I needed to get my hair cut, and it's hard to tell which "I don't want to" measured higher: I didn't want to take them with me, and they didn't want to come.
So we tried an experiment.
"Guys, you get to go on an adventure while I'm getting my hair cut. The grocery store is right next door, and I'm going to let you go inside and choose a treat. One for each of you."
"Oh, mommy. This is the most best idea ever."
"I think so too. What rules do you think I have?"
I'd say that just about covers it. I gave Tyler the money in an unexpected choice of responsibility. He raised his eyebrows and looked at me, "Are you kidding me?! No way. Give that responsibility to Tucker."
We synchronized our watches and we parted ways. They launched into a task of teamwork, budgeting, and independence.
Twenty minutes later, they came to the hair salon with perfect change and a bag of donuts.
They even chose one for me. My favorite kind.
A win on every level.
(Especially since I choose not to think about little hands reaching into bakery showcases, with or without waxed tissue paper.)