Me: "Girls, it's time for lunch. Clean up your toys and wash your hands."
Staley: "Can't we just leave our toys out so we can play with them later?"
Me: "No. We're going to clean up now, but you can always get your toys out later if you want to play with them after lunch and rest time."
Staley: "Can't we just leave them out? Please????"
Me: "I said no."
Staley: "But I said please."
Me: "I appreciate the manners, but it's time to clean up. Right now."
Staley: "Maybe we could just leave out some of our toys."
Me: "No. We are picking up all our toys."
Staley: "Can't I just leave out 3 toys? Just 3?"
Me: "I am not going to argue about this and I am not going to change my mind. We are picking up ALL the toys."
Staley: "Okay. Just one. I will just keep out this one toy."
Me: "Seriously! I don't want to hear any more about this. Put it away!"
Staley: "I will just put this one toy on the window sill until later."
Me: "Put that toy in the box where it goes or there is going to be a consequence."
Staley: "Okay. I will just put it next to the box. How about that?"
Me: "If you don't put that toy away like I asked you to or if you say one more thing about it, you will not play with ANY of these toys for the rest of the day. Do you understand?"
Staley: (with a big sigh as if SHE'S the one thoroughly exasperated by this conversation) "Fine."
There's always an angle. There's always an agenda. There's always a different idea. There's always her own opinion or plan. And sometimes all I really want is for her to say, "Okay." And then just do it. Quickly. The first time I ask. Is that too much to ask?
I sure do love this girl, but sometimes she wears me out.