Are you familiar with Pillow Pets? I bet if you have kids in the 3-to-7 age range that either go to public school or watch TV, you do. They are HOT HOT HOT right now. Which means I am against them.
Thanks to Qubo channel's highly repetitive, persuasive and obnoxious commercials, which also have my children asking for Pocket Copters and LifeLock, the girls started begging for Pillow Pets right after Ginger's birthday. Which poses this dilemma - too late to get one for Ginger; if I get one for Hazel's birthday that leaves Ginger in the cold; but I am not just buying these things for no reason except the girls wanting them. What to do?
I looked a little closer at the things. Turns out that, commercials aside, they are not that offensive and even kinda cute. Their worst trait is being big, but they are soft, machine washable, no batteries, and not ridiculously overpriced ($20 average on Amazon.) And in case you don't know, they have a velcro strap across the bottom, so they can be a 3-D-ish stuffed animal or, when undone, a flat-ish pillow.
Still. We already have a lot of stuffed animals. So I made the girls a deal, having NO IDEA how it would work out. If they really wanted Pillow Pets they could earn the money for them by doing extra jobs around the house. Both were enthusiastically on board at first, which I figured they would be. I was interested in if there would be staying power.
I didn't dare deal in cash - guaranteed to lose it! - so we made a chart, with $20 in 25-cent increments for each girl, and stuck it on the fridge. Ginger took off like gang busters. Jobs, jobs all the time! First tier jobs were always cleaning or running - pick up the toys, pick up the newspapers, take this upstairs, etc. Second tier were things that needed my help - watering plants, cleaning the bathroom, sweeping. Third tier, when I was desperate or busy and couldn't think of anything else, were made-up jobs - things that didn't really need doing but wouldn't hurt - usually involving a spray bottle of water and a rag - wash a door, the dining chairs, the stairs, etc. Good stuff.
Well obviously you can tell from the pictures that they gained their prize. Ginger reached $20 in about 6 weeks. Hazel took a little more time and prodding but eventually got there. She is more lazy and not home as much anyway. But watching Ginger work towards a goal with focus and motivation was a phenomenon to behold, and a great insight into her little character.
When it came time to order, Hazel chose the dolphin, "to be friends with my mermaids." And Ginger chose a cream Easter bunny, "because it's new and I like it" (limited edition at Easter time, though the ladybug was a close second.)
Of course, they take them everywhere and yes, I even like to lay on them. And of course as soon as they had them, they wanted a new chart to start earning money for Happy Nappers (thank you again so much, Qubo.) But Ed and I had a bigger vision.
We recently attended a casual game night at our church - tables with sandwiches, board games, card decks, etc. (and the best white chocolate popcorn on earth, I am getting that recipe!) They also had a couple of rooms set up with Wii's that were supposedly under adult supervision. It ended up being kind of a train wreck because Ed and I were socializing or playing games and not really paying attention to where the girls were. When it was time to go, we found Hazel in a Wii room trying to get a turn among a bunch of kids who thought they knew what they were doing, and no adult to organize them. Then someone came in and unplugged it and said the game night was over. And Hazel never got a turn. She knew it was fun, but didn't know how to do it. And was probably the only kid there who couldn't go home and play her own Wii. Cause we don't have one.
So after the mother meltdown Hazel had, Ed talked to the girls this week about earning money for a Wii. It seems to be something Hazel really wants, so it shall be interesting to see which prevails: wanting or lazy. Each girl must earn $50, and we will make up the rest. So what do you think - will they do it? Or will we just break down in 7 months and get one for Christmas? Stay tuned, only time will tell...