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The Deal

February 2, 2011 - Jennifer Brookens
You can tell the whimsy of Christmas has worn off, because my daughter already has a case of the "I wants."

"Mom," she said after another full-day at daycare due to the recent snow days. "I really, REALLY want an Nintendo DS. It doesn't even have to be a DSI." It's been the #1 item on her wish list for about a year now. And as much as I hate to say it, I'm starting to become sympathic. She the oldest girl at her daycare, with the other like-age kids being roughhouse boys, so I can understand how she might feel a little left out and bored. Luckily, for nine months out of the year, it's never a factor for long. But then there's summertime, where a good stretch of that time will be spent at daycare.

I've kicked around the pros and cons. She's read a good section of the children's part of the library in the past few years, and is an excellent reader. But with lots of kids around, it's tough to get into a good book. And the toughest part for me is knowing how it feels when you're left out, especially as a child.

Finally I relented. Sort of. We made The Deal: If she can pull off a perfect report card (and I believe she can easily IF she concentrates on it), then we will get her the beloved DS game system. She happily agreed. Now comes my end of the bargain that I will need to struggle with: if she does not meet this goal, will I go soft and get it anyway just to make my daughter happy? Since this item is pricey, it will be tougher for me to pick it up for her on a whim. And if she does succeed, will I be able to get it to her in a timely manner. (I do have a dirty little habit of waiting to see if she will "forget" about some of our lesser deals. It sometimes works, sometimes not. Something tells me this one will not be forgotten easily).

But with making this deal, I feel a little better about "spoiling" my girl. For at least I have given her a good goal to work toward to earn this reward, instead of just saying, "Santa got it for you." Might as well get into this good habit now, since the future toys and goals are only going to get more complex.


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