Thursday, January 17, 2008

Long Lines & Rewards (okay, bribery!)

Yesterday, I did my part to fight "The Man" (in other words: I stood in a very long line for over an hour to register for a new car title, license plate, and tags).

The line didn't look quite like this, but it still was long enough (we were about seventeen people back) and I don't know about the rest of you...but standing in line at the DMV or school registration (or, heck, at the grocery store) is not my definition of a good time.

Add to this that Sydney was gonna hang out with me and we were gonna fight "The Man" together, and I was anticipating a rough time. So, I resorted to what every really Good Parent resorts to when the going gets rough... BRIBERY.

I have really been working with Sydney on patience lately (if you have a three-year-old, or can remember when your child was that age, you know that patience is definitely a virtue...but no so much for kids this age. It is a challenge!), and this event was a perfect teaching opportunity. I explained to her that sometimes we have to wait in life and we need to be "happily" patient. This means no crying, no whining, no throwing-of-yourself-onto-the-floor. She gave me that look that says, "You've got to be kidding, right Mom?" and puckered her lips out some.

So then came the ... bribery. I told her that if she could be really patient while we were in line, we'd go get her a baton for dance class (I figured that I wasn't really breaking any child psychology rules since I was only bribing her with a $1 baton I planned to buy at the Dollar Tree).

Amazingly, Sydney was very good for the entire hour or so. She talked with several of the people in line with us (and entertained the others with her dancing!); we played I Spy for a good twenty minutes; and she only threw herself on the floor one time (very briefly at the very end of the line when, frankly, I felt like doing it myself!). A whisper of the word "baton" was all it took and she popped right off the floor!

With license plate, tag, and temporary title in hand, we headed out... proud of myself for my parenting skills, and my willingness to work the civic system and pay The Man more than a hundred dollars! The next goal? Buy a baton.

You guessed it! A trip to three different stores resulted in NO batons. But Sydney "worked" me and got a play makeup and hairdresser set anyway (still only costing me $3, though, so I figured it was worth it!).

And me?

Yep, I rewarded myself as well. I headed to Publix and we checked out the bakery counter. I came home with this...

A day well spent, a parenting crisis averted (no need to pat me on the back, Dr. Spock), and a very sweet tooth satisfied!

27 comments:

Cheryl said...

I always enjoy reading your post. You have such a way with words! I am the same way you are about "American Idol" I just hate watching those pitiful faces when they are getting rejected! Sounds like you handled your three year old very well in a bad situation. I'm sure the people that were waiting in line were glad to have her there to entertain them! I just love kids! Have a good day and God Bless!

Linda said...

lol.... and if you did break any parenting skills, standing in line at the DMV is a forgivable reason to do so. And $100 bucks????? Mine was $360.... man...California is ridiculous.

Gin said...

You are too funny!

And I want some of that dessert.

Lynilu said...

Sometimes a parent's gotta do what a parent's gotta do. Actually, I see that as teaching here that there are sometimes tangible rewards for behavior. As long as it isn't every time, it won't do harm, and honestly, aren't there things you won't do unless there is a reward at the end? It's that way for me ... and I'm 60 years older than Scout!!

The DMV here and the ones I went to in MO, also have seating!! You take a number and sit down to wait. Nice! And there is even a TV, although it is tuned to some news station. I doubt that would help the child to pass time!!

~gkw said...

Hate American Idol... I go upstairs and try to pretend it's not on...

Did you put your tag on the car??

Cheryl Wray said...

Cheryl--You're so sweet! I'm so glad you stop by my little blog!! Kids are the BEST!!!

Linda--I have had to pay much more before this, so the amount was a pleasant surprise!!

Gin--It was GOOD!!

Lynilu--Yep, I figure bribery works if I don't do it all the time. LOL

Gary--Nope! I already worked hard getting it. I'm taking abreak before I put it on! (I'll let you do it tonight for me! ha!)

Kelly said...

You know, the word bribery is not a 4 letter word! Sometimes, you gotta do what ya gotta do...

Delia said...

Bribery is a good thing, right? Well, it always works for me :) And lucky you, you got a bribe, too. (The picture of which is awakening my sweet tooth.)

camport said...

lol! Bribery...ah, I know the word too well. And like you said, it was just a dollar toy. I am the best mom in the world at the Dollar Tree. I'm like, "you want that? Mommy'll buy you that!" *wink wink, air kiss* aimed at the kids while crowning myself as Mom of the Year.

:)

Katrin said...

