The Battle for tics tacs Part Two: Minty Victory!
It was not an easy battle, but I was victorious. It started off with tears. Then there were blood-curdling screams. Thrashing about. Stickers, sticker takeaways and sticker reinstatements.
The point of the battle was for ultimate supremacy over who would be crying when mom and dad dropped the kid of at school – nobody or everybody. The parental army marched forward with reinforcements, hugs and kisses.
How did the child finally relent from crying when dropped at school? Was it the promise of tiny, delectable and rattle-y nourishments? Is that what made her finally back off and accept peaceful mornings in place of messy cry-boogers and weepy teardrops?
Or was it…
Growing up? Yes, kids get older and they get better. Also they become stronger and smarter, but they certainly don’t do it all on their own. We, the fighting moms and dads across the world, prepare our children every day for the battles of everyday life and all of its surprise attacks. So should we really be surprised when the “fight” we put in our children causes them to fight back against the parents themselves?
Mom and Dad stayed strong throughout every morning skirmishes. The promise of tic tacs alone was not enough to get the child to enter the school doors full of vigor and free of worries. She needed structure, such as one hug and one kiss from each parent, and brevity – if we weren’t out of there within one minute flat, there were going to be retaliatory tears. Guaranteed.
And so it went, where some mornings were still better than others, and just about every morning, no matter how many stickers remained off the chart, the kid still wanted to claim her victory tic tacs. Perhaps some parents might have given in, but not us. And on a random Wednesday at the beginning of the school year of 2012, and after more than a year of dealing with school-day tears, the child claimed her own little victory with the final sticker to gain her tic tacs, and the parents won the bigger battle (aka “the war”) with a child they could drop off at school who actually looked happy to be there.
Chalk up a win(-win)!
Aftermath: After several more (mostly) tear-free weeks and a bigger sticker-enabled bribe in place, everyone has hung in there, and we’ve moved on to different fights and truces. It’s still not easy, but it never is and I don’t really believe that it is supposed to be. This morning, we dropped her off with no tears or sad faces, and that’s pretty good – for a Monday, anyway. We did concede a bit. Instead of one hug and kiss from each parent, she got two from each. Guess she won that one… for today.