So how many times have you made a deal with your kids, like "if you do ____ for ____ days, you can have a ____"? And you make the deal knowing very well that your kid would never do ____ for ___ days straight? Well, I made one of those deals, and I had to pay up, and I've never been happier.
You see, having a child like B, the whole reward system never, ever worked. Those star charts? Yeah, we tried all of them. Nighttime, daytime, afternoon, daily, weekly, monthly, big goals, small goals, family goals, individual goals... we've tried all the charts and systems and rewards and punishments and consequences, good and bad... all of 'em. Nothing ever worked.
Not for B's lack of trying, because most of the time he really wanted to get all of the stars, or whatever, but when he didn't get that star, it was the end of the world, and everything went down the drain. We could never get over it. He never earned that ___, whatever it was, especially if it involved a long-term commitment (and by long-term, I mean more than a couple of hours).
But this time, this time was different.
B has his eye on that crazy Power Rangers toy up there for awhile. He was talking, and talking, and talking about it... putting it on birthday and Christmas lists many months away, and just obsessed with it.
Then one day we saw it at Target. He showed it to S, who thought it was equally as cool.
But before we left the store, surprise, surprise, major meltdown. Just another day. Didn't think anything of it. Eventually he settled down.
That night, he had a proposal for me. "Mom, if I'm good, can I have the Bullzooka gun?". I dismissed the question multiple times because he had just run me through the ringer too many times that day/week/month/the past 6 months. He asked for the 5th time, and for some reason, I said "You know what? Yeah, I'll talk to daddy about it, but I think if you have a GOOD WEEK, an ENTIRE WEEK that you are nice, and kind, and respectful, with no tantrums, then yeah, you can have the Bullzooka"
His eyes lit up! "OKAY MOM! I'll be good for a whole week! I'm going to be nice! I'll be good!" I just rolled my eyes. So so sad to say, but I did not think he had it in him. I'm not exaggerating when I say I cannot remember the last time we had a good week - a whole week without a big fight, tantrum, yelling, hitting, etc. It's gotta be before the SF "incident" So 5 months maybe? 6? Not sure.
So I made a deal with the devil, that I'd buy him this stupid, overpriced toy that I didn't want him to have anyways, if he could hold it together for a whole week. Wednesday to Wednesday.
Thursday comes... a whole positive day! Friday, saturday, sunday... "3 more days!" B said. Oh crap... we've had 4 good days in a row, we acknowledge, we might actually be paying up. Monday... tuesday... oh my goodness, this week has been AMAZING! Wednesday morning, B wakes up happy as a little birdie, and before we went to school he said casually, so when are we going to get the Bullzooka?
And I've never been happier to pay up!
My little angel, the sweetest, most sensitive boy has been back in our house for 8 days now, and I love it so, so much. He has promised over and over again that he is going to be nice "for the rest of his life" (because we obviously had to let him know that Jake - his alter ego - was not welcome back after he got the toy).
So yeah. We've had good weeks and bad weeks for years, but it had been SO LONG since we had a good one that I feared it might never happen again. I'm SO THANKFUL to see that it's possible.
I LOVE MY LITTLE FAMILY.