It seems that all I do these days is negotiate: at work, Fen's contract, and with my two year old defiant daughter. Work is easy, it's what I do - negotiate all day then go home and cash the check. Since contracts are my thing, I'm helping Fen negotiate a contract that was less that stellar at the outset but promises to blossom under tough negotiating.
Both of those are cake walks compared to negotiating with my daughter Cate who is already showing signs of becoming a shrewd negotiator, aka con man/slickstser/grifter. I waffle between being wildly proud and completely annoyed.
Our current battle is over bath time. She doesn't want to have anything to do with no stinkin' bath. However, she will strip down to her skivvies to run through a sprinkler, paddle in a pool or go in the lake/ocean/any large body of water. But a bathtub is the devil. She puts on a helluva fight, flinging herself onto the floor and flattening herself out knowing full well that 31 weeks pregnant (fat arsed) mommy cannot bend down low enough to get a good hold of her. Then there's the screaming as if I'm threatening her with hot pokers - or have turned off Sesame Street mid show (gawd forbid!).
I'm at my wits end - I've tried bribing her with treats, threatening with no popsicles (her version of crack), coaxing her with new toys and, of course, the no-nonsense approach of stripping her wriggling, protesting, screeching self down and plopping her in the bath. The ONLY way that works is the latter - and after a long day at the office and two hours alone with her (when Fen has to work late - which is five day a week!) I just don't have the strength.
So tonight I just relented - having been drained from battling with my biggest client and getting nowhere all day and then having to come home to whip up vittles for me and the kid (which is another negotiation... but that's for another time). No bath. We got to read an extra book. Upon discovery that Cate had scribbled all over the pages with yellow crayon she shrieked, "Oh no! Broken" with every page turn. She looks at me accusingly as if I desecrated the pages myself. It ain't right. But I got a sweet kiss and an "I love you, Mommy." Totally worth it.
I hope she outgrows this bath thing before we make the move to London. At least Fen will be there to help more often as that was a sticking point in the negotiations - more night and weekends off (they work him to death and he loves it! Me - not so much). But after my exhaustive searching for a good realtor and poring over the flats for rent in central London, I fear we'll be living in a pitched tent community on the outskirts of town like gypsies - and not the good kind.
But that too is another story. And another negotiation to be had.....