Way back then before he....er I, was married, there sat on my bookshelf - amongst a sea of self help books - a book called The Aladdin Factor. Perhaps you have heard of it. It's from those Chicken Soup dudes.
Well the premise of The Aladdin Factor boiled down to the simple notion that in order to get things in life, you have to ask. You want a late payment fee waived? Ask for it. You want a lower bid on an item or project? It doesn't hurt to ask. You want an opportunity to advance at work? You NEED to ask. These things are not going to happen on their own and in truth most people have a difficult time saying no. It's not in their makeup.
It's actually not a bad concept. That is if you can get over feeling like an asshat for asking for freebies or handouts. In truth I have never been too good at that.
Kids, however, are masters at this game. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I looked under Lukas' crib mattress and found a tattered and dog eared version of The Aladdin Factor. He seems to have the finer points of this 'Factor' down to a science.
"Mommy, can I watch a video?" "Not right now son." "Daddy, can I watch a video?" "Not right now. Maybe later." "Mommy, I've been so good today, can I watch a video?" "Ah Honey you have been good today, but we need to eat first." "Daddy, I've had dry underwear all day. Can I watch a video?" "Oh, alright then (getting nod from Mrs. LIAYF). But just one." "Oh, thank you. Thank you!!"
"Daddy, can I have ice cream?"....Well, you get the point.
My little guy doesn't seem to be discouraged by the word NO. He just steps back, regroups, and tries asking for it from a different angle. Let me tell you, it takes a whole lot of parental fortitude to hold your line against such a barrage of requests. Especially when a whole lot of cuteness is bundled up along with them.
I wonder if the authors of The Aladdin Factor would mind if I created my own spin on their self help book. I could call it The Toddler Factor.
Well, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to ask.