|Family at Christmas gathering|
Have you ever seen the movie The Negotiator with Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey? In one of the opening scenes Kevin Spacey is negotiating with someone behind a closed door…it was his young daughter. When my sons were younger I found myself in the role of negotiator. Now that my sons are young adults, not much has changed.
It’s Holiday season and time to make preparations for family to visit. All I needed was a little help getting the house ready. In my Little Red Hen voice I said, “Who will dust the coffee table?”
After a pregnant pause my son said, “I can do it after I finish this game.” He continued to play his video game.
And that is when I transitioned from being the Little Red Hen and became a negotiator. I needed my sons help sooner rather than later.
“Dust the table and take out the trash and I just might add a little something extra in the grocery cart when I go to the store. By the way, you’re in charge of family games this year.”
My son still didn’t move right away, but he got the job done. “Ma, this one is going to cost you. I want two frozen pizzas, a taco kit, and a pack of Fruit Roll-Ups.”
He received two out of the three items and he came up with a couple of fun games for the family to play after dinner. There was an avalanche of laughter as we played a game called Head-up. It was like a game of charades using a cell phone. We were divided into two teams. The person doing the guessing selected a category and held the cell phone in front of their forehead.
The cell phone displayed a single word or phrase. Team members had to describe the word(s) they saw on the phone. We had one minute to guess as many words as we could. The game ended on a high note as family members prepared to travel back to their homes. Kids ran for their coats, cousins packed plates of food to-go, and I settled in to a cozy spot on the couch.
No more negotiating…just one final request from The Little Red Hen. “Who will put away the leftovers and load the dishwasher?” I napped on the couch snuggled under fleece blanket while two of my flock took care of the dishes. And we lived happily ever after…until the next episode.
Have you entered into negotiations during the Holiday season?