Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nice Things All Around

Mornings can be an adventure. Sometimes Amari happily gets dressed, grabs a toy or a book, and climbs into the car to take Mama to work. Other days, every step in the direction of exiting is a battle. If she could have it her way she would spend her lifetime in pajamas. 

On one such occasion, we indulged her by letting Mama take the car while we remained comfortably PJed by the wood burning stove. Unfortunately, that was not quite enough.
Mama: Bye Amari
Amari: Where are you going?
Mama: I'm going to work?
Amari: Why?
Mama: So I can make money to buy nice things.
Amari (insta-whine): Nooooo. I don't want nice things.
Mama: I'm also doing good for society.
Amari (indignant): No! Don't do good for society. Do good for me.

Later in the week we were breaking in the fort on her new swing set when Amari decided to pretend to go to work like Mama. She walked out of the little wooden door saying, "Okay. I'm going to work to buy nice things." 
When she returned I asked, "What did you get me?" 
"Salad," she replied, obviously paying attention to the changes I've been trying make in my diet.
When she returned again she handed Mama a  handful of emptiness and said, "There you go, Mom. Olives," which are just about one of Mama's favorite things in the world. I often marvel at what the undamaged (by drugs, alcohol, trauma, age) is capable of. 

This morning, however, fell between the two extremes. Amari was good-tempered but not enthusiastic about leaving. After breakfast she asked if she could have a yogurt-covered almond. 
"It's kind of early," I said, "but I'll give you one."
"Two," she countered.
"One," I stood firm, impervious to her ever-improving negotiating skills. 
"Two," she tried again.
"I'll tell you what," I decided, "I'll give you two if you get dressed and ready to take Mama to work without complaining."
She paused, looked up at me, and said, "One." 

 The Negotiator
 The Artist
The Reluctant Sports Fan

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