Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mom Magic

Ben is part turtle. Have I mentioned this? If he stays up late, I have to wake him in the morning, and watch as his head retreats from his pillow, disappearing under the mounds of blanket shell on his bed. This is usually just a winter problem, but rainy school days are a close second when it comes to not wanting to get up.

Wednesday morning he was a snapping turtle: when I lovingly whispered, "Ben, honey, time to get up," I was greeted with "Mom, get OUT!" before his vanishing act. He didn't even open his eyes.

I could hear the rain beating on the roof. The thermometer said it was 48 degrees outside. Inside, I was thankful that I didn't have to go anywhere. In fact, I could even go back to bed after the kids left if I wanted to. That is to say, I felt his pain. So I knew that if I was going to get Ben out of bed, it was going to take bribery.

My husband likes to try to tempt Ben with a race: who can get dressed faster? Sometimes he'll ask Ben to feed some scraps to Bailey the dog, something Ben loves to do. But this morning, Ben was unresponsive to any and all attempts to lure him.

It was time to pull out the big guns.

Usually, when it comes to bribing Ben, all you need is something sweet. But it was also rainy and cold, so it would have to be something sweet and warm. Honey Combs weren't going to cut it, and neither was peanut butter on toast. No, it was time for GIANT PANCAKES WITH SYRUP.

Of course, with 30 minutes until the bus and Ben still under the covers, there was no time for even Bisquick. So I pulled out some big, fluffy pancakes I had made on the weekend and froze for just such an occasion. Four minutes in the toaster oven, and breakfast was served.

He chowed, I packed his lunch, he brushed his teeth, I gathered his coat and shoes and he was out the door right on time with a smile on his face and a big hug for me.

Yes, it was a shortcut. But like all moms, I choose my battles and cut corners where necessary. And I learned long ago that, with Ben, when the going gets tough, it helps to have a sweet trick up your sleeve to get the tough going.

Funny thing is, I was never much of a magician until I became a mom. I guess discovering new things about yourself is just one more part of the magic of parenthood.


Snowbrush said...

I loved your well-written account, but I also thought: "But what will she bribe him with when he's fifteen?"

Christine Orchanian Adler said...

Ha ha! An excellent question, Snowbrush. Perhaps I'll hold on to his cell phone and offer to read him all his messages if he doesn't get up on time. THAT ought to get him moving!

Snowbrush said...

"Perhaps I'll hold on to his cell phone and offer to read him all his messages"

Or threaten to take his cellphone away. Of course, that might get the day off to a REALLY bad start.