Tuesday, January 15, 2013

On Hating IKEA, But Loving Good Kids

Of course Lauren has to do a crossed eyed face.

Day two of kids being off track.  This is going to be a long three weeks.  Anyone who likes year round school is out of their flippin' mind, that's all I will say about that.  Finding things that we can ALL do when it's almost zero degrees outside is difficult.  And it makes things harder that Lauren is on a traditional school schedule so we really don't have a normal break.  Oh well.  I'm trying to make lemonade out of these bitterly cold lemons.

Lauren had ballet this morning but we "accidentally" missed it.  I wanted at least one morning to have nowhere to go or do...kind of like summer.  She hasn't missed a class all term so I didn't feel bad about it.  I needed to get a few things from IKEA so we headed out there a little before noon.  It's almost a thirty minute drive out there so I don't go often.  But on Tuesdays kids eat free so we went.  I have to admit something- I kind of hate IKEA.  And not for the normal reasons to hate a store.  I like the merchandise and it's a fun place for kids to explore.  But I hate how the store is laid out to make you go through the ENTIRE FREAKING THING just to buy a lamp.  It's set up like a labyrinth and even the elevators only go one way.  You find an elevator and you think "Finally!  A way out!"  But nope-  that elevator only goes up.  So you have to go through the entire upstairs to find one that goes down.  They are not dumb.  They want you to buy stuff so while finding your way out of the maze, you fill your basket with worthless stuff.

And what's with those carts?  I HATE the carts!  They have spherical wheels so turning them is a nightmare!  And every time I'm in IKEA I am overcome with feelings of morning sickness.  It's in my head, but there very first time I went there I was newly pregnant with Devin and I puked twice in the store bathrooms.  Just the smell of the place brings those feelings back.  I know hating IKEA is probably unAmerican, but that's okay.  It's a Swedish place.

When we pulled into the parking lot, I turned to the backseat and started my typical threats to the kids.  How they should behave, what's good and what's not, and what would happen if they behaved poorly.   And then something came out of me, I swear, by inspiration.  I told them about a points system that would earn them rewards or punishment.  In my mind I suddenly created something that grabbed their interest.  

I told them that everyone was starting with five points and that the goal was to still have five points when we arrived home that afternoon.  Every time they misbehaved or disobeyed, they lost a point.  As long as their points weren't at ZERO, they had the opportunity to earn a point back for improved bahavior or a helpful deed (running to catch a little brother etc).  When we got home, whoever had five points got a prize.  Any time I use the word "prize" it pricks their interest!  So during the whole excursion, they were actually on good behavior....constantly asking me if they still had all their points.  Who knew that a simple game would produce such good results?  When we got home their prize was a treat from the treat basket (where we keep all the Little Debbie snacks).  I am a genius!

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