For the past year and a half, Bryan has had me on an incentive plan. He doles out kisses at bedtime based on his assessment of my performance that day. He keeps me updated on the maximum and the average number I can expect. A few months ago he had to recalibrate and bring the max down some because he decided the nightly kiss routine was taking too long. He's serious about his system. The maximum amount of kisses is reserved for truly exceptional mom behavior,
Bryan: To get the full amount, you have to do something like take me to Disney World and Chuck E Cheese.
and he insists on taking into account all the information from the day. He's unmoved by emotional pleas. His system generates some interesting bedtime conversation.
A few months ago, on a day when I made cookies, allowed extra video game time and took them to the pool, I still only got a little over the average.
Me: Seriously?!? The pool, video games and cookies, and that's all I get?
Bryan: (sympathetic but with a hint of condescension) Yeah, but spinach.
I had served spinach with dinner.
Like any good manager, he gives me advice on how I can improve my numbers. Last night was a beautiful, clear night. We had planned on watching Amazing Race, but I took the telescope out instead and showed the boys the surface of the moon and Jupiter. You could even see a few of Jupiter's moons. At bedtime I got a few kisses over the average.
Me: Did I get so many because I showed you Jupiter and the moon?
Bryan: Yeah. But you could have got more if I could have also watched Amazing Race. Like maybe next time you could plan better and serve dinner earlier and we could watch Amazing Race and do the telescope.