Wordful Wednesdays: Santa

I will be the first to admit that the caliber of toddler parenting in this house has taken a nose dive. What I used to affectionately call “incentivized parenting”–where I used things I would have given Osita anyway to convince her to do something she had to do–has devolved into down right bribery. Where before I’d inform Osita that a privilege would be withheld (ie bringing her blankie to school for nap time) unless she performed the required task (putting her shoes on without kicking), now I straight out offer her something I wouldn’t have dreamed of giving her before. Girlfriend basically gets three M&Ms every time she allows her hair to be washed. The tiny chocolates also ensure that she eats more than two bites of her dinner some nights.

{I am not proud of this.}

With this kind of blatant bribery in play, it wasn’t a surprise that I started relying heavily on Santa’s “naughty or nice” list this month. I can’t tell you how many times a day I remind my daughter that “Santa’s watching,” so she better do as she’s told. For the most part it seems to be working, and Osita seems pretty convinced that she’ll be getting the “christmas pony, Mulan dress and Sleeping Beauty DVD” that have made up her Christmas list for the past three weeks.

It also wasn’t surprising that Osita was really excited to see Santa this year. No more coaxing her to the mall and ushering her, crying, onto Santa’s lap. This year we had to hold her back until the people in front of us were done. When it was her turn, she eagerly climbed onto the big guy’s lap, recited the above wish list and then signaled for baby brother to join her for the picture.

As we left the store, Osita suddenly exclaimed, “Oh, Santa! You forgot to give me my presents!” Luckily the candy cane he pulled from his pocket soften the blow of finding out that she still had to wait a while until Christmas morning.

Santa 2013

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