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I like to negotiate for things.  This is another skill I learned while watching my dad and late husband (both farmers) purchase farm supplies and equipment.

I remember buying my mattress several years ago.  One evening I was resting on a pillow-top trying to decide if I liked it and if it was worth the money.  I was using my time wisely and negotiating with the salesman.  He had obviously encountered this before, but not regularly.  I remember saying something like, “My husband is at home farming, working hard for the money he earns and it’s a lot easier to sit here and argue with you than earn the money to buy a mattress.”

There was silence from the salesman.  He realized that I was serious about a purchase and it saved time on the discussion for both of us.

So, I shouldn’t be shocked when I say to the Little Farmer, “You can take two tractors into church.”  And he replies, “No, three, four, a lot,” as he’s scrambling to grab as much tiny farm equipment as he can.  Same story with dessert, planning for Christmas gifts, etc.

We’re still working to set the boundaries on authority here.  I win these negotiations with, “You can choose two toys or none at all.”

I’m beginning to feel like I should listen to cds on negotiating while I’m alone {I don’t want him to get any more tips of course} in anticipation of kindergarten when professional educators will further develop his thought process.