What’s it worth to you?

We do a bit of wheeling and dealing in our house, which stands to reason since my husband is in sales. He has two mottos: 1. selling doesn’t start until after the first no and 2. Always Be Closing (ABC). So there is a lot of opportunity up for grabs if you are willing to play the game.

The most popular trading currency is baseball cards. Our oldest son is an avid collector and has amassed a nice collection, but it’s nothing compared to his father’s. The two of them recently did some hardcore negotiating while trying to name our puppy. Kevin (my husband) and I wanted to name the dog Simcoe, but our son wasn’t digging it. So Kevin offered a blockbuster trade of several valuable cards. Our son accepted and the name was settled. That’s until I decided I wanted to name the puppy Abner. Worth another trade? You bet, happy wife – happy life. We achieved family harmony when Kevin relinquished his Mickey Mantel card and we welcomed Abner into our home.

Last night the dealing started again. I was planning to make chicken for dinner but our oldest had pasta with Alfredo sauce on his mind. I had all but conceded when my husband interjected, “Wait a minute, what’s in it for Mom? What does she get out of the deal?” My currency isn’t baseball cards it’s chores, usually laundry or cleaning. “I need the bathtub scrubbed,” I offered. He paused, asked some details, and agreed. Sweet! He didn’t need to know that Alfredo was going to be served the very next night. He was none the wiser and everyone was happy.

Some things are non-negotiable but plenty of things are negotiable now that the kids are active participants in our family decisions. We rarely deal in dollars because our own currency of baseball cards, chores or pride has more value. I wonder what I could get in exchange for making a chocolate cake? Getting the car vacuumed? Cleaning up after Abner? What’s it worth to you?

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