Friday, November 27, 2009

Playing Games

My children are very good at games.  They are so good, they make them up themselves.

Princess' favorite game is something I have dubbed Negotiation.  The rules are simple: if you end up doing anything other than what you originally intended, Princess wins.  She is an extremely skilled negotiator, particularly with her daddy:

Sven: Princess, I'll be right back, I have to go get supper.
Princess: No, Daddy, don't leave me!  I love you! (Theatrical, fake tears)
Sven: Oh, honey! (Takes her on his lap and hugs her, missing the devil horns and tail she has sprouted.)
Princess: I just wanted to play one game of hide-and-seek before you go! (wails)
Sven: Baby, I have to go!
Princess: Oh, Daddy! (Faces him, lips trembling, as one fat tear slides down her cheek.)
Sven: All right, one game.
Princess: You count, I'll hide!

Unfortunately for Princess, Mommy has become a very skilled player at Negotiation:

Mommy: Princess, I'll be right back.
Princess: No, Mommy, don't leave me!  I love you!
Mommy: I love you too.  (Closes door.)

Princess: Mommy, I want a cookie.
Mommy: Can you say please?
Princess: Please may I have a cookie?
Mommy: Did you eat your supper?
Princess: (stuffs chicken in her mouth) Yeff.
Mommy: All right, you may have one cookie. (Hands her the cookie.)
Princess: How about two cookies?
Mommy: How about no cookies?
Princess: Yes ma'am.  Thank you for the cookie.
Mommy: You're welcome.

Dexy, unfortunately, excels at a game which, in its very design, exploits our main weaknesses as parents: my insomnia and Sven's back pain.  I call Dexy's game Take the Bed.  In this game, Dexy will, with varying amounts of fuss, go to sleep in his own bed.  2-4 hours later he will wake up, walk down a completely dark hallway into our completely dark room, and pull on my hand until I put him in the bed with us.  He almost always wins, because even if Sven isn't in bed yet, he doesn't want to heft the sleeping Dexy and take him to his low-to-the-ground toddler bed, risking injury to his already stiff back.

"Deb," you wise ones out there must be saying, shaking your heads, "you should stop this at once.  When he comes to your room, get out of bed, take him back to his bed, and put him in there.  Close the door.  Repeat as needed."  (This is what our doctor said.)  I know.  Here's the problem: if I am asleep, once I wake up, I'm done for.  I cannot go back to sleep, usually, for at least 2 hours.  If I wake up just enough to pull Dexy into bed with me, I'm fine.  But if I wake up, walk Dexy down the hall, put him back in bed, sit with him for a few minutes, leave, then repeat the process, I'm doomed.  Okay if Dexy comes to my bed at 4:00 a.m.; I usually get up at 5:00.  Not okay if he comes to my bed at midnight and I just got to sleep.  Especially not okay if he comes to my bed at midnight and it's the fourth night of bad sleep in a row.  (Note to self: do a post about the weird way you start to see sleep after you can't sleep for a while.)

So Dexy is the undisputed winner in Take the Bed.  But Mommy is the champion of Do You Want to Watch Spongebob?, so maybe I can get a nap.


Kristina P. said...

I think I played that first game with Adam when he left to work in Wendover, about 20 minutes ago. He still went. :(

Boy Mom said...

Ahh the negotiation game, and the bed game, my favorite is the I'm starving every 15 minutes game. Isn't it a parental duty to let our kids win at games, you know, to build their little self esteems?

The Domestic Flunky said...

so funny and so true. my favorite:

"ask me again nicely."
"please, miss senorita princesa, may i..."

Repeated until the entire class is rolling on the floor in side-splitting laughter.