Is this conversation familiar to anyone?
ME: No Maggie, you can’t have M&Ms until you finish your dinner.
MAGGIE (two years old): M&Ms.
ME: No Maggie, finish your dinner first.
ME: After dinner Maggie.
ME: No, again, not until you finish your dinner! (angry tone)
ME: Please just finish your dinner…(plaintive, resigned tone)
ME: Just two more bites, okay?
MAGGIE: Look, you and I both know how this plays out. You can’t break me. I will get down now, not having finished my dinner. In about 45 minutes you’re going to want some peace and quiet—maybe read a magazine, talk to Mom (without me involved), answer an email or two, use the bathroom (alone)—whatever. That all goes much easier when you give me the M&Ms. So give them to me now—then I will give you, give you, the next 45 minutes. My gift to you. Really.
ME: Here you go.