Negotiations with a 3 Year Old: Toys

When we got our puppy we swore she would not be allowed on the furniture.  Then one cold night she laid her sweet head in my lap and looked at me with her sad, brown puppy eyes, and I said, “Oh, all right.  Just this once.”

That was three years ago.  I’m pretty sure she sleeps in my bed more than I do  now.

You must be careful what you give in to. This is as true for toddlers as it is for puppies.   And, more importantly,  you must understand the unintentional manipulation tools they both possess.  Because toddlers and puppies share two other unique traits– eyes two sizes big and sweetness so pure it is hard not to bite.

Negotiate at your own risk…


Me:  “Hey Guy, whatcha doin’?”

Guy: “Pwaying.”

Me:  “Those are mommy’s good pots.  You have a whole kitchen over there you can play with.  These are off-limits.  Let’s put them away.”

Guy: “But Mommy!  In this house we share.”

Me: “Right. Yep.  That’s what I always say. But these aren’t toys.  Come on, I’ll help you.”

Guy:  “But I need to make you bweakfast!”

Me:  “Well you can make that in YOUR kitchen.  Right now we’re going to put these away.  And you need to help me.”

Guy:  Silence.  (Eyes cast down. No movement.)

Me: Guy!  You need to help me right now!

Guy (Big brown eyes open wide beneath a halo of blond curls.):  “But Mama, you make good food with these.  I wanna make you really good food too.”

He pauses and presses that adorable head against my chest.  Then he tilts his head just enough to look me in the eye.

“I just wove you so much.  You the best Mama in the whole wide world.  PWEASE I make you a super yummy bweakfast.  Right here.”

And then more softly, “Please, Mama?”


Seriously?  How do you say no to that!



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