Am I Really Bribing My Child With McDonald’s/Candy/A Ghetto Toy from CVS…Again?

Yesterday it rained….a crap-ton of eye boogers. Yep, my little person was sent home with conjunctivitis.  Awesome.

In speaking with the pediatrician’s office, the nurse asked if I would prefer eye drops or ointment for the situation.

“Err…which one will stop my daughter from kicking me in the bladder when I try to give it to her?” I inquired.

She said neither. So I went with the ointment.

Then the nurse informed me of the application procedure:  “All you do is pull back the lower eye lid and make a pouch with it. Squirt the ointment into the pouch and have your child circle her eyeball around a few times. Oh, and she can’t touch her eyes.”

I think I laughed so hard I almost crashed into a Dunkin Donuts.

Yeah right.

So, I hung up the phone, collected my one-eyed monster from school (apparently communicable viruses are frowned upon), and promised her a new toy at CVS while we waited for her prescription.

Then, I promised McDonald’s for lunch because I had to drag her with me to a commercial audition (I could not have been more excited about kitchen flooring).

When the dreaded moment of eyeball application came, my daughter unraveled. So did I.

“Baby, you can have a cookie. A popsicle? Your name on the jumbotron at a Celtics game?” Then I vice griped her between my legs, anaconda style, pried her lid open and slathered on the juice. All while she screamed to a decibel that I’m pretty sure even Marlee Matlin could hear.

My carrot-dangling tactics do not only reside with medical applications, they have a far wider reach.  School, church, grocery shopping, swim class, airplane rides, my well woman exam (that was a day), and the list goes on.

Commiserating with a fellow mommy, she worried her child would grow up to be a spoiled bully; expecting things for everyday activities.

I told her not to sweat it. That will be society’s problem. Then I peeled out of the school parking lot while throwing old Starbuck’s coffee cups out the window. Just kidding. Maybe.

While attachment parenting enthusiasts and the Dog Whisperer guy are probably shaking their heads at me, I’m here to tell you about the PROS of sweetening the deal for your little people:

1)      A well behaved child…temporarily.  While the results may not last long, you’ll get them.

2)      Looking like a champ donating all that crap to charity. With the amount of trinkets your get roped into buying for your kids you could probably stock a Toys R Us. When you weed through it all you’ll save the day at your local charity/mom club/neighborhood garage sale with all those damn Squinkies and Zoobles.

3)      Keeping your hearing. As previously mentioned children scream, a lot, when they are scared, upset, you name it. Some Scooby Doo fruit snacks can take all that away.

4)      A well stocked pantry. You will need to build up your arsenal when going into bribe mode, so head to your Super Target with your coupons and grab some goods.

5)      Sticker Removal talents. Don’t ask me why, but kids get rewarded with stickers for EVERYTHING. A scratch-n-sniff sticker to a kid is like a new tube of lip gloss to Lady Gaga. Major Score. However, these pieces of joy seem to find their way into the laundry, the back seat of my car, windows, couch cushions, water bottles, and on the dog. In time, you will find ways to get these things off of your home goods while only using three to four curse words.

6)      A well-conditioned child. Just like Pavlov’s Dog, your child will soon learn that, “If mommy gives me these animal crackers while we are at Bob’s Furniture Store, I need to sit down on this hideous zebra-print ottoman and be quiet. Okay lady, you have twenty minutes to shop, make it count.”

While I don’t believe in bribing all the time, I’m not going to stop. Guess what?  I feel less crappy too. No parent wants to scold their child; it’s not fun for either party. So if some new markers and a Hello Kitty eraser help the situation, so be it.

Just don’t offer a new parakeet – that’s just more poop to clean up.

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