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Mothering and Life in General

Under Nagotiations

A toddler girl crying

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We are in hold up here, Peace and Quiet is severely under attack. It’s negotiation time, and the subjects have ‘Typical Taurus Syndrome’ and “Distressed and at Wits End’ written all over them. I look through their profile and check off head-strong, language barrier and difference of opinion. Witnesses are fit to be tied, they don’t know what caused the hold-up, they hope Peace and Quiet can escape unharmed.

As the neighbors hear the shrieks and slamming of doors from their homes, we put together an action plan. The goal is to get in and get out, with as little fear and harm to those in battle, quickly. To make sure our hostages are safe and intact. We know we are up for a long battle of wits – this could be an eventful night.

As we approach the situation in question, we assess the matter at hand. Mother: 30, wants her 3-year-old to just get dressed, get a diaper on and go to bed. The 3-year wants none of that, she would rather play, naked and wait for the sun to wake up. Mother looks tired and worn from the days activities, and the child seems to have had her second, third, maybe fourth wind.

When Mom even shows her daughter her night-clothes, the daughter screams out, “NO!”, you can tell mom is fighting the urge to pin down the child and wrestle her clothing and diaper on. When Mom turns off the TV the shrieking starts again. The 3-year-old has now lost full control, she is running, arm flapping in the air. She runs into the bathroom and slams shut the door. It’s a traffic jam with no end in sight. What possibly could be the answer?

The mother sits with questions in her mind, “All I want is to get her dressed and ready for bed”. From down the hall the screaming stops, just enough to hear “I not going to bed!”. It can be seen this happens far often than not, there has to be an easier way. So we step back and re-assess the situation, looking for our tools.

We walk closer to the crying, right at the end of the hall. We lean in towards the door and sit on the floor. We quietly speak “Can I open the door?”, “NO!” yells the beautiful number. “Ok, I will speak to you through the door. Are you hurt?”, “NO!” demands the voice. “What are your needs now, what do you want?”, “I don’t want to go to bed!” speaks the wail.

We sit and ponder what can be said next? What could decrease the anger enough to be able to talk. “I can understand you are angry and you don’t want to go to bed, I sometimes don’t want to go to bed too!”, “You do?” asked the voice behind the door. “Yes” we say, “When the sun goes down, its quiet time, most people go to sleep. In our sleep is when we grow.”

“I grow big and strong? Just like Daddy?” The tiny voice asks. “Yes, you do, bit by bit in the night is when you grow. Sleep helps you settle so you can learn more tomorrow… Can I now open the door?” Nothing is said behind the door, so we take this chance to open it. As the door opens, you can see the small, just bathed child. Tear-stained cheeks is all that is left from the battle. We don’t get too hopeful, there is still deep emotions on the line, one wrong move and this can all blow-up.

We jester for the child to come here and when she does we give her the tightest loving hug. “I know you don’t want to sleep, because you think there are better things to do. When I was little I did not want to sleep either”. As she looks at me with her clear blue eyes, I know she trusts me. “How about we just get your shirt on, no diaper, and nurse?”

“Yes, momma” Is her answer and I know that all negotiations are done. The matter at hand is solved – this time around. Our hostages are saved, and we have met the challenge without anyone getting injured. The little one except the shirt over her head, Mom and child sit in the nursing chair. Both smile back at each other, another battle won, this time on both sides. What a great feeling to experience.

The child nurses, and slowly relaxes into a slumber. Mission accomplished, as mom carefully puts the diaper on. Child is nursing into sleep; quietly, growing, resting, until the sun comes up. Tomorrow will be a new day, with new issues and battles. We can get through this, one battle at a time.

This is your conscience, and we were under attack, there is always time for negotiations, even when those tell you no. There could be a happy medium between you and the little person. With surrendering yourself from hurt and blame, Peace and Quiet can rise again.

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