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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bribery works every time

Thursday, May 26, 2011 By

It's 90 bazillion degrees. I'm sweating in places I didn't know I had skin. We've been here for three hours, and I've chugged five bottles of water. Now, Emmie and I are standing in a line for balloon animals that stretches 25 kids back. At 3-5 minutes per balloon animal, we're going to die in this line.

"Em, honey, let's go. This line is so long you're going to be in third grade before you get a balloon," I plead - as though I am the 6-year-old.

"No!" she yelps. We monitored the balloon line for a while. She's patiently waited for the line to diminish, but it hasn't. And now, she's not going to give up easily.

There is an additional concern: Despite the three bottles of water I've made her drink, her entire backside is covered with heat rash. I'd like to get her home to a cool bath and some aloe vera.

"Please? Mommy is going to die," I gasp, then choke, sputter, and pretend to faint on the grass.

She grins, but does not really care. And now I'm covered in grass.

"I'll squirt you with the water hose," I coo from my prone position, tickling the back of her knee. She loves the hose.

She giggles, and folds her arms and shakes her head.

"I'll let you squirt meee," I singsong, and smooch her cheeks. She suppresses a grin.

"I want a balloon," she says, seriously. "A doggie balloon. I nebber had one before, ebber!"

That is an utter lie. She has had many a balloon animal, but none has ever survived even the ride home.

"I'll buy you one at the store," I offer.

She glances sideways. I'm making headway.

"Water hose, balloon, and I'll rent you a movie," I smile like a Cheshire cat. We turned off the cable when we moved, because mommy is a dirty hippie, so she loves to rent $1 movies at Blockbuster Express.

She clenches her fists. She does not want to give in. But it is a good offer.

"Aaaaannd... You can play with my iPod!"

"While I'm watcheend da movie?"

I nod.

"Okay!" she squeals, and jumps up and down.

Yes. I just bribed my child. I don't know what bothers me more: that I bribed her, or that she's for sale.

But when I flip on the air conditioning in the car, I no longer care.


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