Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bargaining Out of Bed

A few weeks ago, Sam discovered that even though we put him in bed, he doesn't have to stay.

While that seems a small realization, the result was an hour of us silently putting Sam back into his bed and losing all time to ourselves every night. So Joy remembered something her Mom does with her students and told Sam that every night he had two passes to get out of bed and after that, he had to stay put.

We knew we were in trouble when he started planning his passes before bed each night.

Last week, he got out of bed so many times, that I told him on Wednesday that he had used all of his passes for the week. He wanted to know when he got new passes. I told him Sunday. He asked when Sunday was. I told him it was the day we went to church.

Fast forward to tonight. Joy's putting Sam to bed, and Sam announces that since it was Sunday he has new passes and follows the statement with his first demand: "I need a drink of water for my first pass." Dutifully, Joy goes and gets him a drink. Then he proclaims, "I will come and get you for my second pass. Go away, Mama." Joy goes and does some of her getting ready for bed routine and then hears Sam padding down the hall to get her. When she goes back into his room she reminds him, "Sam, you're out of passes now."

Sam pauses, thinks a moment, then shouts, "Look! I found some passes hiding here under the covers!" Joy gently tells him that passes don't work that way, you can't just find them. Undeterred, Sam continues, "and I found some popcorn and a marshmallow. I'll feed you Mama." Joy, trying to keep from laughing, mumbles "Thanks" and something about how she was hungry. Sam follows up by saying, "and I found some money! Here you go!"

At this point Joy has to leave to keep from cracking up at all the things Sam is "finding." She comes downstairs to tell me the tale, and Sam is hot on her heels, offering more pretend money to her. Only three and a half, and he's already figured out you can buy your way out of most any situation. And since he's using pretend money to do it, he obviously has a future on Wall Street.


Ramona said...

this is one of my biggest fears when we transition sean into a big boy bed. :P i know after some time and consistency of getting him to stay in bed, he will learn, but man, i'm not looking forward to it. :)

Andrew said...

What's funny is that Sam's been in the big boy bed for a year now and he's only now started this up.

Ramona said...

ah, things i get to look forward too. :) at least you can somewhat reason with him, right? :)

Andrew said...

Yes, and he can reason quite well back. His current favorite response when we ask him anything is "no, not really." So we're trying not to give questions you can answer no to.