Friday, December 20, 2013

All Is Fair In Food And Rewards

To my son Tommy,

Your mother has a jar, high up on a cabinet, filled with squinkie toys.  We keep these toys at the ready to offer you rewards for various good deeds but mostly for eating well and trying new foods.  Yes, it is plain old bribery.  If you are reading this and don't have kids yet, don't judge.  If you have kids, then you probably know the depths a parent will sink to when desperation sets in.

Tonight, you were having a problem eating your food.  Not sure if it was your recent stomach bug or if you were just being lazy.  It was a constant battle to keep you eating your chicken and your green beans, and you wouldn't even touch your carrots.  You were using every delay and stall tactic and whining like a mule. We were almost to the point that you were headed directly to bed since you wouldn't eat with the possibility of having to eat your left over dinner for breakfast.  Your mom intervened on your behalf and granted your some more time to try.  She was tired of fighting and getting as annoyed as I was, but, keeping the big picture in view, she just wanted you to eat and any chance to accomplish that was worth a shot.

What happened next is still confusing.  I went back to the computer.  You didn't eat what was on your plate.  You maybe had one or two more extremely small bites.  But in a simply amazing turn of events, your mother was asking for the squinkie jar to reward you.  Did I miss something?  Your mother, knowing she was being played, started laughing at my astonished face.  I asked again, and her laughing started to hurt her belly as she insisted I go get the bottle.  Since the laughing wasn't good for her surgical recovery, I conceded and went to get the squinkie bottle.  As I sat there, still dizzy from the change of direction, I laughed and looked at you and begged, "Teach me your ways, master!"

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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