Monkey has apparently learned the lesson that criticism is easier to take when accompanied by a positive statement.
For example, Mom made us some cookies and sent them in a care package. They were a little crunchier than normal due to Mom substituting raw sugar for brown sugar, and Monkey didn’t like them. (Don’t worry Mom, Lee loved the cookies and ate almost all of them!)
So after Monkey tasted one of the cookies she looked at me and told me they were awful. I informed her that she didn’t have to eat them but we also didn’t have to tell her we didn’t like them. She agreed, until she was on the phone with Mom later that night. She came over to me with the phone pressed to her ear and the widest eyes I have ever seen, obviously bothered by the pressure of having to ‘lie’ to Nama by not telling her the cookies were awful. So I told her to go ahead and tell her.
“Nama? You know the cookies you sent me? They were awful… but they were a really pretty color!”
Mom just laughed. She and I shared the joy of Monkey’s first attempt at combining criticism with positive reinforcement.
Since then she has used this method on me as well. This morning she informed me that the cream of wheat I made was awful, but a very pretty color. I just had to chuckle.
She is learning how to manage people, something I think she is picking up from Lee. I think it is pretty cute the way she is trying to manage me.