Ticket to Slide

I was banking on my son being just like me when I had added Wii & Leapster Games as a smoking deal for 200 tickets. I was the child who couldn’t hold a dollar in my pocket for longer than five minutes and, lucky for me, my son is the same exact way. He can’t wait to burn through those tickets. We have already cashed in for two bonus bedtime books last night and a rocking game of Chutes & Ladders with mommy this afternoon.

Thursdays are my hard day with Ethan and our mornings on this day are always challenging. Part of the reason has been that they do treasure chest at school with a similar system in place of gold cards (for good behavior) and red cards (for bad behavior) and I think that it bothers him when he doesn’t get to go to the treasure chest, as just the star student gets to go. The other reason this morning has been difficult is because it is the last day of school in his week and I think he just tired. I have a hard time myself on Thursdays so I think he would just rather be home.

This morning I tiptoed in and told him it was time to get ready for school. It was the typical no response and pulling the covers over his head. I headed downstairs and made his breakfast and then peeked in again. This time I said, “Ethan, I know this is a hard day for you and I want to reward you for doing your best today. If you get up and get ready, I am going to give you four tickets.” His eyes flew open and he rolled over to throw on his clothes. Would you believe that my boy, MY CHILD, was waiting in the car for us before I even had myself or his sister in the car? My child? My child sitting sweetly with his seat belt on, backpack packed, shoes and coat on all by himself. You know what else he said? He said he loved school? My son? My child?

Our other source of difficulty has been leaving places that he enjoys being at. We have had some very embarrassing tantrums at playgroups and family member’s homes. We have a playdate planned with my sister tomorrow so I thought I would talk to him about it. In the same rah-rah cheerleader voice, I told him that we were going to go to his cousin’s house and I know it is hard to leave there so I want to give him tickets for leaving nicely. He would get four tickets for leaving when I asked. Would you believe that he asked if we could practice it? All the way to school, I pretended like we were leaving and he practiced being sweet.

I know we have only been doing this a few days, but my husband looked at me last night and said, “This is not the same kid.” He was running downstairs to feed our cat, scraping his dishes off and resting them by the sink, and picking up his toys without a fight.

Best of all, the tickets he has been redeeming give me time with just him. I feel honored that he wants to spend ten tickets on playing a game with me, not on buying something. I told him how much it meant to me too because it really does.

I want to be a good mom and I try to be a good mom. It is hard for me to share when I feel like I am not being a good mom. I am human though and I struggle. When these moments come along where I feel like we are doing something right…well, it just feels good!

I am so full of hope right now!

Published March 27, 2008 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

comments powered by Disqus