It’s a known fact that governments do not negotiate with terrorists. Yet, my four and eight year old terrorize me on a regular basis and I am always giving in to the power of their brutal negotiation tactics. Funnily enough, I don’t seem to suffer from the mom guilt I would normally feel when I would give in to the demands (which is usually due to the sheer exhaustion of their repetition and strong will).
I had a good think about the above today and I wonder what the reason was and why the big change in my behavior. I started thinking about the rules we have in place in our home vs. the new particulars of living during this pandemic. For societies safety there are so many new rules and things we can no longer do outside the home that we once took for granted because it was just the norm of everyday living. I then thought, maybe the hubs and I are combating the more rules on the outside with less rules on the inside. Let me give you a few examples. Both kids bedtimes are a bit later, they get more screen time on a weekly basis, ice cream after dinner is okay, sleeping with mom and dad has come back into fashion, and so on. Are we more relaxed with the rules at home because of the abundance of rules on the outside world or are we both just exhausted and giving in is just the easy option?
Let’s keep it real, sometimes saying NO for a parent is more about convenience. NO you can’t paint today, maybe tomorrow (mom meaning: I am too flipping tired to clean up the paint you will get all over yourselves, your clothes, every surface area in a five meter radius). NO Slime Baff, a shower instead tonight (Mom meaning: I am too knackered to try to get that slimy mess out of the bathtub once you are through, and PS who invented that sh*t in the first place?? – so not cool). NO we can’t go to the park right now (Mom meaning: I don’t want to push you on the swing for the next 2hrs, it's sad but true). NO, you can’t have a sleepover tonight (mom meaning: I have two kids, why would I want to look after someone elses).
But now, I find myself saying OK. SURE. WHY NOT. And my my kids aren't having to ask me the same request one hundred and fifty times in the span of ten minutes to achieve their desired results. Today I bought my son a pack of mentos and 3 bottles of diet coke and he did his "eruption experiment" (big craze on You Tube apparently) which I had been saying NO to in the past because I didn't want to clean up the sticky Coke. Last week I let my daughter dye her hair purple (it rinses out in 10 washes) and she got so many compliments, grant it my hands were purple for the next four days..but I digress. My son and I baked a cake and he ate half the batter without getting salmonella. I even let Juno have two girlfriends sleepover at once and the earth didn't shatter! Point is, this saying YES business wasn't so bad and I didn't even have to listen to them plead their cases for hours on end. In fact, my saying yes both improved my mood as well as theirs! #winning
Have my children completely worn me down with their past persistence and power of negotiation that I am now completely inclined to just say YES from the get go? Or is it just the fact that perhaps subconsciously the world is in complete NO mode and I am ensuring there is the YES balance? Who knows really. But what I do know is my kids are happy, healthy and safe and I am grateful.