Or, ahem, perhaps you arbitrarily decide that THIS is the hill you're going to die on, because you're tired, damn it, and you've been upstairs four times already and it's over an hour past her bedtime and, jesus just go to sleep already.
So, I'm sitting on the couch tonight, listening to my kid wail for me to take her to the bathroom -- a two foot trip down the hall that she has made solo many many times. Tom tries to run interference, sending her off into a shrieking tantrum and him to the sanctuary of the porch. And I don't move. I'm just sitting there and I'm not moving, and she is howling. And I am not by god going to give. I'm not, I'm not, I'm not, I'm... weakening.
So, what's my approach? Do I go in angry, do I ooze sympathy, do I guilt-trip, do I, um, come up with a better game plan that doesn't involve manipulating my kid emotionally?
And I get up there and open the door, and she hops out of bed, and I look at her. She's so damn little. I forget sometimes. She's only four, you know? I'm downstairs steeling myself for battle, but she's just a little girl. And there she is with her little round tummy and her tear-streaked face as she reaches out for my hand so I can walk with her into the bathroom.
Dudes. She totally played me. Damn it! The kid always wins.