As soon as the cross appeared on the wee dip stick and I realised I was pregnant, I marched overworked husband down to our local bookshop and bought 4 or 5 baby/pregnancy/parenting books. I'm a big believer in whatever you want to do, someone has written a book, to tell you how to do it, kinda person. I remember reading them all cover to cover. Eldest muckin arrived and I then can't remember ever having the time to read them again, or ever really using already acquired theory, in my extreme sleep deprived practical parenting state.Whilst most stuff is instinct, no one mentioned negotiation being a key parenting skill.
Until recently, both munckins used an empty baby bottle with teat, at night to aid sleep. Most children have something. This was a hang up from being a working Mum who needed sleep, I used to give in with milk/bottle in the middle of the night. Eventually, we gave up on milk, but the empty bottle stayed and it worked. They'd be asleep within minutes. Empty bottles became an essential.
Obviously, it looked a bit odd, but it worked, everyone was happy. But how was it going to end? That is where negotiation came in. The munckins embarked on a joint campaign to go to Legoland. If you love it there, great, but it is not our cup of tea, we think. Although we have never been, our minds flood with unsavoury images of queues, expensive snacks and plastic rain ponchos, not ideal. But they went on and on, other parents in Middle England had obviously given in before us. The munckins believed they were missing out.
So a deal was struck, we'd go to Legoland, we'd love Legoland, if the munckins together, did a week without the empty bottles. Rules were discussed...if one broke then the deal was off etc, You tube videos of Legoland were visited daily.
The result, we no longer use the empty bottle as a sleep aid, we chucked the lot. We will never have the panic of forgetting the empty bottle agin, job done. Smug parent moment. Well not quite, as we are now going to Legoland. So we will leave our cynicism at home, we will embrace the queues and if raining we will get the family pack of rain ponchos.
Munckins have the trip, we don't have the empty bottle and Legoland gets to fleece, I suspect, another middle england family - everyone's a winner.