There’s an art to begging.
Most kids have mastered this art.
I myself practiced this fine art on a daily basis with my mother.
It starts with a request.
You know, something simple like “Can I spend the night at Kasie’s house?”
Then comes the interminable wait.
I try to keep my eyes wide and hopeful looking so she knows how important this request is.
“No. It’s a school night.”
I can see she needs more coercion. This is when it’s helpful to offer factual evidence to support the initial request.
“But all my homework is done and it’s a half day tomorrow.”
This is a critical period in the negotiation. It’s necessary to keep a calm demeanor as you don’t want to play your emotional cards too soon.
“No. I don’t have time to drive you over there tonight.”
So, this is a logistics issue. Hope is restored.
“Her mom said she could come get me.”
A little excitement is fine here. You need to increase your energy in order to pressure the person into responding quickly. It’s best to keep your overall composure though, as you don’t want to agitate the momentum of the situation.
A verdict is delivered.
“No. It’s late. You need to start thinking about bed.”
You’re losing her!
Employ the heavy artillery!
Depending on the Mom mood of the moment, this could go one of two ways.
1. She’ll be too tired to argue and approve the request.
2. She’ll be too tired to argue and I’ll be grounded for a week.
“You’re going to clean the whole house?”
I shouldn’t have said that.
This new information gets processed.
“I don’t know.”
We have re-entered initial negotiation phase.
“With a cherry on top?”
I can see her eyes soften.
Clearly this situation called for deploying the heart string pulling technique and not the previously employed emotional outburst.
“Yes but the WHOLE house gets cleaned by Friday.”
And secretly hope she’s too tired by Friday to remember I made such a promise.
Upon reflection of my manipulative strategies, it occurred to me that “with a cherry on top” was one of the best, yet benign, techniques for emphasizing the excitement associated with a request.
Because everything is better with a cherry on top.
And with liquor in it.
We’re not children anymore.
Now when I beg for things, I ask for Amaretto Cherry Sauce.
With shredded coconut on top.
Amaretto Cherry Sauce
1 (12 oz.) bag of frozen cherries
1 tablespoon of agave
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
3 tablespoons of cold water
1 tablespoon of Amaretto liquor*
Shredded coconut, optional garnish
Heat cherries and agave in a small sauce pan over medium heat until almost boiling.
Mix cornstarch with water in small bowl until dissolved.
Add cornstarch slurry to cherries and boil mixture for one minute.
Remove from heat and stir in amaretto liquor.
Serve in pastry cups and garnish with shredded coconut.
Make this soon.
With a cherry on top?