Wednesday, June 3, 2009

bribes I mean, treats

I'm driving with the boys this Saturday from Atlanta to Louisville, where we'll visit with our former neighbors Little Kid, Middle Kid and Big Kid for one night and then head to Nana and Papa's in Indianapolis. At the grocery store today I decided to buy "items which might facilitate a pleasant trip." They each picked two, with advice and suggestions. Bug chose cherry 7up and some sugar frosted colorful cereal to eat dry. Pook chose extra cheesy goldfish crackers and Slim Jims. I'll pack fruit and sandwiches. All will be shared.

On a road trip a few years ago, I got organized in advance and filled tiny containers with treats or little presents. We set the timer on CD's sports watch for an hour and when the timer went off, regardless of behavior, they got a treat. Our "hours" were somewhat flexible, since having the timer ring several minutes before stopping for lunch was less useful than having the timer ring ten minutes after having to get back into the car after lunch. But the treat, no matter how small (I remember putting five m&ms in a container!) reset the behavior, so crabby children were cheered up and the next hour started fresh. It kept us from judging behavior and having to decide whether to give the treats only for good behavior, good for most of the hour, good for all but the last two minutes.... I'm not that organized for this trip, but Pook remembered and asked for the timer. Since I'm driving alone without CD I figure it can't hurt, so I'll bring one along. Slim Jims for all at 2pm.


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