Thursday, June 6, 2013

Quid Pro Popsicle

My oh-so-smart toddler figured out how to negotiate the equivalent of a hostage exchange; in this case, he’s holding out on taking medicine until a popsicle is in his near future.

Brayden spent last week in beautiful Pismo Beach but he came home with two unintended souvenirs—double pink eye and an ear infection. On the plus side, he hasn’t had an ear infection since his surgery in late Fall 2012, which is great. On the negative side, the pink eye meant no school for a couple days while he was contagious. One of those days was spent home with me, and I learned that my mini Jedi mind trick master was continuing to hone his craft.

Just for the pink eye and ear infection alone, Brayden is on eye drops every three hours, and ear drops and amoxicillin twice a day. Then when you add his allergy meds to the mix, the kid is seriously Rx’ed up. The eye drops and antibiotics are his least favorite, and little b figured out how to withhold certain behaviors until paid in kind with desired treats.

I’m generally not one for bribery but when eye drops are standing in the way of you returning to work (and your child to daycare), you put aside your righteousness.

Here’s how it went down:

  1. I tell Brayden it’s time for eye drops/antibiotics.
  2. Brayden goes to the freezer and gets out the box of popsicles and stares up at me like this.
    06 04 13 - Sick Day (5)
  3. I hold up the selected popsicle while he puts the dosing syringe to his mouth.
  4. Each progressive act of consuming the medicine (e.g., drinking the antibiotics little by little or letting me put the drops in his eyes) is synchronized with me unwrapping the popsicle, pulling it out of the plastic sleeve and holding it in front of him. Each side watching the other to make sure the agreed upon steps are followed.

It’s a very carefully orchestrated dance, and I have no idea where he learned it. Unless I missed this particular episode of Jake and the Never Land Pirates, I would swear he’s watching crime dramas where negotiators exchange hostages for pizzas or airplanes and said to himself, “I think they’re on to something with this...”

06 04 13 - Sick Day (6)06 04 13 - Sick Day (7)

In any case, it’s just another reason why this child cracks me up. I love the adventure we’re on together as he gets older, and the way we ebb and flow as Brayden experiments with being an independent person and I learn how to parent the little boy he’s becoming while letting go of the baby he was.

But enough of all that; I need to get back to my online Sally Struthers course on “Toddlers: Keeping Up With A Child Who’s Smarter Than You”…

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