There is an old saying that we all know: The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
In other words, those who complain the loudest and the longest and in the most annoying repetitious way possible — get what they want. Except from me, then no, they get nothing.
My policy is this: I don’t negotiate with terrorists or toddlers. Or those who behave as such.
At the House of Antique, if you are whining, the answer is automatically NO. If you continue whining, you will get the Antique Mommy fish eye, which has been known to stop a charging rhino in it’s tracks. And if you still insist on whining, well let’s just hope you’ve got your salvation plan worked out.
It would seem that whining is built into children, as a survival mechanism, as all children try it out at one time or another. Which, now that I analyze that, it would appear as though I am devoid of the instinct to see to the survival of my child. Yet? So far, so good.
Some people are gifted in their ability to tune out annoying noise, and those people become teachers. I can’t think or have a conversation if the TV is blaring, and the leaf blower makes my eardrums ache. But I would take 1000 leaf blowers over one 40-pound child whining PleasepleasepleasePLEEEEEaaaasssee-PUH-leeeze-Uh!
Sean is a super bright boy and he figured out early on that whining and saying “please” in various intonations four hundred times in a row was not going to work with me. I think he tried it out once or twice, and after he fully recovered from the sting of the fish eye, he moved on in search of other more civilized candy-getting tactics. Back in the day, when he was my grocery store boyfriend, we’d pass a kid who was whining and he’d just keep licking his Tootsie Pop and shake his head as if to say, “Whining – what an unsophisticated strategy.”
Last year, I was doing a project in Sean’s classroom and this one particularly energetic boy jumped out of his seat and ran up to me and started jumping up and down waving his hand in my face (which is a good way to lose a hand) and started in with the PickmePickmePleasePleasePleeeeeezPrettyPleasePickMe! Sean came to my rescue (or maybe he came to the boy’s rescue) and nudged him and quietly said, “Dude. She won’t respond to that. If you’re whining the answer is automatically no.”
I gave the boy a my crazy lady half smile-half fish eye and he slunk back to his seat.