Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bribery

I am not above bribing my kid. I don't want to say we do it often, but there are some times when it is so much easier to dangle a dollar ice cream cone in front of her rather than fight a battle I'm not sure I could win. I don't feel too badly about the bribing we do because it is always initiated by us, by that I mean that she has never said she wouldn't do something unless she got something in return. The bribe is really just a way to refocus her attention on a future reward, instead of what is happening in the moment. Usually, we keep things simple (and cheap) like an ice cream cone, or a play-date with a favorite friend, but when we really want her cooperation we enlist the help of Barbie - today was such a day.

I'd noticed Abby's runny nose at the end of last week, and yesterday after her night at Nana and Papa's I saw that things hadn't gotten much better, in fact, her eye now looked a bit red and angry. This is not uncommon. When Abby gets a cold it will typically find its way into her eyes. It didn't look too terrible, so I wasn't very concerned. This morning, though when she woke up she pointed to her eye and said, "Mama, my eye." It was then that I saw her right eye was totally crusted shut - this was a sure sign that pink eye had come for a visit.

I had a church service that I needed to be at - a culminating celebration of a year long observance of the 50th anniversary of the school where I teach. I had several leading roles in the service and so there was no question I needed to be there. I was hoping that the rest of my family would be joining me, but those crusty eyes made that impossible. Jason would need to stay home with Abby.

When I got home her eye actually looked worse, and so because it was Sunday I knew I couldn't just call up her doctor for a quick visit. I herded her into the car and we were off to the urgent care facility. As we pulled up I realized that the outside looked an awful lot like a hospital. When Abby refused to come out of the car I knew that a lousy vanilla cone was not going to cut it today. So, I played my ace-in-the-hole, I promised that once we were done she could pick out a Barbie doll and that got her moving.

I have to say that she did a spectacular job all on her own, and I was happy that I was able to talk her through the rough patches. The hardest part was getting her to go to a new space, for example going from triage to the waiting room, and the waiting room to the exam rooms. I understand that she's had so many frightening experiences with doctors, that there are times when I'm surprised she does as well as she does. She was a champ during the "vitals" check and only cried a bit when we wanted her to stand for her height and get on the scale check her weight (heck, I totally get that). She even laughed all the way through the doctor's exam, telling him he was a, "funny doctor". The verdict was not surprising - pink eye. So, with script in hand we headed out, but not before Abby hugged the leg of our nurse and said so sweetly, "Thank you, Doctor!" We then exited the building with loud proclamations of, "I did it!" and "All better now!"

The next stop was the store. She'd told me while we were waiting for the doctor that she wanted a Barbie with blue hair. At that point I didn't care if they actually made dolls with blue hair, I just agreed that she would get exactly what she wanted. Luckily, it didn't take us long to get to the store, and the doll aisle. Once I could see past all the pink I was able to search out just what she'd asked for feeling triumphant when I found it. She, of course, had already set her sights on the $25 Monster High super pack, but once I put that blue haired doll in her hand (the blue haired doll that was on sale) she was perfectly content. She even remembered the rule that we don't open packages until we get to the car.

I was able to rip that doll free of her confines in record time and by the time we'd gotten home, she'd already pulled off and discarded the doll's feet, but that was alright. She'd earned her prize and she could have it just how she wanted it. "Lexa" (the blue-haired doll) helped when it came time for the drops too, because she got some first and then it was Abby's turn. All in all, it was completely worth the eleven dollars I'd invested.

Here we are, three days into summer vacation and we are already on meds. The great thing though, is that tomorrow we can lay low, something I'd planned on anyway. Hopefully we won't have reason to make any more Barbie purchases for the rest of the summer!

Lexa apparently is a rocker, which isn't
surprising, considering her hair color.

2 comments:

  1. I love it! I will totally bribe my kids for the well being of my sanity...
    and that picture in the header? Lovely....Abby is a beauty!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Bribing does help keep us sane, doesn't it? :-)

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