At our house recently, our kids have been pulling some major attitude. Mr. Blue and I have tried to think of different ways to correct our kids' behavior without locking them in their rooms until they turn 18. We have tried many things, but one of the most effective was a silly piece of paper that we put on the wall for each kid with 50 stars drawn on each paper. As they did good things, they would get a sticker to put on a star. Once all the stars were covered up, they would get to do something fun like go to the indoor pool, go to the dollar store, have a movie night, etc. The only problem with the sticker chart was that there wasn't a way to remove the stickers for bad behavior. After some brainstorming and several failed plans we opted for a marble jar. Put in marbles for good behavior, take them out for bad behavior. I set out on a quest to find marbles. Do you know how hard it is to find marbles? I'm sure that one of you will say, "Oh, I found a package of a billion for like $2", but I must have been looking at the wrong stores, because everywhere I went I found 25 marbles for $3. (Slight exaggeration.)
I stumbled upon some stars and hearts and it was like it was meant to be. I bought several packages and brought them home a week or so ago. Told the kids the plan - if they filled up the jar they could go to the dollar movie. They were totally excited. Things got off to a good start. They were busy doing good deeds and were making good progress filling up their jars. Then Mr. Orange remembered that he is 5 and threw some major tantrums resulting in his jar being completely emptied one night. Miss Pink remembered that she is a dramatic 3 year old and lost many stars and hearts. Mr. Blue and I realized we had a major hole in our plan of goodness. If there is no deadline to fill the jar by, then why would they be good? At some point the jar will be full whether they are really good or not. We decided that Saturday was the day and if their jars were full to the brim they could go with us to the dollar movie. We decided that on Tuesday night, which did not leave the kids a whole lot of time to fill up their jars.
We informed them of the new plan the next morning. Mr. Orange's jar was still empty, but something must have clicked in his head because he worked HARD to fill up his jar. So did Miss Pink. They were still a little low on Friday morning so I decided it was the day to take three weeks' worth of toys back to the basement and to clean up the disaster zone (also known as our basement) in the process. I have never seen these kids work so hard. At one point a spider started to crawl up the wall. I asked Mr. Orange how brave he was feeling (I was not feeling brave AT ALL!!) and ran to get him a tissue to kill the spider with. I handed him the tissue and he just stared at the spider. I said, "Mr. Orange, I will give you 5 stars if you kill that spider right now." He bent down, killed the spider and he got 5 more stars.
Saturday morning we all woke up excited to finish filling up the jars. The kids had a few chores and kind things to do before their jars would be completely full. I went to a meeting and Mr. Blue had them busy helping him vacuum, clean bathrooms, making beds, and all the other fun things you can force kids to do on a Saturday morning when they really, really want to go to a movie. By noon their jars were full and it was time for us to pay up...
|Mr. Orange wanted Red and Black stars for UTAH. Miss Pink, well of course she wanted pink and clear stars with pink and purple hearts because they are "princess-ey".|
We decided to go see Megamind. While we were getting ready to go, Mr. Orange laid down on the couch and complained that his head hurt. I figured it was from going to bed late the night before and breathing in cleaner fumes all morning. Right before we left, I noticed him in the bathroom with his head hanging over the toilet bowl. I asked him if he was okay. He assured me that he was. I asked if he wanted to stay home, we would watch a movie on the couch and go see Megamind another day. He said no. He would be fine. We loaded everyone into the car and headed to the dollar theater.
We got in right as the movie was starting. Mr. Orange curled up on my lap (very unusual) to watch the movie. He wouldn't eat any of the snacks. Towards the end of the movie he got a little restless. I asked if he needed to use the bathroom and he said no. About 10 minutes before the show ended we were sitting there and all of a sudden, SURPRISE! my lap was full of vomit. Ew! Gross. I put Mr. Orange on the floor, grabbed his hand, and we ran for the bathroom. Of course there were no towels in the bathroom, so I took off his shirt and started to clean him up. A kind lady in the restroom went and found paper towels for us and a manager came in with Sprite and a garbage bag. I wadded Mr. Orange's shirt up in the garbage bag, cleaned us up as much as I could, put his sweatshirt on him (which somehow survived the volcano of vomit!) and we went to wait for Miss Pink and Mr. Blue. We didn't have to wait long. I realized when we got to the car that I had vomit all over my bottom. Nice. I cleaned off my front side and didn't even think about my backside. Mr. Orange cuddled with me on the couch after we got home and cleaned up. I'm not sure why he was sick! It was one of those weird throw up a few times and you're fine type things.
Mr. Orange went to bed nice and early. I went to the store to find a few things for Valentine's Day. I got home around 9 and Miss Pink was still wandering around. (Not unusual at all. click here, or here.) I went up to help "encourage" her to go to sleep. When I walked into her room she immediately hid her hands behind her back. I asked to see them and she had written all over the backs of her hands with a red Sharpie. I'm pretty used to the marker all over her body thing, so I just calmly took the marker away and asked her to get into bed. A half hour or so later we can still hear her bouncing around in her room. Mr. Blue goes up to check on her. As he is coming down she starts to cry (I think she wanted another song or something like that) and a few minutes later she walks into the family room. I look at her and then look at her again. She looked like she had been beaten up! Her right eye was purple and her red eye was reddish purple. Her whole face looked awful! As she came closer I noticed the palms of her hands. She had found her box of markers (Santa brought her WASHABLE markers) and had decided to decorate her hands because the red Sharpie on her hands wasn't enough. Mr. Blue hadn't turned on the light when he went upstairs so he hadn't seen the marker. When she started to cry she had rubbed her hands all over her face causing the "beaten little girl" look. I laughed so hard when I realized what had happened. I took her into the bathroom and cleaned her up. She looked much better but her eyes were still a little red/purple-y this morning.
Kids. You gotta love 'em!