Lately I've been resorting to bribery! I'm not proud, but it works! And I stretch it out for as long as possible.
Nate is notorious for asking to buy a toy. Any toy will do, literally. It doesn't matter that he has 3000 toys, he constantly wants a new one. The old trick, "Put it on your list" apparently only works on the 4 and under crowd. Now that he's the big 5, I had to step up my game.
He no longer just "gets" a toy, he has to "EARN" a toy!
Our nights usually sound like this.
"You can't ride on your brother's back in the bathtub, you'll drown him!"
"But MOOOOM, he likes it!"
"Do you still want a toy?"
(Instantly he jumps off of Jack's back.)
"Nate, please put your pajamas on."
"Why can't I walk around naked all the time, Daddy does?"
"Nate, just put them on. You're going to bed."
"Mom, I'm too tired to put my clothes on!"
"Remember you wanted to buy a toy, right?"
(Hmm somehow the energy was jolted back into his tiny body just long enough to put his PJ's on. And by the way, Doug doesn't walk around naked!)
So today, Nathan and I went to a Rosh Hashana service at the temple. It was a children's service that only lasted an hour. The rabbi told the children a story about a sheep that always wanted what he didn't have. He wanted peacock feathers, a turtle's shell, and horse's mane. The sheep realized after he got everything, that nobody recognized him, his family and friends no longer spoke to him, and he was lonely and sad.
So when the service was over, and we were walking to the car I thanked Nathan for being so good, and sitting still the entire time.
His reply - "Now can I buy a toy?"
On the way home, we discussed charity, and what it means to donate. We're going to a birthday party this weekend, and they have asked that we select a charity in lieu of gifts. I asked Nathan what seems important to him. I gave him a few options, between feeding the poor, curing cancer, etc.
He replied, "How about we give money to people to buy medicine for kids who can't afford to buy any!"
(Ahh) He does have a soul!