There are many different methods that women use to get what they want, but in the end they are all ultimately successful. The teenager’s plan of attack seems to be to wait until her mother and I are frustrated or otherwise preoccupied with her little sister. More often than we would like to admit, its easier to agree to something than to have two kid’s attitudes to deal with at once. I’m not sure where she keeps it, but I’m convinced there is a secret handbook that my wife references often to get me to do what she wants. When things go the way I want them to around here, it is usually either purely accidental or furthering somebody’s else’s cause.
The pre-schooler has developed a few of her own strategies beyond the standard temper tantrum. Her newest is to add “if you loved me” to the end of a request. “I know its 7:00 in the morning, but if you loved me, we’d drive to McDonalds for a smoothie.” This is amusing, but ineffective.
She is somewhat more successful with this face, but is unable to hold it for long. She knows exactly what she is doing.
What works best for her is the same thing that has been working for millennia. Good old fashioned nagging.
“Daddy will you play with me?” “How about now?” “Daddy, will you play with me soon?” An endless repetition that makes it impossible to focus on any other task.
So I spend a lot of time playing.
I really don’t mind most of the time. The dollhouses and Barbie cars are slowly being replaced by castles and pirate ships. We’ve got a ton of blocks and a pretty cool railroad set. She’s pretty good about letting me play with Batman and Optimus Prime, but I’m a little embarrassed about how often we fight over the Stormtrooper.
I reduced my work hours in order to spend this time with her. She’s growing absurdly fast and I know these days will be gone before I am ready.
And she’s just going to ask again in five minutes anyway.