Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Wordful Wednesday: See This Girl?
This girl is very nice. She makes friends wherever she goes, in her quiet, unassuming way. She's very helpful. I can always count on her to kick in when I ask for chores to be done...and she does a good, thorough job. Once she gets going, she can sometimes clean for a very long time, still cleaning long after the others have dropped out of sight. She loves dogs. She loves all animals. When the kids weren't caring for their dogs like they had committed to, and a threat was made to find a new home for at least one of them, she quickly volunteered to be the sole caretaker of the dogs, if only they can stay. She was true to her word. Eventually I decided that enough was enough and the other girls had to start helping again. She, however, was rewarded sole ownership of the Beagle, since she had proven herself to be a very responsible pet owner.
There is another very strong trait that she possesses that I know will serve her well someday...well, it already has. It just doesn't always serve me so very well. She. Is. PerSIStant. A master GRUMbler. When she decides she needs something, and I mean needs, there is. no. stopping her. Oh, I could go on and on and give you lists of times she's put her mind to wearing me down and does she ever succeed! It takes a long time sometimes but too often, she wins. She, for example, might say, "Ooh, I love this FurReal cat! Can I get it, Mom?" Me: "No! Did you notice the price tag? It's $40." Her: "I know. But I can earn it. I will give you all my money at home plus I will give you many hours of a backrub." Me: "No!" Her: "Um, Mom? Remember we haven't had my birthday party yet? Remember, you promised that I could pick one friend and go to Build-A-Bear instead of a party? How about I skip Build-A-Bear and have this instead?" Internal calculator kicks in, goes into high gear, and quickly surmises that this very well may be the cheaper route...as well as more simple. Me: "No party then at all?" Her: "No party, at all." Me: "Sold!" See? She won! But I did too!
Here's another good one: "Mom. Did you see this coupon for Highlights magazine? Do you think you could order it for me? It's really educational. It has good articles and many fun puzzles." Me: "No." Her: "Well, remember that money I earned this summer? How much do I have again? I would have enough to pay for this, wouldn't I?" Me: "Well...yeah, but....um, I don't feel like going online right now and ordering it." Her: "I will go get the computer, set it up, get it to the site, then all you have to do is order it." Me: "I'm really tired. Maybe later." Her: "I'll give you an hour back rub if you will do it now." Me: "I don't have time for an hour one. How about a really good, diligent one for 15 minutes?" Her: "Yup!" Me: "Backrub first." Her: "No way, Mom! You know you will fall asleep before I get done. Then you'll NEVER order my Highlights magazine!" Me: "True. Go get the computer." See? She won, again! But, so did I. I got a free back rub (I usually pay them for 15 minute increments...just peanuts but it's change for them to ka-ching into their piggybanks).
Okay, so here's the latest story: See this girl? So nice and quiet looking, in a book-wormy sorta way?
See this bird?
This really beautiful parakeet?
Well, one day our lovely, nice, helpful daughter came home from her friend's house. She said, "Anna has a bird. It's name is Lucky. It is a parakeet. It is sooo cool! It mimics you. It flies around the house. It sits on your finger. It is sooooo cool. Can I get one?" Me: "No." Her: "Please? I have enough money!" Me: "I. don't. care!!!! A bird, as any pet, is a big responsiblity. You know that. We have a hard enough time getting the dogs cared for. What makes you think you'll take care of a bird? Plus, a bird would drive me crazy! Chirp, chirp, chirping all day long." Her: "Well, I am the one who always cares for the dogs without complaining. " (True...) "I would take care of it sooo well. You would never have to take care of it." Me: "NO!!!! Now stop." Her: Now begins the Stage 2: Operation Get What I Want. "Grumble, grumble, grumble...have money for it too...grumble, mumble....I really wanted it...whine, whine, mumble...not fair! I KNOW I would take care of it....mumble.." Funny thing is, she's not even talking to me. She is muttering to herself. But I can hear it. And it bugs me! Me: "STOP! That's enough! I do NOT want to hear that now!"
Fast forward a day: Same song. Same dance. Same routine.
Fast forward another day: Same song. Same dance. Same routine.
Fast forward another day, a week, another week: Same song. Same dance. Same routine.
*add in: Me: "Go ask your dad (first sign of weakening, although I wouldn't have admitted it then). See what he says." Her, later: "He says to ask you." Me: "Well, in that case, NO! (whew! Got my resolve back)"
Her: "When's the next time we would be going by the pet store?" and "Could we go for a little drive and swing by the pet store and..." Me: "NO!"
So, so many different tactics. See how she operates?*
Finally, one day, I caved. I decided to go check out birds when I was out near a pet store anyway. My husband joined me on his way home from work. We watched and read up on Finches. Nope. Not so social, they do better in a colony...we are NOT looking to adopt a colony. Parakeets: Only $5 more, social, clownish, can mimic...super long life expectancy....maybe not so good. Well, take a look here:
There they are. A girl and her parakeet. See? She won! But, guess what? I kinda like that bird. I actually like it a lot! So, it wasn't a total loss after all. And it was with her own money. And we've worked out a deal for her to earn money for future food and accessories she will continue to need (because she has finally completely exhausted her funds). She will be completely in charge of scooping dog poop so I don't need to worry about always assigning that gross task to someone. And she's okay with that.
All in all, I think that persistance will get her places...it already has. Mostly at my expense.
*Just a side note: She does truly lose too. I do know how to say no to her. And mean it. And stick to it. Just right now, I'm feeling her recent wins. However, it never, never is a total win just for her. We bargain. We bicker. We plot. We plan. And I make sure I always win too. Because I can. Because I hold the trump card (what is a trump card, anyway?) and know enough to use it. And oftentimes my win is bigger for me in the financial sense.*