Everyone has a currency. I learned this from Dr. Phil. I don’t usually watch his show, but a little more than a year ago he did an episode on kids and potty training. At the time, I was in the thick of it with Dylan, and when my mom told me about the show, I set my DVR. His golden nugget of advice was that every kid had a currency – something you could offer them in exchange for, among other things, peeing and pooping in the potty, eating vegetables and going the bleep to sleep. The tricky part, I’ve realized, is figuring out what the hell their currency is!
I’m easy. For instance, I would do almost anything for an hour of guilt-free shopping at Anthropologie or dinner and a movie (and a babysitter). Dylan, however is a child and a very complicated little creature. At the time, pooping in the toilet required a six-pack of large, plastic dinosaur figures. Today, he wouldn’t do anything for a dinosaur. I can’t even get him to eat chicken for a Finn McMissile with “shooters.”
This morning, I took Dylan to the dentist. Since I’m writing this now, you know I survived (Dylan is alive, too, by the way), but it wasn’t easy. I made the mistake of telling him about the appointment on Tuesday. The result was utter panic and excuses, like “the dentist is closed” or “I can’t go to the dentist if I have a Band-Aid on my foot.” (He did have a boo boo on his toe.) By bedtime on Tuesday, I told him we weren’t going to the dentist (not that day, anyway). I kept my mouth shut after that hoping he’d forget about it, and thankfully, he did.
Today was literally D-Day. I waited until we were about to get in the car for camp to let the cat out of the bag. As soon as I told him we were dropping Riley off at camp and then going to the dentist, his lip curled, his eyes darted back and forth and the panic ensued. I quickly told him I had a huge surprise for him for being so brave and gave him a splashy, new Cars 2 backpack. Also, hidden in the backpack’s front pocket was Carla Velosa, the only girl race car from Cars 2. (Insert “ooh” and “aah” here. Carla Velosa was not easy to find!) His lip instantly uncurled and he smiled. In fact, he beamed. He went to the dentist with no tears or whining, and he even sat in the big dentist chair all by himself (holding on tight to Carla Velosa the whole time). In case you’re wondering, his currency for his last dental appointment was Bullseye from Toy Story.
I hit the currency jackpot…this time. Next on my required parenting checklist is taking Dylan to his five-year check up in December (there will be shots!) and potty training Riley. I’m going to need at least an hour at Athropologie before I commit to anything.