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Entries in negotiating (1)


The Negotiator

I called the local police department today to see if they needed a spot filled on their S.W.A.T. team—specifically the role of negotiator. Because holy shit the boy has that down to an art.

Take a small, harmless pack of gummies for instance.

The boy wants gummies. I’m cooking dinner, plan to serve it to the boy in 10 minutes, and therefore I am quick to deny the young heathen his delicious gummies.

I then get hit with, “Ok, but daddy…can I just explain something? See, you packed me gummies in my lunch box for today and I didn’t eat them all, in fact I didn’t even touch them, so then I should still be able to eat them right now cause I didn’t touch them at lunch so can I have them?”

And I look down at the boy and say, “Grayson…for the love of all things Mario Kart…NO!!”

“Yeah, but daddy…can I just say something? They’re really small and won’t take up much room in my belly and I KNOW I’ll eat my dinner so why can’t I just have them now?”

Gripping the spatula with all my might and grinding my teeth to nubs I turn and say, “Grayson…do you see what I’m doing?”


“What am I doing son?”

“Making food.”

“That’s right. I’m making our dinner. Our dinner Grayson. The bountiful feast we will be shoving into our mouths in less than eight minutes now. You cannot have gummies and if you ask me again, I’ll take each of the gummies and melt them one-by-one right in front of you until they’re a big melty puddle of liquid gummy remains. Kapish?!”

The boy’s head is looking at his feet now as he feels defeat nearing. He realizes he’s got nothing…and he sure as hell doesn’t want to risk the lives of his delicious multi-colored fruit gummy snack because he knows my last statement was anything but a bluff. So he walks out of the kitchen.

But, before I could get halfway through patting myself on the back for a rare victory won without raising my voice against the boy, I see his little red haired head bob right back into the kitchen…only, he’s holding something.

“Hey daddy. What’s for dinner?”

“Stir fry.”

“Oh…sounds good. Hey daddy. I brought you some gummy snacks to have,” he says innocently as he holds out his unopened bag of gummies from his lunch box.

“Sweet! Thanks man,” I say as I grab them from his hand, open them, and empty them all into my mouth at once.

“DADDY!!!!! That was MEAN daddy!!! You knew I wanted those gummies and you ATE them all!!”

I immediately feel the vicious blade from the “worst parent in the world” dagger slide into my gut as I see elephant tears fill the boy’s eyes. I quickly drop to a knee and reveal to him that I faked pounding back the bag of gummies. Then seeing that did nothing to squelch the onslaught of depression and anger towards me I handed him the bag and said, “go down to the basement, kill this bag of gummies, and don’t tell your mother.”

Five minutes later a dim-watted light-bulb above my head spewing sparks and smoke signified that it had finally sunk-in that the little bastard had just made me his bitch. And I knew at that very moment he was sitting in the basement, slowly enjoying his gummies, and marking another notch on his secret score sheet for himself.

Grayson 137     Daddy 0