Or how to get a ten year old girl who doesn’t like super hero stuff to agree to have Batman on her wall.
So the first part of this story is sometime in Spring 2019. MadBee had no restrictions on food or drink in her bedroom. And she really lived it up, let me tell you. She’s really terrible at cleaning up her room and, along with wet towels and clothes on the floor, she would leave drinks and wrappers and snacks and just about anything you can think of in her room. Until one day when she was cleaning up her room and she found a drink that had been been overlooked for a long time So long that it had gnats flying around it. True story. She came to me and asked if I would take it downstairs for her. But I’m not that kind of stepdad. Very big on having the kids do their own things. Clean up after themselves. But MadBee was insistent that this was gross and there was no way she was picking it up. I cajoled and threatened grounding and threw in a couple of carrots (figurative, of course) and I finally came up with the perfect consequence. Pick up after yourself. If you don’t, the rule from now on would be no food, candy or drink allowed upstairs, except water. She wasn’t about to clean up this mess, so I picked up the mess and the rule came into force.
Fast forward to sometime in the last month or so. I’m not sure how it came up, but MadBee very matter of factly declared that she would never put up or allow a super hero poster on her bedroom wall. Her mom warned her against such definitive pronouncements, but she persisted. I said, “challenge accepted.”
In the last month or so, I had more or less forgotten about her thrown gauntlet. Then, Saturday night, MadBee had one of her cheer friends over for a sleepover. They asked if, just for the sleepover, they could bring some food and drinks up to her room. My immediate response was no, as it had always been on previous asks. But then I said, “well, what’ll you give me?” Then started the negotiating. Some back and forth ensued and the food and drink prohibition has been lifted. In exchange, Batman will now hang on MadBee’s wall for the next year – until October 25, 2020. Score one for the stepdad.