I'm alone with the kids for about 32 hours this weekend, because Noel is appearing on a panel at the Ozark Foothills FilmFest. And I really should be taking notes, because somewhere in my attempts at successful parenting surely lie lessons I could apply as an administrator and manager.
After a productive afternoon of Mario Kart, Hyper Jump and outside play, it was time to settle on a dinner location. Since it's important for the kids to have buy-in, I asked them where they'd like to go. Cady Gray immediately piped up, nominating our local barbecue joint. I contributed my suggestion of the local Mexican place (the one with the magaritas). Archer decided to throw in his lot with me, thanks to my heavy emphasis on agreeability during playtime this afternoon.
Cady Gray wouldn't budge, though. Archer the peacemaker suggested that we go to the barbecue place next time; Cady Gray immediately countered with the plan that we go to the Mexican place next time. Seeing how much it meant to her, I asked Archer if that was okay, and he assented. Problem solved -- barbecue for dinner it would be.
Only when we got in the car, I remembered something. The kids' standard dinner at the barbecue place is grilled cheese and fries. But they had told me that they went to the chicken finger place for lunch, and there they always eat ... grilled cheese and fries. As I was buckling them in, I reminded them that they can't have the same meal twice in one day. Again I proferred the Mexican option.
Cady Gray, unwilling to let go so easily, said that they could have something else at the barbecue place. Archer was on a different train of thought already, ready to abandon both and head for an as-yet-unnamed third restaurant. All I had to do, in the end, was make the case that a quesadilla with beans and rice is sufficiently different from a grilled cheese sandwich with fries, and my Mexican scheme won the day with smiling nods from all passengers.
Now if I could only figure out how to apply those skills to faculty meetings, there'd be no stopping me. Unfortunately, it's entirely possible that the motivating factor -- the magarita -- is the crucial ingredient.