Tuesday, June 15, 2010


It's summer! Remember what summer was like when you were a kid?! How many miles do you think you rode that bicycle?

Chad and I want to get Q a bike. As Q refers to it, "A big boy bike with a helmet". Yes, that's the one. A big boy bike with a helmet. It could all be yours, ahem, his. All he has to do is fill this 1qt container with cotton balls. Simple I know. Fill it and you get a bike. The idea is genius. Not mine. My genius friend Amanda (you know mom to Mitch and "the twins") In her previous life she was a teacher.

I was so excited and sure it was going to work. He earns them and then they get taken away when he doesn't listen or we have to count or, or , or. The possibilities to earn are endless. And putting back a cotton ball would be pure devastation. A sure way to learn a lesson and never want to give another one up! Right?

We did this for one week. Q was PERFECT. Earning cotton balls left and right. And since we weren't going to go until Saturday, I even smooshed some down to make room for more!

Friday when we left school, Q told his teachers he was getting "A big boy bike with a helmet". We talked about our genius reward system and how it worked all week. That is when they both started in on how great Q is and how he ALWAYS listens, and participates, and helps out. They couldn't believe we needed any such system at home. Oh, but we do.

And then we came home. Slowly but surely Q started to unwind. And it got ugly. And more ugly.

And then I said it. "It's time to take a cotton ball out". He was devastated. "I want to take them all out". I explained ever so calmly, KNOWING there was no way he would take them all out, "You take them all out and you will not get a bike tomorrow" Yup, I said it. That was the rule all along. The jar had to be full to get a bike. Not full at one time, full when we left to go get the bike. I guess I needed to be more clear.

That is when he did it. He grabbed them all in one swift handful and put them all back in the cotton ball bag!! "I don't want a big boy bike with a helmet" "I want to take them all out"

I was crushed. I was the one devastated. There was no way he was going to earn back all those. Not tonight. He was going to bed.

That is just what he did. He went to bed.

What do you think the first words were out of his mouth on Saturday morning? You guessed it..."Are we going to go get my big boy bike with a helmet today?" There went that knife deeper and deeper into my heart. With a heavy heart and a sad voice I said "No, Q we aren't. You don't have any cotton balls in your jar."


It was Chad and I that were so upset. We had planned the perfect day. We were going to go to the farmers market and then go pick out a bike and have lunch and then to the helmet store. The rest of the afternoon we were going to spend learning how to ride "A big boy bike with a helmet".

I made a promise to myself, that if I threatened it, I would follow through. That is the cardinal rule of parenting isn't it?

I honestly thought he should learn how to earn as well as taking responsibilities for his actions. A bike is a pretty big prize. I thought this was the perfect combo. And we were soooo close. It was Friday at bed time. So his Aunt Kelly and I came up with a revised plan. I put a red line around the half way mark. When it gets to half way, he earns a small prize to keep the momentum going. I would say let's get his helmet. But let's face it, by the time he earns this bike, that helmet might be too small.

But as we sit on a Tuesday evening our jar is just under half way. Since Saturday, you ask worried? Yes, since Saturday, that is because every time he is asked to take out one...

He wants to empty the jar.

Sorry there are no pictures because uploader is not working. Hang in there, maybe our next picture will be Q on a bike!

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