Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hush money

Sometimes cold hard cash just works. From Motherlode, after trying the standard stuff to get her child to stay in their own bed:
This bribe started with a conversation. “Jamie, you know what? We’re tired. Really, really tired.” I went on to explain how big we are, how we just don’t fit in the bed anymore, how daddy is a light sleeper and we all need our rest to stay well. We had this conversation before, of course, but this time I found myself offering him a dollar. One dollar a day, I promised, if he would wake up in his own bed. Yes, it’s a real dollar. The green kind. There are two rules: you can tell us if you really need us, like if you’re sick, but you can’t come in our bed. You have to wake up in your own bed.
The first night came; the first morning came. “I did it!” we heard him shout from his room, and he had. The rosy fingers of dawn were still making their way up into the sky, but he had staved off a few monsters on his own. He got his dollar.
Day two: same thing. “I think I was awake for five hours last night. Maybe it was 20 minutes. Maybe 10 minutes.” Point is, we slept through. Dollar No. 2. “Can I use this money clip?” he asked, holding up a clothespin. Sure....
Day #27 came with a trip to his grandparent’s house, where he has a small savings account. He came with his money clip, eager to make his first earned deposit. “I’m saving up to buy the Empire State Building,” he bragged.