Like most boys his age, Raphael is a truck freak. He really really reallylikes trucks. Like any good mother, I attempt use this infatuation tomy advantage. I have a large basket in my bedroom which I try to keepfilled exclusively with vehicles: Toy cars, trucks, motorcycles, andmatchbox cars. This comes in rather handy early in the morningsometimes when my little guy is ready to play before I am.
“Why don’t you play trucks?” I mumble at him, and usually he does.He is content and out of trouble and I can take my time coming to termswith the fact that yet another day has begun before I am ready for it.
But did you notice I said that I try to keep the basketfilled exclusively with vehicles? I am not always successful. Just thisafternoon, for example, I went into my room and discovered that the”vehicles only” basket was absolutely overflowing. But not with cars.When I sifted through its contents, I found crumpled papers, stuffedbears, a baseball helmet, board books, Burger King kids meal prizes,and a wad of slightly “used” gum… but no trucks. Maddening!
I was in the mood to motivate–not cajole. So I made an announcement.
“I will pay…” I began, and six pairs of ears pricked up. Sixpairs of eyes trained on me. “…a quarter for every truck you put inthis basket.”
My fearless children leapt into action. After only 5 chaoticminutes my “vehicles only” basket was filled once again. Appropriatelythis time. And I am out $8.75.
But as all the boys are currently playing contentedly with cars, I will say it’s money well spent.