The Diego Negotiations.November 12, 2012 at 9:32 am | Posted in Battles (aka: toddlerhood), NaBloPoMo | 20 Comments
We don’t watch a lot of TV in our house. We don’t really have a rule against it; I have no problem with Lucky watching a show here and there. We use our Netflix a lot; they have Backyardigans, Curious George, and other things he likes to watch here and there.
I can’t tell you exactly when it happened. But right now?
Lucky is obsessed to Diego episodes on Netflix.
And by obsessed, I mean ADDICTED. From the first moment he is awake in the mornings, it’s an ongoing negotiation for more Diego time.
Which, honestly, wouldn’t be awful, except for the extreme fits he’ll pitch when we shut Diego off. After one episode. Ten episodes. It doesn’t actually matter how much or little he has watched his beloved Diego.
When we turn it off, the freakout is worse than any three year tantrum he ever had; there’s screaming, hitting, kicking, yelling, crying.
And when Diego isn’t on, it’s all he talks about and asks for. Mommy, can I watch a Diego? Last week, when he had a friend over for a playdate? He tried to convince his friend that Diego was awesome and they should watch it.
Diego makes our weekends really hard lately. We’ve done everything we can to structure our time away from the house; keep Lucky busy outside and away from the TV. Otherwise we risk hours of negotiation for more Diego.
HOURS, I say. I wish I was kidding, but I’ve kept track. I spent two hours yesterday morning trying to get Lucky to do something DIFFERENT. Draw pictures – hey, look, here’s a Diego coloring book!– or play with Legos or build with blocks or help me sweep the garage or let’s just go for a drive because SERIOUSLY I AM GOING TO LOSE MY MIND IF I HEAR YOU ASK FOR DIEGO ONE! MORE! TIME!
Yesterday we watched
50 million a couple Diego episodes in the morning. After weathering the inevitable meltdown when we told Lucky he needed to do something else, we successfully managed to avoid The Diego Negotiations for the rest of the afternoon. Lucky decided to clean our garage (he wanted to use the broom), and the weather was awesome – in the 60s – so he played outside for a good while. We watched the Patriots game, the three of us.
And then it was time to say goodbye to Charlie Brown, and it was he and I. I was cleaning up from dinner, when Lucky came into the kitchen.
Mommy? he asked. I was really good today: I was good, and kind, and brave. Wasn’t I?
I laughed (on the inside! Always on the inside!) because I knew what was going to come next.
Mommy, he said, very seriously. I did a good job today keeping my underwear dry*. I used the potty LOTS of times. I cleaned the garage. I ate all my lunch. I FINK**… he paused for effect, looking up at me very seriously,that I deserve a Diego episode. JUST ONE. And THEN, we can go upstairs, and take a baff, and read ONE story, and then go to bed!
In that moment, I wished I had a video of his performance. Because the child played the part PERFECTLY. It was an oscar-worthy performance; the shrug of his shoulders, and open hands, the wide open eyes, the smile on his face. His tone of voice was perfect – enthusiastic but quiet.
He was very convincing in that moment. Sure, just one episode! Surely that will be fine!
I can tell you what comes next. I say yes, and he claps his hands, jumping for joy, and he says, Yay!! One more Diego!!! And he watches one episode, and then we start the negotiation all over again once it’s over.
If I say no? He turns into the exorcist 4 year old: he screams, throws himself on the floor, sobbing like I’m the worst mother in the world.
I am largely impressed AND freaked out by his ability to negotiate, I have to admit. And all I repeat to myself when this happens?
This will serve him well later in life. This will serve him well later in life.
He’s learning by watching, at least. Yesterday he told me that chinchillas live in mountains and didn’t know how to swim. He can count to ten in Spanish.
But yeah. Exhausting stuff, these Diego Negotiations.
*Another post about this coming. He is still struggling with accidents and keeping his underwear dry during the daytime. We actually have an appointment scheduled with a pediatric urologist at the end of January.
** I will be so sad when he loses his toddler lisp; one of the few remnants of baby left in him these days.