Friday, March 26, 2010

The Carousel

Someone asked me, "How have you gotten away with not taking your kids to the carousel?"  Oh my innocent friend, I laughed.  And that is where I bust out the story about a different friend of mine, here it is:

Once upon a time there was a little girl who really wanted earrings.  Her mother was a wise woman who knew that she was probably too young for earrings and set an arbitrary coming of age date of 13 for her to get her ears pierced.  Well, that date was still close to a year away, when in comes an evil carnie who made it altogether too easy to win a hamster in a ping pong toss.  Well, when faced with a hamster coming home to live with them, the wise mommy said, "If you leave the hamster here, we will get your ears pierced tomorrow."  The moral of the story, as parents we must remember to hold a few cards, otherwise we could end up living with a hamster.

I don't often succumb to bribery.  I don't like it and I know that it doesn't really teach a child anything.  However, sometimes bribery is a tactic I use when I know that my children can do something but they really feel they are incapable.  With Jac bribery doesn't work very well because he gets so frustrated that no matter the prize he still isn't willing to put the effort in.  But with Mia, you dangle a carrot out front and you've got her.

For some reason, Mia had it in her head that she couldn't dress herself.  Maybe it was because her close to five year old brother who she looks up to, doesn't appear to be able to dress himself.  Well, we were at the mall a few weeks back and both kids were hanging on the fence around the carousel practically drooling.  No, I have never taken them to the carousel.  I know it is only $2 a token, but still, it is one of those cards that I get to play when I see fit. 

I asked them if they would like to ride.  Of couse I got a resounding, "yes"!  I told them that if they both dressed themselves without mommy's help for 10 days they would get to ride the carousel.  Everyone agreed.

The next day I quickly cut out two circles and divided them up into 10 sections, sort of carousel-esque in appearance and wrote "Jac" on one and "Mia on the other.  Ta da!  For about 6 days in a row both children were able to dress themselves without mommy.  Then Jac crumbled on day 7, but quickly realized that his sister would overtake him if he didn't start back up.  After two weeks they both had completed 10 days of dressing themselves and had gotten 10 checkmarks on their carousel sheets. 

Today we got to go to the carousel.  It was all I had imagined it would be.  My youngest has the confidence to dress herself now, and does that sometimes.  And I got to experience yet another first with them.  It was fun and purposefull and they felt great because they earned it.

1 comment:

Christi said...

They both look precious and Mia's smile is so cute!