Parenting is the most exhausting thing I have ever experienced. I always find myself having this inner dialogue of, “be patient, he is a child, he is learning, be patient mama bear, breathe.” I’m not kidding. This inner conversation occurs on a daily basis. Another thing that occurs on a daily basis is negotiations. In addition to me channeling my inner parenthood pool of patience; I also channel my inner mental game of chess. Negotiating with a 2-year-old is like playing a game of chess. You have to be one step ahead at all times, you have to evaluate your opponent’s capabilities, and you have to be ready to stand your ground when you find yourself in check. Hopefully you win the mate, the check mate that is.
I have sharpened my negotiating skills and find myself taking my queen onto the chessboard and hoping she can out play Liam’s queen. I have to negotiate so many things, clothes, teeth brushing, bed time, outdoor time, baking time, craft time, toys, blankets, treats, and the list goes on and on.
One thing I have discovered is that the negations are short lived when I give Liam’ options. Do you want to wear the red shirt of the blue shirt? They both match the grey jeans. Do you want a PB&J or a ham sandwich? Both have protein so I don’t care what sandwich he chooses.
I’m learning that the more independence I give Liam that happier he is and the less I find ourselves in a hostage negotiation. If you have a 2-year-old you know that hostage is not an exaggeration. I often feel like a hostage to my sweet and smart son. But I don’t want that for dinner! Mommy I love you so much! Check…checkmate.