What does it take to get a three-year old to finish his cereal? Bribery. What will finally get your five-year old to stop sucking his thumb? Bribery. Parents are the mob, only our commodity is food and toys instead of blood money.
Sure, in the beginning I tried to adhere to what child psychologists and experts said about not using food for leverage but they've never had to deal with Samu - he's the three-year old. When Samu doesn't want to finish his food, he stores it in his mouth. Grrr-ROSS! He's kept food in his mouth for half an hour rather than swallow it. He's been doing it a lot less lately when I made him spit it out and re-eat it. Oh yes I did!
But breakfast was short on time, so I tried a different plan. I said, "Samu, if you finish your bowl of cereal, then I'll get you the box of donuts at the coffee shop."
"OKAY!" He said, happily.
He did finish his cereal - drank the milk and everything. As for the donuts, all I can say is, fucking Entemann's man - $4.69 for a box of sugar and flour? And ma' boy polished off his white donut in 42 seconds. I brought the rest of the box when I picked up big brother from After School and much to the dismay of their parents, all of kids were happy to shove a complete donut in their mouth.
Speaking of big brother, when he came home with a Sad Face on his Behavior Report for sucking his thumb, I decided to give him some incentive.
"As long as you suck your thumb, we won't be taking you to the movies and that's going to suck for you because "Iron Man 2" comes out next week."
He looked as if he just saw a puppy get run over - he was hysterical. It was when he tried to rip off his thumb that I told him that perhaps it would be easier if he just tried to stop stuffing it into his mouth.
That night, he was like a smack junkie going cold turkey. He was practically climbing the ceiling trying to get at his thumb. Finally he said to himself, "I wanna see Iron Man, I wanna see Iron Man."
The little man actually went to sleep without sucking his thumb.
Now, do I thank Iron Man or Robert Downey Jr.?