Spoiling Babystar.

There is a long history of movie titles using the formula VERBing GIRLNAME.

Driving Miss Daisy. Chasing Amy.ย Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Killing Zoe. Raising Helen. Stealing Beauty. Kissing Jessica Stein.ย Finding Dory.

I’m hoping if I use a fancy Hollywood name for this blog post, no one will notice that I have gone FULL BRIBE with the toddler.

Moving is hard, y’all. We have only been Colorado residents for three weeks. We still have boxes yet to be unpacked. We still haven’t found the plastic sink that goes in her play kitchen. And Babystar is pretty chill with everything that is happening around her.

She plays with the toys that she has, and gets excited whenever we unbox new toys.

But we also needed to stock the house with groceries and toilet paper and coffee and wine (!!!) and some more towels and hand soap and lamps and just house things.

If you look at the huge number by the dollar sign at the bottom of my posts, you will likely discern that I am a total sucker for buying toys for Babystar. But now we have turned them into ‘Listening and Patience Presents.’ I let her choose something fun during each long errand (usually Troll-related, but it does vary) and then I use the method taught to me by my dear friend and supermama Mary Catherine. The Patience Present is hers to lose. As long as Babystar listens and is patient during the outings, mama will buy the toy she has chosen. If she does not listen or she runs away from me (which used to be a problem back in Arlington ALL THE TIME), then we have to wait until our next errand trip to buy the toy.

So far, it works. I definitely think that letting her pick her toy/whatever and hold it while we do the rest of the shopping helps immensely. A total physical reminder IN HER HAND to listen to mama.

Dude, if you told me you could make my toddler behave in the shops for five bucks, I would totally do it. Trolls are about five bucks, and those are her favorite presents right now. I am ALL IN.

So, anyway, behold the baby’s recent bribes.

trolls

Trolls, purchased separately. $4.99 each.

felt mail

Felt mail, for playing along with Blue’s Clues. $3 at Target.

rocks from ned

A box of rocks. $12. Yep. From our adventure in the adorable mountain town of Nederland. The locals call it ‘Ned.’ And I’m a local now. So the rocks are from Ned.

She also chose a ‘Cloud Guy’ pillow ($7.99) for her Patience Present from Ikea* and she sleeps on him every night. Hopefully Cloud Guy AND Babystar will soon move into her Big Girl Bed (Coming Soon).

RAISING BABYSTAR: $26,092.57

*I firmly believe that EVERYONE that doesn’t have a breakdown in Ikea deserves a Patience Present.

The Art of the Bribe.

Bribery. Good parents would NEVER bribe their children, right?

Who can say? There is no way to contact these Bribery-Free Good Parents. They are all very busy explaining to Toddlers why the Good Parents need at least one hand and a small amount of quiet in order to make a phone call oh never mind the office closed hours ago.

Child Bribery is the reason banks have lollipops. Without lollipops, banks are basically the most boring place on earth. WITH lollipops, banks are a super fun treat.

Child Bribery is the reason that popsicles EXIST. I make popsicles so I can say, ‘hey, do you want a popsicle’ and Babystar will say ‘obviously’ and I have about four minutes to load the dishwasher or change my tampon unassisted or make a dentist appointment.

I don’t know what I will offer when she starts refusing popsicles. Twenty dollar bills?

Whatever works, y’all.

But here’s the thing. Or, at least, here is the thing that I tell myself but is probably not true at all because Toddlers are wily af. Babystar has no clue that she is being bribed. She just thinks mommy is really nice and sometimes gives her popsicles along with a little personal space to eat them and drip them on the floor if that is her choice.

Boom. Mom of the year.

We have spent the last six years a few weeks this summer at various stores shopping for the Teenager’s dorm furnishings. (In case you don’t know, The Teenager likes everything to be just so. Dorm shopping involved a lot of Pinning and Browsing and comparison shopping and returning things and buying other things and returning THOSE things and buying other things.)

Babystar loves her sister and she loves going bye-bye (mostly) but everyone has limits. And of course she wants to touch everything in Home Goods and RUN SO FAST through Target’s aisles because duh. She is also learning sequences, and she responds really well to ‘first this, then this’. I can say first we change your diaper, then we go to the park. Or first lunch, then diaper, then park. So I always made the third thing fun. First we return sheets at Target, then we buy hangers at Home Goods, then we go to the splash park. First we get dorm snacks at Trader Joe’s, then we buy storage bins at Target, then we have a picnic with the airplanes. First Ikea, then Target (ALWAYS Target), then we can pick out a toy at Home Goods (while the Teenager decides on the absolutely perfect throw pillow).

Home Goods has the BEST toys, y’all. They almost always have discounted Melissa & Doug toys. And Green Toys. And books. There is only one small Toy Aisle so Babystar’s choices are limited (good) but the inventory is constantly changing so it is a new toy store every time (better). I am a huge fan.

During my three desperate ‘you can pick any toy’ days, I was pretty willing to buy whichever toy she chose. The most expensive thing there is usually still under thirty bucks.

The first Toy Bribe Day, Babystar chose Green Toys Sports Boats. There were two on the shelf; one was blue and one was orange. And they both had cool Duck Captains. Babystar could not choose a color, so I bought both. They were $5.99 each, and they are normally $11.99, so one was basically free, right? Isn’t that how math works? (I know. Shhh.) She loves them and plays with them every night during her bath.

 

The next Toy Bribe Day, Babystar chose a Melissa & Doug felt food sandwich set ($12.99). It is pretty sweet. Pretend food is apparently ALL THE RAGE in Babystar’s world right now. (I eat fake corn and take bites of fake ketchup several times a day.) So it is really strange to me that she has not even asked about the sandwich set since we brought it home. It is sitting in the top of her closet waiting for a rainy day (proverbial or actual) or perhaps Christmas.

 

The last Toy Bribe Day of the Dorm Shopping Extravaganza, Babystar chose a small pack of wooden blocks ($3.00). These blocks were on CLEARANCE at Home Goods. Home Goods prices are already basically clearance prices. I was very excited about the wooden blocks. I was mostly excited about the fact that they only cost three dollars.

wooden blocks

The blocks are meant to be a little town or something but Babystar loves to build a TOWER SO TALL TO THE SKY so she plays with them a bit different than intended. (Whatever; her blocks, her tower, her life.)

block tower

And oh yeah, we all got pedicures before taking the Teenager to college. Babystar’s blue toes cost $10.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,564.60

MAYDAY MAYDAY: Do you use Child Bribery to make your life easier? What form? Does it work? (I’m clearly soliciting new plans, if you couldn’t tell.)

 

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