My kid – the bargaining chip

If I had Gisele Bundchen’s long legs, I would absolutely use them to flag down a car to assist me if I was broken down on the side of the road.

If I had piercing blue eyes, I would stare at men until they bought me drinks and offered me trips.

If I had unwitting charm, I would use it to get better seats on the plane, prime reservations and rooms with a view.

I have none of these things.  At best, I have had a handful of moments where my wit or smile may have granted me a few perks.  The problem is I am not always witty and friendly, so I need something else to win me VIP treatment.  That something is my undeniably, adorable son.

Is it wrong to use my 16-month old kid as bargaining chip?  I don’t think so.  I am not causing harm nor deceit.

You see, Old SensibleSusan would say that the only way to get decent service is to look both presentable and approachable.  And so, in most circumstances, I will put on makeup before leaving the house.  I will try to make sure toilet paper is not sticking to my rear end.

New SensibeSusan believes that there are times when looking put-together can work against you.  Looking a little disheveled can be advantageous.  Looking a little disheveled and carrying a toddler can be really advantageous.

Example #1:  We had to replace 2 cable boxes because the toddler lost the card that makes these things work.  I rather put a stick in my eye than pay any more money to the cable company.  So I went  to the cable store with 2 heavy cable boxes in a bag on my left shoulder and a wiggly toddler with precious curls bouncing on my right hip.  One look at his super blond curls, and I had all 3 service people behind the desk trying to help me.

Cost:  10 more minutes of aggravation trying to get the toddler in and out of the car while balancing the boxes

Benefit:  $75 card replacement fee waived, 2 stickers for the kid and curbside delivery of new boxes

Example #2:  We had the joy of dealing with a leaky kitchen sink this week.  The plumber said it was the faucet.  I did the research online, found the lowest price and went into the local plumbing supply store.  I knew the poor local businessman couldn’t compete with  So I printed out the online price including 1 day shipping cost and brought the paper and the toddler in to the store.

Cost:  down to only 8 more minutes of aggravation trying to get the toddler in and out of the car

Benefit:  $50 savings.

Example #3:  When my son was 9-months old, I took him on his first plane trip to see my family down South.  At the desk, the agent offered to switch my seat to another area of the plane where there was an unsold seat so my son could sit there, even though I had not paid for him to have a ticket.  When we landed in NC, my luggage came off the carousel with the entire top ripped off and about a roll of duct tape now securing it to the rest of the suitcase.  The baggage claim center gave me a brand new black rolling suitcase there on the spot.

Cost:  I don’t know if you can measure the aggravation of traveling alone with an infant

Benefit:  extra seat on departing flight, new luggage and emailed picture from the flight attendant of my son on his first plane ride

I’m not saying that this always works.  For every kind flight attendant, there’s some jackhole who cuts you off and doesn’t open the door for you.  In life, you have to use what you have, and right now he’s the best thing I have – so I will use him as my little bargaining chip.

If it works this well for me, imagine how well it might work for you if you’re a dude….nothing screams “help me” more than an unshaven dad in a ratty t-shirt with a kid in tow..

**Poker chip above was by made by a friend and owner of**

Published by Susan Van Sciver

Storyteller, communicator and lover of sarcasm

5 thoughts on “My kid – the bargaining chip

  1. What I always loved was all the smiles I saw when I had a baby in tow and then I was suddenly invisible without them. Enjoy every minute with Owen, it is so fleeting. I enjoy your blog very much!

  2. Hi Susan,

    Love your blog! I’ll have to hold out in hopes of having red bouncing curls on my hip some day. Until then, I guess I’ll stick to makeup or bring Mike with me. He’s much better at getting the VIP treatment…


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