Most parents will tell you that dealing with kids is a constant negotiation. As a famous child expert (whose name I cannot, for the moment, recall) once said, "You have to pick your battles."
I do try to keep that piece of advice in mind when dealing with David, especially. Does it really matter if we have to load nine rolls of Bounty paper towels into the back of the car before leaving the house? Can't I take just a minute so that David can listen to the sound the car makes when the lights are on and the car door is open? Does it matter what other people think when David has to open every single door in the frozen food aisle at the SuperTarget?
So, Sunday we were getting ready to go to church. David wears sweatpants almost every day because they are much easier for him to handle in the bathroom at school, but I didn't want him to wear sweatpants to church. I had chosen a much dressier (insert sarcasm here) pair of jeans, which he had worn several times before. It is not like I was asking him to wear a tuxedo. He respectfully declined (dripping with sarcasm, this time) the option of jeans and selected, instead, black and red checked flannel pajama bottoms, "a-ja-ja" as David says.
After four attempts, I did get the jeans on David when it then became apparent that he had no intention of wearing his tennis shoes. It was like we were volleying the ball back and forth in a very equally matched game of tennis. Our non-verbal negotiation went something like this:
David – I will wear the jeans, but not the tennis shoes. I want pool shoes (Crocs).
Kathy – You are not wearing pool shoes, but I will let you wear your galoshes. (Yes, M, these are the dinosaur galoshes that you bought for him in Las Vegas).
David – Okay, I will wear the galoshes but only if I can take with me the spinner from the game of Life.
Yes, David has been carrying around the actual spinner from the game, Life, which Andrew had borrowed from my sister's house but never played because it is hard the play the game without the spinner. David is enamored with it because, of course, it spins which is one of his very favorite attributes in a toy, but also it reminds him of the show, Wheel of Fortune.
At the conclusion of this negotiation, I had approximately 13 seconds to get myself ready and it is a wonder I didn't show up for the service with makeup on only half of my face--or wearing my own pajama bottoms. Maybe I did. From the look that must have been on my face when we arrived, I doubt that anyone would have told me—about the makeup, at least. I would have noticed the pajama bottoms on my own. Wouldn't I?
All I can say is that the floor in the church is not very forgiving and the spinner made a pretty loud noise as it bounced off the slate tile in the middle of the sermon, but the dinosaur on David's galoshes did flash me a cute smile as I bent down to retrieve it.