I knew I married Ryan for a reason. Our teamwork is amazing. The other night I added a new toy-picking up trick to our arsenal. Then Ryan created the ultimate getting-ready-for-bed incentive. The trick was to pick out six magnets, one for each room they have to clean. They choose one magnet, clean that room, then return to make their next choice. When they’ve tackled three rooms, they’re done. Daddy’s incentive was that the bedtime routine was to be a contest. They had to clean their three rooms, take their shower, put on their jammies, and have us brush their teeth. The winner got to have their daily Nintendo DS turn first. What a difference a contest makes. Here’s the break down:
7:00 Begin the circus. Yell a lot. Spank a little. Threaten more.
8:00 (on a good night) Read stories, kiss, allow a few minutes of reading time.
8:30 Lights out. Mischievousness. Tattles. Moves to top bunk. Spankins. “If I have to come in there one more time…” threats.
9:00 (maybe) Boys finally give it up
7:00 Start the contest. Boys run around like maniacs
7:06 Routine finished. (Well, all but story time, but seriously!)
Seriously. I even sniff-checked hair to make sure it was washed. I can confirm that it at least touched shampoo. Good enough for me!
The next night we got similar results. 6:57 to 7:05, baby! We bragged on the boys hard-core, then daddy came up with a new privilege to reward them for their great job. Any night they were ready for bed by 8:00, they could have bonus play time in their room until 8:30. He said, “BONUS PLAY TIME” in an excited voice and was rewarded with squeals and jumping up and down. We didn’t mention that they usually are still reading and playing until 8:30 and 9 anyway.