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”?

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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.”

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