My dad babysits my son. And, when I go to pick my son up from my dad’s house, I have to bribe him to come home with me. You see, at my dad’s house, my little guy gets to do pretty much whatever he wants while getting 100% of my dad’s attention.
It's a bit of a departure from what he gets at home. At home? He’s an only child (for now) with a mom who’s preoccupied with cooking, cleaning, working, cleaning up after another small being (read: dog), running a household and going through her third trimester of pregnancy - in the summertime.
At home, Mommy doesn’t respond enthusiastically when he digs his nose with every finger on both of his hands. At home, he can’t eat all the kinds of snacks he gets to eat at Grandpa’s. At home, he has to take naps. At Grandpa’s, everything seems to be optional. At home, he turns back into a pumpkin.
So what does it take to get my clever almost-three-year-old away from Gramps’ Kid Paradise? One magic word, people: Movie. If I tell him he’ll get to watch a movie when he gets home, there’s a bit less reluctance in leaving Grandpa’s house.
And of course, when he gets into the car, he will talk about his ‘special movie.’ All. The. Way. Home.
“Mommy? What movie I gonna watch?”
“Mommy? I watch my very own special movie?”
“Mommy? I watch movie?”
“Mommy? I gonna watch it?
"Mommy? I gonna watch my movie?”
Etcetera, etcetera, and so forth. Thirty minutes of some form of this phrase.
And when I get home, of course I don’t immediately stick a DVD into the player. I have things to do! I have to cook dinner, I have to tidy up the house, I have to pee the dog - I have to, I have to, I have to! But wouldn’t you know, my child and his Elephant Memory get on my tail, following me around the house, asking the same two questions over and over again: “Mommy? When I gonna watch my movie?” or the ever popular “MOVIE! Waaaaaaah! MOVIE! Waaaaaaah!”
You know what happens when movies are the only thing in my arsenal? I get to watch those movies, too. Every single installation of "Toy Story". And then "Cars". And then "Kung Fu Panda". And then whatever else he can watch... this even means "Goonies". That’s right. "Goonies". For a three-year-old.
I need a new Magic Word.