The Negotiator

They both look across the living room with a hardness in their eyes. Neither one has given any ground and remain steadfast in their claims.

Possesion is nine tenths the law but Hossmom refutes this. However, Little Hoss refuses to be intimidated by her. She knows that she has the damn cookie and that is the way it’s going to stay. Maybe she stole it from Hossmom and maybe she didn’t—she’d never admit it anyway. All she knows is that the cookie with the Hershey’s kiss on top is in her grubby little paws.
Hossmom remains adamant that it is her damn cookie and that if Little Hoss knows what’s good for her she will cough it up right the hell know.

Silence. Nothing happens. No one blinks.

That’s how I got involved. As a hostage negotiator you are on call 24/7. The call could come in the middle of the night, you never know. You just hope that you do your best and no stuffed animals get mutilated in the process.

They don’t always end well, even with your best efforts. In the Pizza incident I was trying to talk a dog out of doing the unthinkable while Little Hoss had the other end of a pizza. I pointed out to both of them that they didn’t find a way to work this out, it was only the pizza that would suffer. And it did suffer. I’m sorry, it’s just to tough to talk about.

Tonight I got called in between Hossmom and Little Hoss, as you can tell. There is a poor defenseless cookie involved and damnit Jim, I’m going to do my best to make sure that little guy has a chance. I’m told that it was on Hossmom’s plate and then Little Hoss swiped it when Hossmom wasn’t looking. Little Hoss disputes these facts and claims that the tooth fairy gave it to her fair and square. Going into this I know that it won’t be easy, but if it was easy they wouldn’t pay me for what I do.

I point out to Hossmom that there are other cookies on the counter and that she could probably have one of those. Hossmom is not buying my opening argument. She says that this is about more than just a cookie. She says it’s about discipline and setting boundaries. At least I got her talking.

I tell Little Hoss that she has already had a cookie today and that if she has another one she won’t get any tomorrow. She’s not budging either. She convinced that she will have all the cookies she wants tomorrow and she can have this one too. It’s a tough logic but she may be right.

I tell them both that maybe we should all just take a deep breath and think this thing through a little bit. I say that what we do in the next 5 minutes could affect us for the rest of the night. I tell them that there’s no reason that any cookie should get hurt here, maybe we should all just back away a little.

Neither one of them moves. I can see that there is not trust here and I don’t have much time to build it. A cookie is counting on me.

I turn to little Hoss and say that Hossmom may be willing to pay a ransom for cookies. I don’t think she will but it’s important to get them thinking that we are working on a solution. I tell her that I can’t make any decision myself but I understand how hard it is for her to have a cookie and then give it away. Hey man, I’ve been there, I’ve been there.

I say that Hossmom needs a proof of life with the cookie so how about just sending over a little corner of the cookie so that Hossmom knows that the cookie is safe. She thinks about it and then she does it. I think I can see a way out of this without any bloodshed, god help me. My style may be unorthodox but it gets results and that’s what matters.

Little Hoss hands over a piece. I tell Hossmom that she should probably say thank you, as a sign of good will. She does and we are starting to get results. I look at Little Hoss and say that since she was a good girl and gave up some of the cookie, maybe she should take a bite herself. She does with a grin and I know it’s a good sign that she’s happy. That way there is no unexpected violence.

I then tell Little Hoss that maybe Mommy would like another bite. She thinks about it and then gives her another corner. I tell Hossmom to say thank you and she does. Then Little Hoss gets her bite.

The rest of the negotiation takes another hour but in the end, I did my job and I did it well. There’s nothing more satisfying to me in these situations than to have a little piece and quiet without anyone screaming so I can finally get a chance to blog. I may not get paid well, but I don’t really do this for myself. I do it for the innocent cookies.

I’m about to go to bed satisfied that I am the best. My head hits the pillow. It’s been a long day and I think that I should lay off the sauce for a while.

That’s when I get the call. It appears that there is a glass of milk that is being held ransom for some gold fish crackers. I get out of bed knowing that maybe this ends bad, maybe this ends good, but either way—it’s going to end.

1 comment:

  1. You picked a bad day to stop sniffing glue...