So, yeah, my kids are behaving badly. Lots of whining, complaining, refusal to comply with the horrible things their mother asks of them, like, oh, I don't know, take a bath or clean up their rooms or brush their teeth. Heck, even getting up off the couch to go pee seems to be too much trouble for a particular child. They're arguing more, getting along less.
I think mostly they're just pretty sick of each other. Tired of being around one another, but at the same time don't know enough to get on with their lives and go play by themselves already.
So, I've resorted to bribery.
I had a bunch of chore-ish errands to run. I had clients to visit, groceries to shop for, banking to do -- just the errands that need to be done, but of course I waited for a day that Dad couldn't help. You know, that whole working ridiculousness. It so gets in the way.
Webkinz. I have a love/hate relationship with them, but today, and for the next week or so, I'm all about the love. As a reward for decent behavior today, even when we were all crammed in a little bathroom while I was hemming drapes and they were coloring (there was only one argument!), we went to a particular store that we were fairly certain would have the lovable creatures. And they did. Even though purchasing said objects were not a part of the bargain, which they knew, I let them each choose one.
And then I did the most evil thing of all. I purchased said Webkinz. And then proceeded to tell them that they couldn't have them until they'd earned them.
"But, WHYYYYYYYY, Mommy, do we have to WOOOOOOOORK for them???"
Oh, yes, my little loves. To the marble jars we go. 50 marbles. Each. They are allowed to give the Webkinz a hug before bedtime, so long as there is at least one marble in the jar. At 25 marbles, they are allowed to play with the stuffed creature, and at 50 they will get the secret code, which enables them to play online. Marbles can be earned with chores and good deeds. But if you ask if a deed will earn you a marble before you do it, you forfeit all rights to a marble.
I'm not sure if the littlest one has the stamina or desire, but I know that the older two will be all sweetness and charm. For about 50 marbles. And then we'll see, won't we?