You can’t NOT fight. No way.

The boys have been obsessed with getting Beyblades recently. I’m not too sure what they are– I just know that you can “do battles” with them, which means they’re kind of like the Ninjagos they had had HAD to have a year ago, a dozen of which are now gathering dust in a drawer. Oh and I also know they’re about twenty dollars a pop.

“Can I PLEASE have one for an early birthday present?” said Connor, who starts working that angle one day after the previous birthday. I told him no. “Can I do chores and get one?” he asked. “You can do chores,” I answered, “and NOT get a Beyblade, how’s that?”

The boys looked at each other, refusing to admit defeat, trying to figure out just what they had to offer that I couldn’t refuse.

“What if we stopped fighting for an entire week?” Connor said.

I burst out laughing. So did my husband.

We should probably not display such a lack of faith in our children TO our children, but I mean, come on. My boys are the dog and the rooster. The idea that they could stop fighting for an entire week was patently laughable. But fresh off their hand-in-hand stroll through the virtual land of Animal Jam,  my boys had a new confidence that they could actually get along.

“No hitting,” I said. “No punching, no screaming, no doing something to make your brother scream.”

They nodded, accepting my challenge with great solemnity.

Today is the seventh day.

They have not fought.

If they can make it tonight without a major squabble, two new Beyblades will be theirs.

So they can have fights with them.

“After this, we’ll start over again, and get MORE Beyblades!” Connor announced on the way to the bus stop this morning.

“No… after this, you won’t fight anymore,” I corrected him, “because now I know what you’re capable of.”

Reverse psychology. And bribes. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

Do you think it’s acceptable to give material rewards for good behavior? How about “early birthdays”?


Great news! The paperback version of When Did I Get Like This?  will be in Target stores starting October 23rd as part of their “Emerging Authors” series. This is a huge boost for the book and I’m very grateful for their support. I hope you’ll join me in your nearby Target this Halloween season, standing around the books section and saying nonchalantly and loudly, “Well, THIS book looks interesting. I’ll take a dozen.”

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie Precourt October 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Yes to bribes. And also? Can you totally see me doing that in Target because I SO WILL.



Anonymous October 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I *can* see you doing that in Target. And that’s why you’re awesome.


Sarah Bagley October 4, 2011 at 11:26 pm

I remember receiving Barbies as brides.  Once my parents dragging me to the Toyota dealership and spent well over 8 hours buying that car.  They told me if I was good the whole day, we could go to Service Merchandise for Totally Hair Barbie.  I was super good – and I got my Barbie.  I say, go for it!  I turned out pretty good 🙂 

I’m excited for you and you partnership with Target!  Very cool!  I am always telling the women in my mom’s group about your book.  And now they can get it at Target!


Anonymous October 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Thanks Sarah. I love your evocation of not only Totally Hair Barbie, but also Service Merchandise. What ever happened to them?


Sarah Bagley October 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Ha ha, I’m not sure!  But I vividly remember shopping there…  It was our version of Sears – that place had everything!


Missy@Wonder, Friend October 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Very excited about the book – will definitely schedule some “Loiter in the Target Book Section” time.

As for the fighting, rewards, etc., I am impressed they made it a week – and you’re so right, now you know they can be civil. I think we’re a year or two away from the necessary self control for something like this, but you bet I will employ it when the time comes. I see nothing wrong with a bribe/reward here and there. 

I do think it’s important to discuss expectations – and the fact that sometimes you behave because it’s the right thing to do, not because you’re getting a reward. But there are absolutely times when everyone deserves to be acknowledged for their effort.

Beyblades haven’t made it to our house yet. It’s only a matter of time, I guess… 😉


Margaret October 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm

One time my parents promised that if I was nice to my sister for one full day we would get ice cream after dinner. I made it through the entire day but then at dinner I yelled at her for something I don’t recall and my Dad announced that ice cream was cancelled. In response I stormed to my room but not before announcing, “I can’t believe I was nice to my sister all day for NOTHING!”


Meredith L. October 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm

My son turns 3 on Saturday. Sometimes bribes are the ONLY way I get good behavior out of him. “If you can stop whining or crying for 2 minutes, you’ll get a jelly bean.” Kill me.


Rholden October 7, 2011 at 1:03 am

Our sleep fairy brings my 3 year old hershey’s miniatures every morning if she stays in her bed all night. After a full night sleep I say heck yeah to the bribes!


Anonymous October 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

A sleep fairy! Genius!


Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom October 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm

One week  of decent behavior for a Beyblade seems like a great deal to me! Good job. Now, if anyone wants a box of Bakugans from last year’s craze, let me know. Also have a box of silly bands collecting dust!


Anonymous October 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Silly Bandz. They are the Beanie Babies of our children’s time. At least they were cheap.


Joanna Herrera October 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

I just printed this out for my 7 yr old to read, and he read it out loud to his 6 yr old brother. Rings very true in our house! They want to see if they can go a week. I say no way –  but willing to give it a try!


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