Parenting, for me, includes more situations resembling contract negotiations than I’d like to admit. Some days my head hurts too much to be all “my way or the highway” with my kids, so I attempt to negotiate rather than beg. Perhaps the key word is “attempt”. Yesterday was a negotiation day. Because I had to run to the grocery store with Littlest. I attempted to sweeten the deal.
Me: “All we need are four things. Just four. Carrots, cabbage, a birthday card, and half-and-half. Easy-peasy, lemon squeezey.”
Littlest: “You’re sure?”
Me: “Of course I’m sure. Just those four things! Come on, it’ll be fun. Like a scavenger hunt!”
Years ago, when I was attending Trinity College in Carmarthen, Wales, I had an interesting conversation over a plate of chips and beans. A fellow British student asked me quite earnestly if my home looked like the one in the television series Dallas and then he continued to expand on his low opinion of my perceived status as one of those rich Americans. I nearly choked and it wasn’t because the beans were any less palatable than usual. My reaction was because my reality was so far from what he envisioned that I was frankly a bit gobsmacked.
And I felt a bit gobsmacked by perceptions and differing realities yet again this morning.