Negotiation

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When I fetched Honeybear on Monday he was wet. It looked like he had spilled his juice onto himself. I thought I would give him a bath as soon as we arrived home to save trouble later. He was happy enough to have a bath. Then I decided I should cut his hair before bath-time. He does not like having his hair cut or washed. It is always a battle. So I decided to negotiate and I sat there and explained and bribed with my box of treats for 15 minutes and he agreed to sit down and let me cut his hair…and it went off without a hitch. He sat quietly and let me cut his hair (while holding a Chomp in his hand).

I get him into the bath and wash off the hair and wash his body. Now the hair. He said No. Just like that. I brought out the bribe box again and said if he would let me wash his hair he could have another pick from the box. I explained how I would wash his hair and promised I would not get any water in his eyes. He agreed and without a peep he let me wash his hair. I was so happy it felt like I had won the lottery.

I realised that he understands me and knows all about negotiation. I can explain something to him and expect him to understand. My little baby is no longer just a baby.

Yesterday Honeybear volunteered to wash his hair again. I think he worked out that if he washes his hair without a fuss, he can then ask for a treat from the box. Mama is not that silly and I explained that we do not need to wash his hair again. We can do it another day. I am hoping he understand that washing his hair is not so bad and I can be trusted not to get water into his eyes.

I also realised some of the naughtiness is about attention. If I am busy with work when I get home, he is more likely to do something to set me off. I guess if I am busy, he is not getting my attention and I am more likely to be set off instead of having more patience. The reality of my life is that sometimes I have to work at home. Sometimes I work something out or I have an idea and I have to do it now. It cannot wait until office time.

I am hoping Honeybear will realise that I still have time for him, but I am still me with a life outside motherhood. That sounds completely selfish, but it is how I feel. I love my child and my hubby, but I also love me.

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12 responses »

  1. What wise words – you have to love yourself and have me time. That is why I run – it is the me time I crave. Lots of mom’s ask me where I get time to run but for me it’s not negotiable, I have to do it to be a better mom!

    Well done on finding the thing that works to make life easier with Honeybear. I must say that the R1 system is working like a dream but Zoe is a bit older!

    urggh turning into a blog.

    • I am not sure for how long it will work, because we all know that nothing lasts. I am just happy we can talk now…even though I am the only one that seems to understand him.
      It is important to make time for ourselves, I am still trying to work up the courage to go out at 04h30 in the morning.

  2. Oh that is soo true! As soon as attention is diverted from the little one, it gets worse! 🙂
    Jessica loves bathing. She’ll now lie down in the water (up to her ears) then I can wash her hair. She refuses to shower at the moment – that also worked for a bit!
    We tried bargaining/ negotiating with sweets etc, until she told us she doesnt want it…. she likes her sweets, but can totally refuse it too.
    Should maybe try the money bribe as per runner mom – Jessica is starting to notice money and that it can buy things!

    • Honeybear likes to shower, but I do not like to shower with him, so I try to encourage him to bath, unless his Dad wants to sower with him.
      I think you need to vary the bribes. Sweets, TV, bike riding…whatever works.

    • I really hate the fighting. I have found that if I ask him to something and he refuses, I ask him if I need to shout…he says no and goes off (not always)

  3. I am currently doing the same negotiating with Sweetpea with regards to her potty training. She has been fighting us a little but since swapping little treats for successful poos in the loo, we have had alot more success 🙂

    • It is brilliant when they poo in the toilet…we used to clap and make a huge deal about a poo in the toilet. We also offered treats for a short time.
      What worked was to have special toilet toys that Honeybear could play with while he was on the toilet. It made him sit longer so he was more likely to poo in the toilet.

  4. Ah, growing up so fast. These littlies get so clever so quickly.
    I totally agree with time for yourself – not selfish at all – necessary!!

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