Friday, April 27, 2007

The art of compromise...

So, my hubby got another boat. I'm not even really crazy about the first boat (getting stranded on the Missouri in a boat that doesn't want to stay running isn't exactly my idea of fun, but that's a story for another day) and now he has ANOTHER boat. It's a small one - a 'Jon boat', I think he called it. Evidently, that's supposed to be some sort of consolation to me according to him.

Of course, I was not consulted in the decision to purchase another boat. One day last weekend, he simply said, "I'm going to look at a boat." And guess what - he came home with a boat.

And now it's in our driveway.

And, of course, he couldn't possibly leave any motorized vehicle he purchases in operating order. NO, of course not. He simple MUST dismantle the entire thing down to the bare metal in order to 'improve' it. This isn't the real story, either. Bare with me...I'm getting to it.

So, last night, Kaitlin and Justin were working on the said boat and Kaitlin was vacuuming out the remnants of Styrofoam insulation left on the inside of the boat after taking the floor, side panels and majority of the insulation out. (I wasn't kidding when I said he has to COMPLETELY dismantle EVERYTHING!) He had also explained to Kaitlin that they would be putting new pink insulation (At which point Kaitlin interjected that purple would be a prettier choice.) back into the boat and after it was all put back together, his friend Jason would come over and they would paint it green, maybe which Kaitlin scrunched her nose.

"I think that you should paint it pink, Dad. And purple, and blue, and red, and orange...Dad, you could have a rainbow boat!" Justin didn't agree.

Later, after having given Kaitlin a bath and she was getting ready for bed, Justin decided they should discuss what to call this boat. A few days ago, Kaitlin had suggested that we call this boat "Daddy's UGGLY boat" (the 'g' is pronounced twice for good measure) to go along with "Daddy's UGGLY van" (his mid-80's rust bucket used mainly for getting back and forth to work), but evidently, he did not feel that that name would do.

The following conversation ensued:

"So, what do you think we should call this new boat."
Kaitlin thought for a moment. "How 'bout 'The Camouflage Boat'?"
"How about 'Twig II'?" (Justin's first boat is named "Twig." Again, a story for another day.)
"I don't think so, Dad."

So, they went back and forth like this between "The Camouflage Boat" and "Twig II" for a few rounds and finally, it was Kaitlin who said...

"How 'bout this, Dad? How 'bout we call it 'The Camouflage Twig II Boat' and then we BOTH get to call it what we want to call it?"

There's nothing like hearing a 4 year-old become fed up with an 'adult' who's unwilling to give in and offer a solution through compromise!

"Compromise is an art form that successful leaders have mastered. The key is understanding that you're not giving up or giving in - you're just seeking balance." Barton Goldsmith
I think I may just have a little 'leader' on my hands. :-)
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