I wish someone would bribe me, I get so impatient when waiting in line! Especially at the post office. We have a saying "No skills, no brain - works for the post or the train" (my translation). It is oh-so-true! Last time I even took a business card from one of the ladies there to file a complaint, but then forgot about. :) At least I am not resentful!

Cheryl Wray said...

Kelly--Absolutely true! :-)

Delia--I always reward MYSELF. LOL

Chrissy--Too funny!!! yep, I can always resort to dollar store bribes!

Katrin--Ha ha! LOVE the saying!

Dawn Bibbs said...

Hey, ya know...sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do. I don't know about you, but bribery was in the parenting handbook *I* got, LOL!

Frasypoo said...

OH MY GOSH!
(drooling!!)
I love Publix!!!Especially their butter cream cakes !!!
I hate the DMV.I make a trip there every 2 years to renew my Learners permit!!!

hippochick said...

I thought the only horrible DMV was in New York. I'd rather have my finger nails pulled out than go to the DMV. Besides being slow, I think they all take a course in rudeness before they can be hired.

UGH!!! And bribery isn't bribery unless it costs lots more than a dollar. Don't you just LOVE Dollar Tree?

I shopped there today for centerpieces for a brdidal shower I am hosting in February. Can hardly wait to post the pictures.

I love that Sydney danced for the people. My Gretchen danced for the ambulance drivers when I was being transported form one hospital to another. Oh yes, she wasn't three, she was 20.

Have a great day.

Leah said...

An hour at the DMV!! And it's not even the end of the month!
The other folks probably enjoyed the entertainment!

Kathy said...

I also despise waiting in long lines. Shoot, I don't like waiting in SHORT lines! LOL

I need to work on having more patience! It's a great thing to teach your little one! Good LUCK!

I don't watch American Idol either. I cannot stand how obnoxious Simon is!

Mississippi Songbird said...

Okay, I think I just blew my diet, looking at that pastry!...lol

Nice post..You deserved a treat after waiting in that line..

We didn't get the ice afterall. so now, they are predicting the wintry mix this weekend.!

Nina Diane said...

I'm not sure I would have survived raising kids without bribery!

Ms.L said...

LOL This is a great post!I think it's actually called a reward for good behavior instead of a bribe so you're good. You just used it to encourage her a bit;p

I remember days like that with my kiddos. My son was the more patient of the two,he liked shopping and doing adult stuff,My daugher though...oh boy. Ticking time bomb,that one is:)

I'm glad you got a reward too!
Your treat looks delicious,yum!

Kimberly said...

Very funny..you sound like me and my two yr. old. I bribe her with smarties...she loves those things. Hey..sometimes you do what ya gotta to get errands done.

Wendy G said...

OMG you give me that Tiramisu as a reward and I would stand in line for you for an hour. Bribery has always served me well through my son's growing up years. We all resort to it now and again. lol I have refused to watch American Idol this year also, but for different reasons. I will wait until they have their finalist before I surrender my life over to them...lol I bet Sydney looks cute with her makeup. Take care....

~Telah said...

How funny! Congratulations on such wonderful parenting skills! :)

angelsamoungus said...

I totally enjoy reading your post also. I would again like to invite you to my private new nlog. Not TK angels anymore. E-mail me your e-mail address to ricterri@ameritech.net

Take care,
Love
Terri
Please mark blogging buddy in subject

NancyJones said...

hahahahahahaa WE LOVEEEEEEE DOllar tree Bella gets a treat to go to the dollar tree on saturdays if she is good all week at school, we had a small incident where she was being slightly bullied (yeah 4 year olds bullying who knew!) and we taught her that bullying was bad and she was to tell them I choose not to play with you, You are not a nice person and walk away, INSTEAD of Pelting them with her fist or spittin (yeah I know I was HORRIFIED WHEN I HEARD SHE DID THAT but, after I found out what the child did I can't blame her but still.. she cant hit and spit that is gross and mean) we did punishment and then she kept getting bullied we talked to the teacher that worked... but bella still wasnt doing too good so we came up with THAT reward system and for a buck a week she gets good grades (always has had straight 100's) and good behavior so it is sooo worth a buck and her excitement to go to the dollar tree hahahaha. ITs always fun to have something to look forward too! LOVE THOSE teachable moments dont you ::eyeroll:: but wow when it works... arent you so proud!!!

Patti said...

Ooh you both got very good rewards! You deserved one too Mom! Bribery is ALWAYS easy *wink*

Sheila said...

Sheesh, if you had called me, I would have stood in line for you for some Tiramisu..LoL

Corey said...

I love reading all your parenting stories! Bribery can be the best tool, can't it?! LOL!
That Tiramasu looks so yummy! Glad you got a treat :)