The Roc is learning the art of bargaining, or you could call it ‘working over his parents to get what he wants.’ I’m not one for ultimatums so I have never been a fan of the ‘eat this/do that or else’ mentality, mostly because we found out early on that those tactics don’t work with this kind of kid, our kid. We usually have the Roc eat his dinner in a sequence, one step at a time. First you eat your vegetable (usually canned green beans, the only veggie I can get him to eat), then your pasta/meat, then some fruit, and then sometimes dessert. It usually works with other things too like: first you go the bathroom, then we will color with markers, or first you wash the school germs off, then you can have an after school snack. We enhanced this sequencing with a picture schedule and it worked like a charm. Until now.
Lately, as in the past few weeks, we’ve been hearing a lot more “I” phrases and that’s sooo amazing and wonderful to hear, we’ve waited a long time for the pronoun reversal to right itself and I’m thrilled. What is equally thrilling, or annoying, depending on how you look at it, is the fact that many of the Roc’s “I” phrases go something like this:
“NO! I don’t want green beans” or “NO! I don’t want water, I want juice!” or “NO! I don’t want to take a bath, I want to watch a show!”
He’s letting us know what he wants and doesn’t want! He’s not screaming in frustration because he can’t communicate! Yippee!
But also: “Argh!” from this Mommy. More whining!
Last night GC and I stood at the sink, with our backs to the Roc, shaking with silent giggles because he sounded so funny, so typical as he whined about eating his dinner. And then he uttered the phrase that has now become a part of our dinner routine: “I wanna make a deal!”
I’ve already stated that I don’t like ultimatums, but I also do not like whining, and by the end of most days I’ve had enough whine to kill a rhino. So lately, to save my sanity, I’ve been ‘making deals’ with the Roc to get him to eat. It usually starts at the beginning of the meal, the vegetable. He whines and I remove half of what’s on his plate and say:
“Okay Roc, I’ll make a deal with you. You eat this half and I’ll get rid of the other half, okay?”
and he eats it! It’s working for now, except that he’s starting to say “Oh, I wanna make a deal” as he’s walking to the table!! Last night while we made our ‘deal’ I dropped half of the food back onto his pile before I threw the other half into the disposal, so he’s not really eating half, it’s more like 3/4 of what I originally gave him, and he didn’t even notice. I don’t know how long this wheeling and dealing will work, but it shows his progress in so many ways, and it’s making me laugh!