Jelly Beans as Currency
Now, before you send me a note explaining how horrible sugar is, and how his dentist would never approve… hear me out. Because Hubby and I have different work schedules (his work day starts and ends way before mine), we split up the daycare duty. I take Little Guy to daycare on my way to the office, and Hubby picks him up on his way home.
In the past, this system worked perfectly. Recently a couple things have changed:
1. First off, Little Guy has developed a love for running from me. As soon as the front door opens, he is off like a shot. If he went straight to the car and waited, this would be fine…but mostly he just runs (he thinks this is soooo funny). He might run into the neighbor’s yard or off to chase birds or hide behind the shrubbery. Some days I couldn’t even get the front door locked before he would start sprinting down the sidewalk. (And if you think a two year old can’t run fast, you clearly haven’t chased one.)
2. Secondly, I’m now in the third trimester of my second pregnancy, and let’s be honest… running is not something I’m great at right now. I always catch him (eventually), but the idea of getting to work already sweaty and tired isn’t how I want to start my day.
One morning last week (as we both stood just inside the front door), I looked down and saw in his expression that he was primed for a hasty escape. I sighed, resigned to another chase, when suddenly I had an idea. I said, “If you wait on the porch while Mommy locks the door, you can have one jelly bean.” I then fished one out of the candy jar and showed him the tiny candy as proof of my promise.
His eyes grew wide, and he said, “Okay Mommy”.
He went outside and patiently waited on the porch while I locked the door (Eureka!). I then took one tiny hand in mine and put the jelly bean in his other hand. He grinned and gobbled it up. We began walking toward the car, and almost immediately he was straining to get away. I held on tight and when we reached our destination, I got his attention again, and said, “If you climb into your car seat and sit there while I buckle you in, I will give you another jelly bean.
Once again, he became quite serious, and said, “Okay Mommy”. Usually he tries to vault into the front seat, or plant himself in the regular seat trying to fasten the adult seatbelt. But, upon hearing another jelly bean was coming his way, he proceeded to climb right into his car seat and ate his second jelly bean while I buckled him in. (Eureka again!)
There was no running. There were no frantic cries of “Get back here this instant!” There were no laughing neighbors pointing at me chasing him. No stress. No panicked rise in my heart rate. No sweaty sprints across the yard.
It was peaceful. It was serene. It was wonderful. It was all thanks to a couple tiny jelly beans.