Last night was an interesting one. My five year-old–hereinafter Princess–had great difficulty going to sleep. Not because we’d deviated from the routine–we hadn’t–but due to the fact that someone (who shall remain nameless: mom) allowed her take a very late, long nap.
So, yes, Virginia, we had family devotions, cleaned up after dinner, etc. And tried to get Princess to go to sleep.
She of course would have none of it.
“I can’t sleep.”
“It’s 10:00–please play quietly in your room.”
“No, I can’t sleep.”
“Please count sheep, or Rapunzels, or something, ok?”
“Ok, Poppy, I’ll try.”
Thirty minutes later (or so I’m told, because we the parents were quite done by that time):
“I can’t sleep. Brother, will you play with me?”
“Princess, I’m tired. If you be quiet and go to sleep, I’ll give you a dollar.”
As I’m getting ready to leave for work, I see my son–Brother Bearish–heading downstairs. I ask “Hey, are you gonna let the dogs out?”
“Not yet, dad–first I gotta get a dollar for Princess. I told her last night if she’d just go to sleep that I’d pay her.”
Knowing that he, being thirteen, keeps everything important to him (including his wallet) in his room, my Spider-sense was tingling.
“Isn’t your wallet in your room? Where are you getting that dollar from?”
With a sheepish look and impish grin, he said “From her purse.” Clever boy, I thought. She would never know.
But I would. And being as I’m not down with bribes anyhow, I said, “No, sir! That may be a creative solution to a problem you created for yourself, but your first mistake was bribing your sister. But since you’ve given your word, you go get a buck from your wallet and give it to her. You promised, and now you gotta follow through.”
“No, son, that’s not how we roll. If you give your word, even if costs you, you follow through.”
Of course, behind closed doors, my wife and I laughed uproariously. Kids!