Work with me, please.

Mae said that she had a good day at camp.  That’s a relief.  She earned “two or three” stickers for following instructions the first time, which was the head counselor’s idea to encourage her to listen better.

Friday evening, she started asking for a toy she saw on TV, WugglePets.  I told her that if she earns forty stickers by the end of this camp (four weeks away), she could get a WugglePet.  She doesn’t need yet another toy, and I intended to set a goal high enough to keep her from getting a WugglePet, yet give her enough hope to keep listening well at camp.  (I recognize that there is an unethical element to that; however, it would be extremely unfortunate and inconvenient for her to get kicked out of summer camp).

To make a long story short, she talked me down to twenty stickers and five mickeys (which she and Jay earn at home for good behavior and trade in for TV or computer time, treats, or fast food).  She’s a fast talker, and at seven already, relentless and persuasive.  It was a mistake for me to negotiate on a Friday because that is the day that I am most exhausted, the cumulative effect of a week’s worth of home and work demands.  Actually, I hadn’t even intended to negotiate.  It just . . . happened.  Anyhow, it’s done.  A deal is a deal.

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Last night and tonight, she traded voluntarily her reading time for math time.  She’s been slowly working her way through a second-grade math book, which I’m very proud of her for doing.   I noticed tonight that she’s been picking out pages on problem solving through deductive reasoning.  Now, I’m convinced that she knows exactly what she’s doing — developing her logic skills so that she can use them against me.

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