Last Tuesday was a busy day for me. I felt a bit like the main character from that movie “I don’t know how she does it” because I was heading from one place to the next to the next, with kids-in-tow. Really a typical day in the life of a mum.
It was Esther’s birthday last Tuesday so I was up early to get some writing work done before presents could be given and unwrapped. I’d baked, iced and decorated the cupcakes for her class the night before so I’d have more time in the morning to get ready.
My day started with dropping my husband to work, then dropping Esther to school (a little late) and delivering the cupcakes to her classroom, wrangling Maggie and Phoebe from the school playground, racing to Kindy orientation for Maggie next year, messaging my editor for Mumtastic on access to the Facebook page to do my Facebook live video at the park, racing home to give the younger kids morning tea, a nappy change and wee stop, before driving to our local park to do my 10 minute Facebook live post.
We have three parks to choose from in our suburb and the park that we would normally go to wasn’t going to work for the game I was going to show online.
After packing the kids into the car, I re-explained to Maggie that we were going to do a video and she was going to be the star and would it be ok if mummy played a fun game in the park with her? Maggie was all smiles about the video and she’s used to me taking pictures and videos of her for memory’s sake. (she also likes to be the centre of attention when she can)
So, I drive to the top park in our suburb and Maggie throws a tanty telling me she didn’t want to go to this park, she wanted to go to the park in the middle of our suburb. I oblige because I need her to be happy for the live video.
I drive to the middle park and it is all sectioned off for construction.
Me: (curse) No can do Maggie. (I look at the time – I have to be on in 5 minutes!) We’re going to our normal park.
Maggie: No. I don’t want to go to our green park.
Me: (grit my teeth and think about what Dooce said at Problogger last year!) Ok, let’s head back to the top park.
So I drive to the top park, get the kids out of their car seats, chuck their hats on and remember to put a hat on my own head because sun safety is important!
I direct Maggie to the ‘little kids’ section of the park which has the most colours (crucial for the Facebook Live video)
Maggie kicks her foot with a frown on her face.
‘I don’t want to play over there mummy. And I don’t want to do a video.’
Me: (crying inside, then pray and think on my feet on how to get my darling three-year-old to smile and be happy for the live video. Slightly hyperventilating as I have to start the video in 2 minutes. Quickly check that I have WIFI – yep! Thank the Lord for good internet connection!)
I kneel down to Maggie and I look into her eyes and tell her that we had talked about doing the video and now that we are at the park we have to do it in a couple of minutes time.
I then do what most parents would have done in my situation…
Succumb to the bribe.
I bribe my three year old with ice cream for lunch if she helps me with my video.
Maggie is all smiles and runs to the playground to make herself sick in a yellow bucket chair that goes round and round and round. Phoebe is already going up and down the slide.
The Facebook live video went well. Maggie was a superstar and did way better than I thought! I had no idea where Phoebe was during the filming of the video. And then out of the corner of my eye I saw her race into the public toilets and knew that was my signal to wrap up the live video. I rescued her before she decided to add more toilet paper to an unflushed toilet. (eww)
I was a little relieved the video went ok. There were so many variables at play to get the video done, but I did it and of course, I carried out my end of the deal by treating the girls to ice cream for lunch. Although our first choice Cold-Rock was closed, Baskin Robbins was open for the win. A fifty cent cone from McDonalds wasn’t going to suffice.
Ever done a Facebook live video with little kids? Ever bribed your kids to do something they don’t want to do?