Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bribery Works

Back in the 70s, when I was a child, it was referred to as a reward.  Somewhere in this Politically Correct world (where it is no longer kosher to discipline your child), it has become bribery.  Let's work on positive reinforcements for our children, but if you offer them any kind of reward for good behavior, it's a bribe.  I honestly don't see how that makes sense, I just have to live with it.

So as I was saying, bribery works.  My father used it.  Report card day was money day in my house.  A's = $1, B's = $0.50, C's = $0, D's = giving Dad $0.50, and F's = giving Dad $1.  Amazingly, I never had to give Dad any money.  I wouldn't dare do that to my bank accou...I mean to him.

So, when my daughter was born I knew I was going to bribe her, too.   She loved report card day as much as I did.  She was saddened, I'm sure, to see it end upon graduation.  Maybe I should offer this to her with her college report cards.  Of course, I could go broke.  She is a great, and hard-working student.

Little R has a little ways to go before I start paying for report cards.  But bribery works for him, just the same.

I've been having issues with his sleeping since he was sick last July.  Nothing horribly life shattering, just him crawling in bed with his dad and me in the middle of the night.  We decided to let him grow out of it, but I have a small fear that I'll still have him in my bed at 11 years old.  I was so inspired by 2 nights of him staying in his own bed all night that I had to try for a third.  Enter bribery.

After a day of good boy behavior, I offered him a special Sumo Wrestler car from Disney*Pixar's Cars 2 if he would go to bed without a fuss and stay in his bed all night.  After a quiet night of reading a magazine before I went to bed, I climbed into bed wondering, "Will be remember to stay in his bed all night?"  I was awake at 1am, 5am, and 6am.  Each time I checked my bed, the floor, and even the dog's bed to see if he was in my room.  At 6:30am, I heard the most beautiful sound, snoring through the baby monitor.

At 7:30am, Little R came to the kitchen to greet his daddy and me.  A smile was going from one ear to the other.  "I stayed in my bed all night!  I get the Sumo Car!"

Yes, Little R, you stayed in bed all night.  Bribery works.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Butterfly Kisses

There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the innocent, all consuming love a child.  God shines through their eyes and actions more than we can ever truly know.

This has never been more evident to me than it was last week when Little R opened a new meaning to Butterfly Kisses. 

We were at the playground.  A place where children who don't know each other, children of different races, religions, ages, genders; all come together and celebrate youth.  Little R is the epitome of said youth.  Small and mighty, he can run with the best of them.

But on this particular trip, Little R came to a stop in his play.  There, on one of the raised stepping stones, was a butterfly that had come underfoot.  Little R didn't know who stepped on it.  He didn't care.  All that mattered was this precious, beautiful creature in the palm of his hand.  He brought to me at my bench. 

It wasn't brilliant in color.  No orange, green, blue or red.  However, it was a butterfly as my high school science class could easily attest to.  It was so fragile, so beautiful in it's brown and grey plainness.  Little R couldn't take his eyes off of it.  As I watched its legs curl under its small body, I explained to Little R that it was badly hurt and would be going to Heaven soon.

Little R's eyes welled with tears.  "Oh, poor butterfly," he said again and again.  Then he looked at me.  "It will go to Heaven? And be with Jesus?"

"Yes, Baby.  It's going to go to be with Jesus."

Then he started to pet is small body, being careful not to touch its wings.  "I saved it, Mommy.  It was on the toy and could be stepped on.  Is God happy with me for saving it, Mommy?"

"Yes, Baby.  God is very happy with you.  You are a kind boy.  But it has already been stepped on.  Let's go put it in the flower beds, so God will know where it is to bring it to Heaven."

We walked over to the Tiger Lilies that were stretching 3 feet tall and shining as cheerful as the orange sun.  There I dug a small whole with a stick.  Little R pet the butterfly one more time and leaned forward to give gentle kisses on the edge of its wings before laying it on the ground and placing green grass over the top.

He said a little prayer to God as we left the beautiful spot.  The butterfly is gone, but the love he showed it will live in my heart forever.  My beautiful son, offering his love through little kisses on a butterfly's wing.