I have just spent the last, I don't know, forever (20 minutes?) reasoning with a 3.5 year-old. I do not recommend doing this. Craig has a knack for getting her to calm down when she's unreasonable about nap/bed. It's a different story with me. Things that never come up have to be discussed. Example: the "teeny circle thing" that she put in the gate (there's this tiny opening, sort of a track to allow you to make it bigger or smaller to fit your doorway). This becomes of vital importance to extract last night at 7:45. Telling her it doesn't matter, or that I'll buy a new one at Target (if I had ANY clue what the thing is, I would be happy to get a new one; I suspect it's a hair elastic but she said it wasn't), or that Dad will get it later doesn't help. She was sobbing.
Craig went up, talked to her, and emerged 4 minutes later with her quiet.
Today, for rest, we discussed donuts, the fan, Sam's 'kitty' (stuffed), and toilet paper.
So last night (you won't believe this, I know) I went to make the beef, cheese, and noodle bake and DIDN'T HAVE TOMATO SAUCE. How would I know (except to read the recipe) that I needed tomato sauce? So I didn't make it. We had ham and a sort of potato gratin which (shocking, I know) neither child wanted to eat.
"Cereal?" I said, without hesitation. "Will you eat cereal?"
And that's what they had for supper.