Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).
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16 March 2018

Their Current Bribery Levels...

There are times when Team Parent (yay!) have no other option but to resort to bribery.
Sad, but true. But it's needed.
We sometimes need a carrot or two to get the terrors children to do stuff.
Bribery is a useful tool (at times).

Bribery is the act of giving money, goods or other forms of recompense to a recipient in exchange for an alteration of their behaviour (to the benefit/interest of the giver) that the recipient would otherwise not alter.

Ergo 25% of parenting.
The rest is clean up after them, loving the little bugs to bits, and all the fun stuff.
I suppose teaching must be in there somewhere... Meh!

(What to have for tea tonight? I know!
<Cooks the pie special*> (*pie, with pie on the side))

Obviously we keep bribery to a minidadmum.
We don't want to send the message that they'll ALWAYS get something if they behave. They'll work that out and use it.
They may act like tiny fools unable to do the simple tasks without constant instruction and supervision. But really they are all evil geniuses playing their wicked mind games with us (for reals).
And worse they'll start extorting us...

Boy10: 'WHAT? One cartoon for good behaviour?'
Yes and you'll be grateful
Boy10: 'I want seven cartoons, a pack of monster munch, two new toys, midnight bedtime and I get to drive home'
... Fine...  <Is lying> ...
When we get home I'll make sure you get everything you deserve... <Grins>
Boy10: 'Keys please!' <Holds out hand>
Sure... <Passes keys>
Boy10: <Starts engine>
[The car does not move]
Boy10: 'Can the pedals move up' <Can't quite reach>
No.
Boy10: '...'
Boy10: 'You drive'
It's probably for the best... laws and such...

Boy10 is a master at negotiation.
It's true. His school have mentioned it before. All the grandparents, nicely, mention it.
And Team Parent (yay!) know it through and through. We have even got to the point now, where once a deal is made, we insist on no further discussion.
He's a bit like someone selling phones. A master at twisting what is being discussed and said, until you suddenly realise you've signed up for a four thousand terabyte a month contract, free calls abroad, a pink case (which I have) and forty billions texts a day. When all you wanted was to leave that crappy provider.
He's coming with us next time we need to buy a car.

Boy10's currently accepted bribes:
Foods: Sandwiches , any sweets at all
Get to watch a grown up film with swears in it and death and stuff.
Favourite cartoon / film put on
Being bundled to the ground, playfully, and given playfull dead arms and general squishing (I've no idea why this works)
Time on computer games or YouTube
Play a board game with Team Parent (yay!)
Actual money. Cold hard cash. (Which we never give him! HA! I just know it would work).
Keeping both his legs
Not being flattened by me

Miss7 is more like me.
Bribe-wise. She listens to the deal. Thinks about it. Weighs it up. Makes her decision and not much is going to sway her mind. Bells and whistles won't work, unless it's bells and whistles she actual wants (which happens more than you would think).
She won't give up on trying to get the perks mind. But essentially she is utterly un-compromising and a swine to bargain with. #SoProud.
Obvs. this behaviour can be really annoying sometimes (from her, not me, in me it's awesome).
For instance...

Miss7 Mummy is very tired, how about instead, I read your story tonight?
Miss7: 'No'
OK... We could read a really fun story together, your choice? I'll do the best voices ever?
Miss7: 'Hmmm... OK'
Oh cool... I'll go tell Mummy not to come up...
Miss7: 'Want Mummy, you can read to me tomorrow night'
Right... But you just said... <Sighs>... Mummy is really tired, and whilst I know she would love to read to you tonight. How about we give her just a little break so she can sit down in peace and quiet for a few minutes. Have her tea. And you let me read you your story tonight?
<Is going for broke now>
Huh? What do you say, would you like to do something for Mummy that would make her happy?
Miss7: '... OK'
I'll go tel...
Miss7: 'Want Mummy!'
But you just sai...
Miss7: 'Want Mummy! You can read to me tomorrow'
<Has a frowny face>

Miss7's currently accepted bribes:
Foods: Choc-choc, pancakes, milkshake from McAwfull the Milkshake shop and watermelon
Favourite cartoon put on
Races: normal speed, but if I am winning I'll suddenly be hit by many slow motion bubbles.
Being carried about by her ankles (?!)
Music played: Anything from her mix of music. Current favourite ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ by Bonnie Tyler.
Air money (sucker).

(One small, low fat, milkshake for the little lady please…
<Passes small milkshake to Miss7>
And I’ll have the Middle-Aged-Man Special please…
no, no extras please, watching my weight)

BabyBoy3 is open to bribery.
Very much so. It does feel a bit unfair sometimes. But we never really ask him to do much. He is only three, the expectation is pretty low. Mainly we want him to be happy and playing.
If he does welch on a deal it's not that bad news. We would just like him to; not punch us, not get up when it's still dark; put food in mouth, not floor; wash hands; change clothes as and when required without having a massive paddy about it, and fighting me every single sock of the way; not tearing off his socks to annoy me.
All the classics...

I've chocolate here! Who wants it for helping doing all the dishwasher?
BabyBoy3: 'Memememememememe!' <Is jumping up and down>
Go on then
BabyBoy3: 'Choc-choc' <Stands ground>
OK... But then you have to empty the dishwasher. You promise?
BabyBoy3: <Nods>
BabyBoy3: <Snatches choc-choc>
BabyBoy3: <Shoves it all in his mouth>
BabyBoy3: <Runs>
<Is a sucker>
<Empties dishwasher>

BabyBoy3's currently accepted bribes:
Foods: Choc-choc, crisps, biscuits, pancakes
Favourite cartoon put on
Races: (but he has to win) and can be either normal or slow motion
Being carried about like a rocket
Music played: The Cars 3 end credit track - ‘Ride’ by ZZ Ward (featuring Gary Clark Jr.).
Being chased, tickled and general played with whilst he is giggling.

And does all this actually work?
Well yes, mostly. Boy10 currently is first dressed every school day, had breaky, done teeth, totes ready. Because he wants on the computer to play Fortnite. Which isn't ideal, but he's ready!!!
BabyBoy3 can always be chased about the house to get him dressed. He knows the rules. Each catch is a piece of clothing.
Miss7 loves to have her music played loud and can encouraged that way (love her).
And I'll do most things for pie, beer, some time to chill, and a hug.
The odd bribe can go a long way.

And what of Team Parent (yay!)?
a) I ain’t saying and b) Team Parent (yay!) are far too grown up, mature, adulty, and at one with the universe to be to be swayed by such trivial things such as bribery.
Ommm.

[Early morning]
Mrs. Amazing: 'No don't get up, just lie in all you want'
Cool... Zzz
[Later]
Mrs. Amazing: 'I'm taking these little ones out'
<Is happy>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Boy10 will be busy on the computer, so you've got the afternoon to yourself'
<Is very happy>
<Is suddenly very suspicious about how this day has gone so far>
Mrs. Amazing: <Is being breezy> '... You could, maybe, you now, put up those black out blinds... if you want whilst we're gone... and it's quiet?'
Ah... Sure
<Cranks the music right up>
Mrs. Amazing: <Shouts> 'I'm still here! I haven't gone yet! There was only a second pause between me saying I was going to go, and you turning the music right up!'
<Turns music down again>
Oh! … right...
Mrs. Amazing: 'Oh good about the blinds, that could make such a difference to their sleeping. Thank you' <Gives me a kiss>
<Blushes>
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