I love it when my kids actually negotiate their way through a situation! The alternative, of course, is to fight---kick, scream, pinch, whine. It's not pretty. Here's something that happened today:
Scene: We're in the car, the two girls and I, on our way home from Target. J is eating the rest of her big pretzel and O has already finished her snack. All of the following dialogue happens in nice voices. Very nice voices.
O: Can I have some of your pretzel? I'll give you something for it.
J: What will you give me?
O: Something of mine that's special to me.
J: Like what?
O: Whatever you want. Maybe something like one of my gems or crystals or shells.
J: Maybe that purple crystal? the one you got for your birthday?
O: No, that's too special.
J: How about the purple dolphin?
O: No, that's too special too.
J: How about that purple shell?
J: Okay, here's some pretzel.
O: Can I have more?
O: I'll give you two things.
J: What else will you give me?
O: How about that green plastic crystal?
J: Okay. Here's some more.
I loved it! I was so tempted to intervene with one of my typical praises---"I like how well you two are working this out. This is very nice for Mommy to hear." But I held back. You never know what can interfere with nice, calm, sisterly negotiations. You might think you said or did something completely innocuous and the next thing you know, they're screaming. Screaming! If you don't have two girls, or if you didn't have a sister yourself, you can't possibly imagine how horrible this screaming can be!
So I saved it for later. And we had ourselves a peaceful, almost beautiful, sisterly negotiation.