Monday, August 15, 2011

the hard sell

We are trying to wring all the joy out of the waning days of her last summer as a little kid. So in the midst of busy summer days, I've been bad at paying attention to things I should record here.

She spent a couple days at a cottage with her cousins. Her cousins all have Nintendo DS systems. A long time ago, when she was probably a young 3, she begged for a DS after seeing these same cousins play on theirs. I am semi-anti-video game. So I made her a deal that seemed great at the time. She couldn't have a DS until she could read. I thought this would buy a couple years. Little did I know that she'd be able to read less than a year later. So I fudged the rules. She could have a DS when she could read an entire book cover to cover with no help. She was young enough to think this was the original agreement. But that came sooner than I was ready, as well. So I fudged the rules again, thinking I'd be able to coast until the end of kindergarten. And I told her she could have a DS when she could read a Level 3 book cover to cover with no help. Well, crap. She did that a while ago. But she had forgotten about this deal. Until her mini-vacation.

I got a call while she and her dad were en route home.

"Mama. How about that DS?"

No greeting or declaration of missing me.

"You said I could have one when I could read a Level 3 book, and I read that one about Tinkerbell a long time ago. So..."


So she got home and walked in the door and handed me her father's iPhone, where she had typed a notepad message to me that said:

Hello momy i rily want my ds
But i will haft to prove that i will win
my ds and my ds games

I read it and looked up.

She said, "Ok, I'm going to go upstairs right now and dig up a book and come back down and read it to you, and then you can go get my DS. I will get the Marley book and prove that I can read this stuff. It's harder than a Level 3."

I winced.

"Mom. Prepare to be impressed... and then get your purse."


Rebecca said...

Ouch! I made my 9 year old son save his money and he actually managed to save enough to cover the cost of the DS. I pitched in the accessories. Good news is that car trips go much better. Bad news is that he has to be given specific times he can play or he would never put it down. I had initially said he could play educational games (scribbleknots) thinking he'd get bored, but he would have played that all day long. So, strict rules! Good luck.

Jennifer said...

Yeah, we have a pretty good thing going so far. She can have it for a half hour or so each day if she's made good choices and done her work. And she has to choose between it and using the computer for (which she loves). She's already said today that she wants to skip the DS today and use it tomorrow instead. So hopefully we can prevent addiction. And thankfully the only games she's interested in are pet games. Those seem easier to put down.

In theory. So far.

erica said...

Ha! That is just classic Caroline!