just reading that post.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Dagny said...

Hehehe. That's why I teach. I love other people's children. Just as long as I get to return them at the end of the day, it's all good. And my mother has finally started refering to the cats as her grandchildren because she has finally accepted that there will be no miniature versions of me running around.

It's not about celibacy. It's about mutliple methods of birth control used simultaneously.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Eva said...

Pssh, one three-year-old? That's nothing. My current babysitting job involves four boys - 6, 5, 3 and a 10-month-old baby. GOD HELP ME. Giving them back is the greatest feeling.

(Also, why are boys not distracted by sparkly things, like girls are? Whyyyyyy?)

5:29 AM  
Anonymous moonstruckmama said...

It doesn't get any better by 5 years old, either apparently...mine likes to argue: "I don't have to get dressed because no one is coming over today. I don't want to sit at the table because it's not suppertime yet. I don't want to go to bed because it's still light out."

6:17 AM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Dagny: That's why I wanted to teach as well, deal with them for a few hours then release them back to their parents

Eva: it's actually a four year old and two year old twins. I used a three year old as an example. And I wish the one girl was distracted by shiny things, she's the one who screamed her head off for a solid 15 minutes. But as always, I should be happy, they're not mine.

Moonstruckmama: Weird, I've always found five to be pleasant enough. They're in school, involved in more things. But then again, all kids are different (duh.)

9:05 AM  
Blogger desiree said...

Hello! I just found you in cyberspace.

I love the analogy. Without the Canda versus the United States thing I would have been lost. My 2 year old neice? She gets a trade embargo and no bargaining rights. You get milk in this cup at this time and now we sit down. I would not be good in the United Nations. I lack the give and take necesarry for bargaining.

Good Job.

1:09 PM  

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