Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Art of Negotiation

I commit a bad Mummy sin every morning.

I bribe the children by letting them have two biscuits from the biscuit tin in exchange for not coming into the bedroom to wake me up too early. (And before breakfast too! Ooh the shock of it!)

It never works. They come in every morning to ask if they can have a biscuit, despite knowing that they can, as long as they only have two. (Besides, they always wake Andy as I take ages to surface in the morning).

Every so often they try to worm out an increase in their biccie consumption. Every so often they're met with a resounding 'no' and a warning that if they continue to do it, the biscuits will be put on a high shelf.

This morning Eleanor came up with quite an impressive display of tactful negotiation. For a four, soon to be five year old, she is VERY switched on. She's one of those kids you just know you can't fob off with a lame answer so you have to be clued in before she gets you offguard or else she's sucked you in.

Her ploy this morning was to come into the bedroom holding a complete chocolate bourbon, a complete chocolate digestive and another chocolate bourbon with a sizeable corner chipped off. The conversation that ensued.

Eleanor: Can I have these please Daddy?
Andy: No, you can have two, put one back please.
Eleanor: But this is two, this one's broken - holding up offending biccie and looking quite disgusted it only went and broke itself.
Andy: No, that's three.
Eleanor: But it isn't a whole biscuit, it's not three. It's only nearly three.
Me: But it's more than two Eleanor, so do as Daddy has said and put one back.
Eleanor: But it will never be a whole biscuit.

At this point I'm seeing her logic. This is a partial biscuit. If she has it with one other biscuit, that won't quite total two biscuits. This biscuit is redundant and will never be a biscuit in its own right, so really should be put out of it's misery and given the dignity of being eaten.

I'm wondering how long it will sit in the biscuit tin, rejected and lonely and not quite whole.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I am so looking forward to seeing what career Eleanor has as she is showing early signs of perhaps a hostage negotiator or lawyer!!