My boys are decently-behaved when we go to the store ... most of the time. But once in a while, due to a delayed dinner or a put-off naptime, someone is a little extra cranky. And that's when bribery comes in handy.
Which is why I'm all about the Target "Dollar Spot," y'all. No, this is not a sponsored post. Target did not contact me like, "Hey Rita, why don't you give our cheap items a little plug on your super-awesome blog?" (Although Target people, if you're reading this ... haaaaaay.) I just like that particular section of their store because, hello, cheap items? They should have just named it the "Perfect-for-Behavioral-Bribery" section because I'm sure I'm not the only parent out there who uses it for such purposes.
The dudes know that this doesn't happen every time, and that they'd better keep their ever-yapping mouths shut and be good whether they're getting anything or not. But I figure sometimes it's okay to preface a shopping trip with, "If you use your best manners and best behavior the whole time, you may each have a dollar to spend when we're finished."
It's amazing how much kids adore even the most ridiculous of little trinkets. Case in point: the stuff that the boys chose after our Target shopping excursion yesterday. Colin picked out a Sesame Street coloring and activity book, so he could use it to play school and pass out "worksheets" to his little brothers (he's kind of in perpetual nerd-mode, which is fine with me). Coby picked out a big watergun, which actually rang up at $2.50 (grrr). He calls it his "shotgun" and stalks around the house with it "shooting deers." (I swear, I didn't know "redneck" was an inborn trait until I birthed this child.) And Cameron? Well, he picked this:
I'm not sure what it is, exactly. A dog? A hedgehog? A hippopotamus with back hair? All I know is that it didn't even have a price tag. It's squishy and kind of sticky and filthy. And as hard as I tried to get Cameron to pick something else out ("Look! Your brother's getting a watergun! Look! There's a Scooby Doo book!"), he stubbornly clung to this pitiful, grungy hippo-dog-a-mus as if it was some sort of priceless treasure.
When we got to the checkout, the lady looked at it and was all, "Umm, was this something you brought into the store?"
Nope. It's just a dirty bribe. Literally.
Cameron calls it his "Adventure Pug." (WTF?) He loves the stupid thing so much that he slept with it last night. I feel like dousing his entire body with hand sanitizer and burning his sheets. I mean, who knows what ickiness lurks on Adventure Pug's slightly-tacky rubber surface? Ewww.
Adventure Pug: $1
Hand sanitizer: $1.50
A child's (inexplicable) love for his dirty Dollar-Spot treasure: priceless