Zayd: I really want to play the cello.
Me: Why the cello?
Zayd: Because I like the sound.
Me: Oh... I do too.
Me: But there are two things you need to know. I don't want World War III to start between you and your dad. So - first, you need to practice. And second, you cannot complain that it is heavy and you don't want to carry it on the bus.
Zayd: Why are you bringing up all the negative things?
Me: These aren't negative things. These are things that I know your dad will get on you about. And I don't want to be in the middle. He will get irritated if we rent a cello and you don't practice and he'll get irritated if you complain about carrying it around. If you will promise to practice and not complain about how big it is... you'll be fine. Then I'll be fine.
Zayd: Well... I feel as though you don't want me to play the cello because you keep bringing up negative things.
He feels as though? Are we having one of those "I feel, you feel" adult conversations? Wow.. and he hasn't even gone through marriage counseling yet...
Me: I want you to play the cello Zayd. I love the sound. I think it is a beautiful instrument and I'm thrilled you are interested in it. I'm trying to help you by preparing you...
Zayd: But why do you seem angry?
Me: I'm angry?
Zayd: You don't like the cello.
Me: Uhm... I just said I like the cello.
Zayd: But you are bringing up all these negative things...
Me: I think you may be misunderstanding me. I know you. You get stubborn and your dad and I don't want to fight with you about practicing. So, I am thrilled you are interested in playing the cello - I just want you to understand that we will expect you to practice it.
Zayd: I'll have to put it in my schedule.
Me: I didn't realize your schedule was so booked.
Me: So... You can try out the cello. We'll rent one and if you like it we'll stick with it.
Me: And what?
Zayd: Then if I like it what will happen?
Me: Well... we'll buy one for you.
Zayd: Buy is a strong word.