"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

When a Puddle on the Floor is the High Point of Your Day

Wednesday was the final day of Homework Competition Week One, and idea devised during a round table discussion at the "intervention meeting" at school for Princess. It was a great idea: Princess and I would compete for "points" based on the ten-point system in place at school for homework. There were two points a day for five days. If she got the most points (by having her work done by dinner), she would get to draw a reward from the bag. If I won, she'd arrange for me to go out for coffee. I thought I had all the bases covered. Rewards are minefields, so I carefully chose rewards that would increase bonding time (playing a game, helping cook dinner) and very very small rewards that were things the other children got anyway (extra snack, drawing paper). I clued in Buddy so that he would not feel he was getting ripped off by doing his homework faithfully and with minimal reminding. But I still missed it. A MAJOR loophole. And she found it.

If you earned all your points every day through Tuesday, you could do a crap job on Wednesday and still win.

I can't believe I missed it.

I called the school therapist for tweaking advice, and we decided that with the way I had phrased the rules, I'd have to reward her this time. But next week, mwa ha ha ha haaaaaaa, next week will be different. We reworked the system to remove the loophole with an automatic weaning process. If it works. We shall see.

Shortly after I hung up the phone, the kiddos came home. Princess handed me a bag with a strange object in it and said in a bubblegum voice, "here Mom, I brought you a Skittle!" I looked again. Yes, it did have Skittle-like qualities, if said Skittle had been soaked in spit then run over by a double-trailer truck. I said, "um, thanks!" and gave everyone their snacks.

Very, very soon after I noticed her corduroys had a wet-sounding squeak squeak squeak. "Hey Princess! I think it's time to change into your robe and hang out with me!"

"But I have clothes!"

"Absolutely you have clothes! Now change into your robe."

After dinner she took a turn keeping Josh company for a while, and when I came in the living room she said, "Mom! Did you eat that Skittle I gave you?"

"Um, noooo. That Skittle kind of looked like it had lost a war, so I was a little nervous about eating it. What happened to it?"

"I don't know."

"You brought me a Skittle that you don't know the history of?"

"Yes. No! It fell on the floor and I stepped on it."

"You brought me a Skittle that you stepped on."


"How do you thing being given such a thing makes me feel?"


So either she brought me one nasty Skittle because she actually thought I would be thrilled with her generosity, or she brought me one nasty Skittle because it was one. nasty. Skittle. Either way, not good.

Why does that hurt my feelings more than being called "stupid poopy dumb Dog Mommy?" I do not know. It is a question for the ages.

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