Thursday, November 6, 2014

Zoe vs. Donald Trump

Donald Trump is famous for two things: his hard-nosed negotiating skills, which have made him a billionaire a billion times over, and his glorious mane of hair.
Zoe's hair is also one of nature's wonders, especially in the mornings, when she's running from the hairbrush, but what we're concerned with here are her skills as a negotiator. Focus, people.
From bedtime to the number of brush strokes she must suffer, servings of juice she can finagle, and amount of M&Ms she's earned after going potty, my days with Zoe are full of endless negotiations. And much like an over-leveraged company is catnip to Trump, I am low-hanging tired-mommy fruit to a sly fox like Zoe.
So let's see how Zoe's skills as a negotiator stack up against the Donald's. Herewith, five quotes from the man himself, author of The Art of the Deal, followed by interpretations from Zoe, author of my demise.

Then I'll end with, "Money can't
buy happiness." That always
gets laughs.


1. "You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
Sure, Trump thinks in casinos, but you can't eat a casino. Not like candy....
The morning after Halloween, Zoe wanted candy for breakfast. I said no.
"How about just one?" she countered.
"It's six o'clock in the morning. How about not any?"
"But I want candy," she whined.
So I promised her she could have one after lunch.
Out of respect, she held off for about a millisecond before asking, "Mommy, can I have lunch?"

2. "Without passion, you don't have energy. Without energy, you have nothing."
If the food in question is not candy, if it's, say, vegetables, then Zoe negotiates how many more bites she needs to take to either be excused or obtain a cookie.
"How about two more bites?"
"How about you finish?"
"Five?"
Before I know it I'm pulled into her game, thinking I'm smarter than she is, that I will just calculate how many more bites it would take for her to actually finish the meal I'd lovingly prepared in the microwave for a minute and a half, which is when the steam-in-bag Asian vegetable medley mix exploded, at which point I shrugged and said good enough.
"Ten bites," I decide.
Then I watch as she takes ten of the teensiest bites ever, as small as Trump's ego is not.
"Mommy, I had ten bites," she says, triumphant. "Now can I have a cookie?" 
I capitulate. Her perseverance has worn me down.
"And juice, " she adds, knowing I'm broken. "I so thirsty."

3. "I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That's where the fun is."
Bedtime. Where the fun is not. At least not for me.
First up for negotiation is the actual time. "Two more minutes till bedtime," I warn.
"How about ten?"
"Five."
Twenty minutes later, after I finally get her in her pajamas, the next phase starts. I say I will read three stories to her before lights out. She always angles for one more story, and it's usually the longest one.

Look, Mommy, the condensed version.


Or she fishes out a Dr. Seuss anthology and acts all innocent, like even though there are six stories in there, the whole collection counts as one. Each night I inform her it does not. 
Her other stalling tactic is to ask me to read one of the three stories again, as if the repetition doesn't count. It does, I inform her. She sighs. Why is Mommy so unreasonable?
Finally, showing me that even though she cannot yet read she somehow understands the fine print, she figures out that though Mommy will only read her three stories, she can keep the book on her lap after lights out and pretend she's reading. After all, Mommy didn't say anything about her reading. Loophole!
Meanwhile I'm clinging to the chair with only half an ass wondering how it is that such a tiny person needs so much room. Zoe is a real estate hog. Just like Trump.

Let's stop here, Mom.
Your eyes must be tired.
(And that's why he was Jesus.)

4. "Sometimes by losing a battle, you find a new way to win the war."
The ultimate bedtime avoidance tactic---where she will always win and she knows it---is employed after she's been in bed for a while and she asks to get up because she has to go potty. She knows this will always work. She's holding all the cards, and in order to avoid getting them covered with urine, I've got to let her go.

5. "In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish."
And as she perches on the toilet, singing to herself in a self-satisfied manner, pajama pants dangling around her ankles, my deal-maker, my heart-breaker, in a voice dripping with sweetness, inquires, "Can I have an M&M?"
Zoe: 68; Universe: 0

 For more of Zoe's hijinks, follow me on Facebook and on Twitter at @zoevsuniverse
I need a win here, people. 


7 comments :

  1. Even though The Donald is tough, my money was always on Zoe. I love that she knows to pick the longest book you have at bedtime...and can find a loophole when necessary. I'd never bet against Zoe!! --Lisa

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  2. Elizabeth CatalanoNovember 6, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    Yep, she's a lock to win in any competition. You are wise not to bet against her!

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  3. We've got bedtime down, but the Candy finagling is constant. My latest trick is to go in reverse direction the more he wheedles, going down from three cookies to one to none. Yeah, not working either.

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  4. That's what I do! And, yes, it totally doesn't work!

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  5. Ugh! I feel your pain as I experience it daily.

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  6. Linda_Roy_elleroy_was_hereNovember 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    Smart kid. We'll see her in the boardroom someday! ;)

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  7. Bet on it!

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