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!).
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!