26 April 2010

Why Bribery Never Works

I resorted to bribery recently. Not the "if you eat your peas, you can have a brownie" kind of bribery. No, the real thing - with money.

My brother's kid was turning one, and they were having a birthday party, and I had a pile of toys in the basement that my kid never ever ever played with anymore, including an inflatable horse which I knew would be the hands-down perfect gift. So I said to my child "let's give Rody to your cousin for his birthday". And she burst into tears and refused. This went on for a week or so - I'd propose giving the horse away, she'd cry. My husband thought I was poking it with a stick, as I am wont to do, but I kept hoping she'd see reason. No dice.

So I offered her money. Ten dollars. She refused. "I love Rody; he's my favorite toy!" I tried to talk to her about what she could get for that ten dollars, like a Barbie, the Barbie that I flat out refuse to countenance. But she didn't want ten dollars; she wanted Rody.

Eventually, I had a brainstorm. I was willing to give her ten dollars which she could use to buy the Barbie of her dreams. So I cut out the ten dollar bill and offered to buy her a Barbie. "Mommy, let's go to Target now!"

Off we went to Target and she picked out a Barbie and we went home and made a tag for Rody and the next day she gave Rody to her cousin and showed her new Barbie to everyone else at the party.



And then she asked "if I give Big Elmo to Tiny, can I get another Barbie?"

Thin end of the damned wedge.

15 comments:

needleinahaystack said...

so she is a wedge afterall.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

A quick learner!

FreshHell said...

Trouble is, bribery works too well. Sigh.

Kelly said...

Bribery has never worked for us, because Violet is spoiled and doesn't need to perform tricks to get what she wants. She just waits until she goes to Grandma's house.

Grrr...

http://tw0.us/Buf

Mental P Mama said...

I'm telling you...that child is going places;)

nonlineargirl said...

In preparation for a birthday party we attended this weekend, Ada said we needed to get a gift. I told her that the invite said "no gifts" and she looked horrified. I suggested we could give the 2 year old a toy that she was done with, and that satisfied her. A birthday party with no gifts? Quelle horreur!

I am willing to bet that if I'd picked out the toy that she chose, she'd have declared it her "special toy" and refused to give it up.

alejna said...

Oof. Barbie. Though I do expect she could design some great outfits for her. Can you teach her to sew little tiny clothes?

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

LOL. I could have told you that was coming...

Gwen said...

Isn't a salary just bribery for doing work? Seems like she's on her way to corporate glory.

Or something.

Janet said...

I'd've had a hard time giving up that cute horse, too :-)

mayberry said...

Smart cookie. And I'm with Alejna -- let's see what outfits she can come up with for her Barbie.

The Library Lady said...

Oh, Maggie, that's not bribery--it's learning to trade something in on something new and better. She gave up something to get something!

Good way to clean out the unused stuff and a good starting lesson in managing your possessions if you ask me.

Marilynne said...

I'm laughing.

bipolarlawyercook said...

My nephew has Rody in Red. I wish he came adult-sized.

painted maypole said...

ha ha ha ha ha

Rody looks quite pleased.