This week of posts has been dedicated to my little Conman! I love celebrating birthdays in my children’s lives and this was no exception! He is getting so old that it is fun to see his enthusiasm and impatience (we counted down to his big day for over a week). This year was a tough one as a parent. Conner told us months ago that he REALLY wanted a 4-wheeler like some of his friends. Well, Dave and I are not those kinds of parents who take buying such a toy lightly. We really debated about it for weeks. We sat Conner down, told him how many dollars it was and that he was going to have to help earn it – he was game. We also decided that we didn’t just want him earning $$$$$ for it, but he needed to SHOW us that he deserved such a gift! We created a chart that had a picture of said 4-wheeler on it with 2 columns: GOOD & BAD! Every day, Dave and I monitored his behavior and we tallied up the checks in the appropriate column. I was amazed when we started doing this . . . it was like we had a different child. Suddenly he remembered his manners, he stopped whining (almost), he got more patient and was just more delightful to be around :-)! I guess it worked. And perhaps this could be considered bribery, but I don’t see it that way. I see it as Conner got something that he really wanted and he had to WORK for it; and Dave and I got what we wanted – an easier to be around and much more polite child!
And don’t think I didn’t have doubts as we pursued this path. After General Conference and Elder Hales talk on “Do we need it, can we afford it, and WHY are we buying it?” I really wondered. Both Dave and I knew we were buying this gift to make our little boy beyond HAPPY. Conner is not a bike rider (he’s an over-thinker and there are too many uncontrollable variables on a bike), so we knew this 4-wheeler would be his cup of tea! I may still wonder at times if this was the right thing to do, but I do feel like we went about it well as parents and now we do have a very excited 6-year old! Oh, and not to mention I now have the perfect bargaining tool – if he can’t obey, etc. it will be the first thing to go (am I terrible?)!
We had a great day, starting with Conner’s favorite breakfast cereal in a special bowl and a sprig of balloons behind him. Sitting near his breakfast was a note from mom & dad inviting him on a “treasure hunt” to find his presents. There were 6 (of course) clues . . . some required more than others (i.e. doing 6 jumping jacks), and one even included some new scripture stories from Logan. But ultimately the final prize was located in the garage! It certainly made it easy to only have to buy ONE present!! He’s been practicing riding around and is getting better.
Later in the morning one of Conner’s best friends came over and brought him a present and they were able to put it to good use to catch some bugs! After lunch Logan and I were able to visit his classroom where we entertained the kids with stories about Conner and tempted their taste buds with candy airplanes!
The day continues . . . .
We took Conner to dinner and then Meggie, Ty, and G&G Tanner met us at the bowling alley for some sweet bowling action! Conner started out using the ramp — then he graduated to the granny roll —- finally we got him to just start running and chuck it, as is illustrated here:
A good time was had by all.
Logan LOVED to watch all the balls and walk around.
Conner beat Mommy & Grandma.
And we all learned it is easier to bowl on the Wii!
So far every year I have gone out of my way to make a fun and time-intensive cake! This year Conner and I sat down and looked through pictures. He liked all of them, but couldn’t pick one. I told him to think about it and let me know. A few days later I got the brilliant idea of buying (heaven forbid) an ice cream cake. I suggested it to the birthday boy and he totally approved! After eating it, I do as well!
‘Til next year . . . . . . I think some great memories were made!