ON STATING, NEGOTIATING, AND RESPECTING LIMITS: PEEKS FROM PARENT LAND
I am out of breath.
I just had a play fight of tickles and bedding with the kid.
She reminded me I promised to lay down and "nap in the big bed" but that's her latest euphemism for "fool around in the big bed" which was the other euphemism for "C'mon, Mom! Let's tickle and horse around and scream!"
Which I do not always like to give her because she gets carried away and it hurts if she punches me too hard. She's very strong for being so small!
But I'm the parent and I'm trying to teach several things here.
- Self discipline.
- Asking nicely.
- Negotiate fairly.
- Stating limits.
- Respect limits.
When the teachable moment comes, you have to just PICK ONE THING to focus on.
We teach others how we want to be treated, but it's never a one time lesson. Not even in dating. That's why you date for a long while before making serious commitments. Have to pass and repass same ground a few times to make sure person completes the base tour and can pass flying tests before launching a major mission.
I asked for her buckets when she got in and she rolled her eyes and told me her mind is good, her heart is good, her body wants a "nap", and her soul is happy. I pressed for details and she was too distracted.
She always comes home with pent up energies so I decided to grant the tickle fight she craves but was still trying to find the lesson to revisit and reinforce. It sure wasn't going to be bucket checks
or any major negotiation
because she was much
I have to know the material I work with here and what is reasonable to ask and and when. The reality check on my expectations.
So it was going to be setting a limit / respect a limit
then as the brief lesson.
Kid: Yay! Let's go to the big bed!
Me: Only 5 minutes.
Kid: You promised Monday to do it for a long time!
Me: I do not remember, I am sorry. I'm willing to do that tomorrow if you help me remember because my brain is too full to hold things. And Monday you did not make a note to stick on the fridge to hold me accountable like I ask you to do when Mommy is scatterbrained. If you make me one today I will sign it to help keep me honest. For today I can give 5 minutes, to hold you until you make me an IOU to sign for a bigger thing.
(Swear to God I'm surely suffering early menopause freakin' brain farts or its my meds... must ask endoc).
Kid: Alright. 5 min.
Me: Are we agreed?
Me: I'm watching the clock! It is 2:06. So at 2:11 I am out of the bed.
Crazy tickling commences with accompanying screams, laughter, drool, and spitting.
Kid: Mom, you are disgusting
when you drool.
Me: I cannot help it. I laugh too hard and I drool! Help! Help!
Kid: You got spit in my eye.
Me: I'm sorry I got spit in your eye. But I laugh very hard.
Kid: You shake the whole bed!
Me: Yup. (to self: tell you daddy about it -- he's known that for 2 decades!)
Alright 2:12. I'm SO done. You got one minute overtime on this trip. Hooray! I am free of tickles!
Kid: Aw.... I don't want to stop!
Me: I hear you do not want to stop. But please respect my limit. I said 5 min. because that is all I can give today.
Kid: 5 more?
Me: No, I am not up for renegotiation on tickles. 5 min was it. Please respect my limit.
Kid: Alright. I will. Can I get you in my blanket cave?
Me: Thank you for respecting my limit. Yes, I will be in a blanket cave for ONE MINUTE. It gets hot in there.
Kid: Yay! (She stuffs us under a giggly mess of quilts until we both come out screaming that it it soooo hot and horrible! )
Me: There. I'm OUT of the cave! I am out of tickles! I am out of the bed!
Kid: Can I have screen time now?
Me: Yeah, tv or computer, your pick. One hour. Then homework. New agreement.
Kid: Ok. Homework.
Me: Did you do your coming home responsibility of putting your fresh uniform out in the cubby for tomorrow? I did mine of emptying your lunch box and signing your binder.
Me: Go do that then -- finish the OLD thing before starting a NEW thing. You were supposed to do that BEFORE TICKLES. I already did the lunchbox before I went to tickles.
Kid: Ok, I'll get my uniform and catch it up. THEN I get screen time.
Me: Agreed. Awesome.
Sounds so simple right?
- Hold self and partner accountable
- Negotiate a limit, respect the limit.
- Before starting a new thing, take care of the old thing.
Piece of cake when it's IOUs for future tickles, bed tickles, and uniforms, right?
How about when it is dating, keeping promises, negotiating and respecting the limits you agree to in a romance?
Piece of cake: know thyself, have strong ethics, and be a person of your word.
And how about in polyamory, before starting a new romance can you take care of the old romance FIRST -- in the appropriate way -- before starting the NEW?
Piece of cake: End it well with old partner if it is done. Balance ORE and NRE well if not done and want both and all agree.
- Reaffirming, renegotiating, co-creating and re-committing to new plan for new changes and checking in according to the new plan if you plan to run both relationships concurrently.
- Break up CLEAN if you do not.
If you do not have the skills to do this? You have no business flying this mission, but you could return to training school somewhere and learn the skills needed. Another kind of cake, but still. Piece of cake: Know your own limitations. Choose relationships responsibly. Do your personal growth things you need to grow.
You deliberately fly the mission unprepared/underprepared/ unclear? You are not upping your odds of success any. If things explode? Things may or may not be repairable depending if your partner forgives you for flying under false colors. Another kind of cake, but still. Piece of cake: Own your own baggage when you do not obey your own limitations and you are not clear to your partner about the colors you fly under. Own your colors.
I am not saying it is a piece of cake to FEEL or always FUN to do. I am saying you understand what needs doing. The mission is clear and you want to sign up or you do not want this mission at all, or you need more training first.
That should be a piece of cake if both partners are giving clear information and getting clear information to be able to take honest assessment.
If you agree to sign up? You go do the job in front of you and act with INTENT to finish the mission. Things may how awry or haywire, but you intend to execute to the best of your ability and succeed.
Piece of fucking cake. No more. No less.