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Observations from my Mixed Up World


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An Unexpected Loyalty Program

I’m note entirely sure where the idea came from, but Maya launched her own loyalty program yesterday. I answered a question from her and was rewarded with a coupon for 100 Maya bucks. Later during the evening while I was watching soccer, Maya asked for a snack. Since I paused the DVR and made her something, I received 1000 Maya bucks for my troubles. Both my wife and Milo are similarly amassing small piles of Maya bucks for various reasons.

When my wife and I inquired about about how we were to use our Maya bucks, we were informed that they can be used to “purchase” various commodities and services from her. In fact, we were told to refer to the program booklet which was quickly written up and provided for our reference. It seems that 100 Maya bucks can be traded for setting the table or having her play in her room for 1/2 hour. Not so bad. 1000 Maya bucks can be used to have Maya undertake a new habit for a week such as putting socks in the laundry basket or putting her lunch box on the counter at the end of the school day. 1000 Maya bucks is not enough incidentally to cover such things as eating her entire supper for a week, cleaning up her whole room once, or to go to the basement alone.

Here is the list of things I’m checking out for the Maya bucks price:

– Putting on a new pair of underwear each day for a week
– Returning my hairbrush to the bathroom each day
– Not singing in the car when her mom is in it (5 minute interval)
– Flushing the toilet after each use for one day
– Keeping a clear path to her bedside each night so I can walk her back to bed without fear of a crippling injury
– Turning down the microphone while she is singing (2 songs)
– Not arguing about which coat/mitts/hat should be worn to school (once, oh God, just once)

Wish me luck in accumulating my fortune.

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In the End, He Got a Promotion.

I came to the realization recently that I was doing too many chores around the house and I needed help.  It seemed too much to me that not only was I making dinner but I was also cleaning up from dinner while everyone else ran off to do fun things.  Now, I do have fun in the kitchen but loading the dishwasher is pushing things.  The obvious thing to do was to delegate part of the job to someone but that’s not so easy in my house and I suspect, it is not so easy in your’s.  What to do, what to do?  In the end, I had a brain wave.

I called Milo down to the kitchen before dinner and told him that I wanted to have a serious talk with him.  It had been a pretty stress free day so he didn’t resist, which was refreshing.

“Milo, ” I said, “I have some really important news to share with you.  I’ve been noticing that you are getting older and you can handle more responsibilities.  You’ve got a modeling job that you take seriously and I must say, I am impressed.  So I think that it’s time to promote you from child to child class one.  Congratulations!”

“That’s awesome.  I’m so excited. ” He gushed, “What does it mean now that I’m a child class one?”

“Well it means that I can trust you to do some things that I couldn’t before.  For example, I am going to trust you to clear the table after supper every night and put the dishes in the dishwasher.  I couldn’t do that with just a child.  But with a child class one there are no problems.”

“How soon do I get another promotion?  Do I get one every year?  How high can it go?”

“Oh, you got child class one, child class two then tween class one, tween class two and so on into the teens.  And at each level, I will know that I can trust you with more and more responsibilities.  Some day, I will trust you to use the lawn mower and to wash the car.  But those will come in time.”

“Thanks, Dad.  I’m so happy.”

The result:  For the past few weeks, Milo has been clearing the table, scraping dishes and loading the dishwasher proudly and with only a few reminders of his child class one status.

I’ve got to write a book.