Tuesday, March 8

Power of Motivation

We've got the younger two cousins visiting this week while school is out. Yesterday I enforced an afternoon quiet time of an hour and half. No one slept but Morgan so it was pretty much a wash except for the kitchen getting a good once over. However, the kids were so eager to get out of quiet time that they'd do just about anything to get up . . . like do a quick house pick up and vacuum the entire apartment in no time flat with very little oversight from me! It was awesome! I felt like I'd stumbled on a new found power!

We had some beautiful sunshine and warmer temperatures today so the kids were in and out of the house, but everyone was still getting a bit stir crazy. They'd exhausted their repertoire of activities so it was time to take our show on the road. We didn't venture far - just to the PX indoor playground to run off a bit more energy with the possibility of meeting new friends while I could sit at a table and "read" my book in relative solitude. The Law given to the kids as we pulled into a parking space was simply that they couldn't beg for food at the foodcourt since they'd practically just eaten their weight in Ramen for lunch.

But I had a surprise up my sleeve. I brought our big bag of change with us and five little cups. After they'd played for a bit, I called Easton and Lizzie over for their challenge. We would get ice cream cones if they would count out the change for five cones. It would be an understatement to say they were excited at the prospect and set to work instantly! McKay, Miles and Morgan weren't much help but often served as good distractions and reasons to do recounts. It was like a timed math test and sure felt like it!

Then I asked them how much it cost for a double scoop. Their eyes got real big at the prospect and so I asked them to walk over to the ice cream shop and calmly, politely ask how much a double scoop cost. They came back with the answer and the counting began again. To say they were all close to delirious hysteria is not far from the truth! TWO SCOOPS?! They'd hit the jackpot!

When all five cups had the correct coinage we lined up and walked over to the ice cream shop in another corridor. They could barely contain themselves. I checked the prices and saw that they'd given me the wrong total so I had to pull them all to the side to subtract 70 cents from each bucket. The three little ones were near panic. We walked over to the counter and the kids began selecting their two flavors. Man, this a big deal to them!

The two ladies behind the counter got a big kick out of this process, thank goodness. There were a couple ladies standing by witnessing the event with grins on their faces. We were quite the little spectacle and then we were back at our table with napkins and busy lips smacking! This outing made everyone's Warm Fuzzy around the dinner table.

NOTE: If you're local and know of a bank with one of those change machines that swallows your random coinage for a redeemable ticket for cold hard cash - please share the secret!