Bribery & Other Sins

I remember the days before I had kids. (Vaguely at least.) And you know what? I was judgey. I can admit that now.

See a parent giving in to a kid in a toy store? Weak! I’d never do that when I had kids … See a kid throw a nuclear-fueled melt-down in the store? MY future kids would never misbehave so badly! Hearing a parent bribe their kid with something — candy, McDonald’s, whatever — just to get them to do something? Be still my heart! How could they?!

Do you know what else I can admit? I want to kick the person I once was. I want to kick her in the shins. Because she had no freaking idea what she was talking about. 

So here for your amusement — and mine — here are some of my parenting “sins”:


Yeah, I bribe the boy. He’s not even 3 yet, and I bribe him. My saving grace: My bribery is 99% related to medicine. That boy does not like taking medicine. The only thing he half-way willingly takes is grape-flavored Tylenol.

Otherwise, I would have to either:

  1. Lay him on the changing table, lean over his torso with my body, trap his hands under my stomach, and hold his head with 1 hand while giving him the medicine with the other, or
  2. Sit on the floor, wrap my legs around him (trapping his legs), wrap one arm around his two arms, and corral his head between my shoulder and chin while giving him the medicine with the other hand.

It was time-consuming and exhausting and — let’s face it — not exactly fun for anyone involved. Thank goodness he never thought to spit it back at me. (Although I did take knees and hands/elbows to the head a couple of times.)

One day when both kids were sick, I gave the girl-child her medicine first. Bless her little heart, she opened right up and took all her medicine without any fuss and even smiled at me. I will admit that I over-reacted for Sean’s benefit. I gushed at her, telling her what a good girl she was, how proud I was of her, and what a big girl to take her medicine so well! And then I got Hubbs in on the game: “Hubbs, Allie is such a good girl! She took all her medicine like a big kid!” *wink-wink* He knew what I was up to and did the same song and dance.

Sean eyed the both of us skeptically the entire time.

And when it was time for him to take medicine? He opened up with no fuss and drank it all. Then looked at me and smiled as I praised him up and down and threw him a parade.

It worked for 3 days.

On day 4 of his antibiotics, he refused to take medicine again. I was sick and tired (literally and figuratively) at that point, and said something to the effect of: “If you take your medicine, mommy will give you candy.”

Sean: “Candy?”
Me (getting excited): “YES. If you’re a good boy and take your medicine with no crying, mommy will give you CANDY.”
Sean: “I get medicine.”

And he took it! No fuss! And then he looked at me and said: “I get candy?” And we ran to the cabinet and he got a piece of candy. Well … pieces. “Candy” in our household means a mini packet of Pez. And then a thorough tooth-brushing.

Now at the end of the night he’ll ask me: “I get medicine? I get candy?”

Being that we’ve all had plague on a rotating basis this year, I’m buying another bag of Pez.

Judge all you like.

They Watch TV

The horror! I’m turning their little minds to mush with things like Sesame Street, Disney movies, and National Geographic channel!

Let’s face it, parents need a break sometimes. And these things are entertaining. And mostly educational. Ever watch a kid dance along to a Sesame Street song? Priceless. I also think it helped him learn to count to 20. Disney movies taught him about dogs, cars, safari animals (Lion King intro, we never get any farther), fish, and that monsters aren’t scary.

Most times, neither kid sits still and watches the entire show/movie unless they’re sick and cuddled up with me. Otherwise, they’re running around the room playing and occasionally watching something on the screen. When a song comes on, they dance or bob along as they sit down.

And I’m OK with that.

It’s also vastly entertaining to see my kids’ reaction to a crocodile snapping a giraffe off a shoreline and dragging it into the water. Their eyes go wide, and then they smile. “He eat him! Croa-o-wile eat giwaffe! Bye giwaffe! Have a nice day!” Hubbs and I snicker a bit at that, and then Allie waves her goodbye at the screen.

On another note, my kid can correctly distinguish between a crocodile and an alligator. He nails it every time. Also, if he tells you the animal in the picture is a gazelle? My money’s on him being right.

We Don’t Eat Dinner As A Family … Yet

We're not here yet.

Right now, it just isn’t practical. I don’t walk through the door until 6:10 p.m. on a good day, and at that point, both kids are ready to start eating their fingers and toes no matter how many snacks Hubbs throws at them.

So they usually get a quickie dinner within 10 minutes of me walking through the door — with most of that time being devoted to cutting up fruits and/or veggies.

The goal is to start working us toward sitting down as a family, but that takes better planning on my part and the kids being able to feed themselves better.

As in, not dumping a carton of yogurt/plateful of watermelon/the entire contents of his(/her) cup on the floor every 5 seconds “better”.

I Take The Kids On Errands

No really, I do. And they will inevitably get mad about something and scream in the store and possibly fling themselves down on the floor and if they’re in a spectacular mood, they’ll kick their feet while they’re down there. I used to turn my nose up at it, but you know what? They’re kids. If I misunderstand what one of them is trying to say (ahem, Sean) that can be the sole basis for a temper tantrum. So can the word “no”. As in “No, you can’t stay in the outdoor section of Costco and play in the shed for the next 45 minutes because 1. You have a cold and 2. Because I said so. MOMMY LAW.”

Poor Hubbs had him for the tantrum that ensued, since I was wrangling the girl child and getting her buckled into the basket. And then he was accosted by a Buttinski shopper who proceeded to tell him how he was mishandling the situation. I was waiting for the fallout, but he walked away instead. She looked offended, and started to open her mouth to me as I passed. I cut her off, saying “Mean mommy wouldn’t let him play outside IN THE COLD anymore …” and breezed on by.

What parenting “pitfalls” are you guilty of?


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