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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bribery

There was a time, when Norah was a wee-baby, that she seemed to enjoy the stroller. Especially when she was very-wee, she enjoyed it so much, she fell asleep before we were even able to cross the street. Ahhh, those were magical times...

...fast-forward to her now, at 19 months, a toddler who literally runs away from me and thinks the phrase "Norah, stop! Get back here!" means "Keep running! Faster!" and she can hardly stand being strapped into the stroller. Thankfully, the BOB is outfitted with a very secure, and adjustable harness, so once I wrestle her into the stroller, she's in there for good, unlike the cheaper Chicco stroller we have that she can MacGyver out of (which led, incidentally, to THE WORST WALK OF MY LIFE last Saturday -- but, that is perhaps a story for another day).

Still, even though I can harness her in and she can't escape, I prefer to walk or run without a screaming, unhappy child. And Norah doesn't love walking -- she'd prefer that if she's gonna get strapped in, that she be moving at a faster pace -- but as I indicated in yesterday's post, I'm really just walking right now. So, how to bribe her into not just wanting to get into the stroller but to remain happy whilst in it?

First, there are two mandatory items we must have: a pacifier (yes, she still uses one and this doesn't concern me one bit -- I was a kid who sucked her thumb until she was in 1st grade, so to me, the pacifier seems way easier to eventually take away when the time comes) and her "Bo-Bo" which is her pink bear. Those items are a MUST, and once we're walking, they're generally enough to keep her happy. So the trick then becomes simply getting her to want to get into the stroller, so new to my bribery is a treat. And Norah's current favorite treat? Buddy Fruit.

This is basically squeezable, pureed fruit. She loves it. No, wait, let me re-phrase: She LOVES it. So much so that I hide them behind other things in the cabinet because if she spies them, she goes ape-shit until I cave and give her one. Therefore, we've developed a little pattern pre-walk: I get out the Buddy Fruit, she has a seizure of pureed-fruit-anticipation, I lure her into the stroller with the promise of handing it over to her, and then I wait to un-cap it until we're out the door.

Because there are just two faults of the Buddy Fruits (one is their cost; they're a $1 a piece, which Jerry views as highway robbery), and one is that they take Norah all of about 30 seconds to devour. That doesn't get us far on our walk. Thankfully, most days, once she's in the stroller, she's content as long as we don't dare walk too far, so if I can convince her to get in, we're generally good. But, definitely, there are days when I wish those Buddy Fruits were gallon-sized so she could suck on them like a tick on a dog, but then later, I'd probably have a kid with a shitplosion-diaper to deal with, so I guess things even out.

And when the day comes that the Buddy Fruits fail to entice her? I guess I could always slip her half a Benadryl ;)

16 comments:

N.D. said...

I went through this with Nick and now at 2 +1 month he is into it. I have his trains, food and my phone to entertain! I'm praying it keeps up.

Tim F said...

This was a great post. Maybe, because my daughter is 14 months and Norah's actions reminds me of my daughter (who I take for stroller rides in the BOB and who goes ape-shit if she sees food she LOVES).

Nikki said...

Ha ha, poor Marcus' bribe item for awhile was little boxes of raisins. On our flight to Hawaii they were keeping him especially happy and I failed to think about the 'effects' of raisins - poor little guy practically exploded that night with poop! Now I stick to less 'loose' bribe snacks like cheerios.

lifestudent said...

I'm all about bribes. Brooke is old enough now she understands a reward post-activity. "Just ride in the stroller now and later we will (insert bribe here)". A big bribe for us is the milk from Starbucks ... which are almost 2 BUCKS each. We have found them at a discount (they are Horizon organic) and now bring them with us and pretend we got her one at the store. Everyone wins.

JojaJogger said...

I don't have any kids, but sometimes I have to resort to bribing myself!

Anonymous said...

Do you think if you froze the buddy fruit, it would last long enough to keep her occupied for the whole ride?

Marlene said...

You're going to have to video tape this for us somehow!

Brooke said...

thank you so much, noting this suggestion for future reference - my little guy is only 10 months and still deals with the running stroller pretty well.

was sorry to hear about your early hiatus in running but I am sure you will be back at it before you know it.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

So funny!

You'll come up with inventive ways to get her in there as the days go by. What happened to the days when kids just did what their parents told them? Maybe my folks lied to me. Maybe I gave them just as much trouble as LBM gives me. I'd better go aploligze to them just incase!

Crystal said...

Pretty soon you will have to start bribing her with more expensive things or become really creative with your bribes!

Krissy said...

Just look at it this way, the buddy fruits are much better than fruit snacks or giving her other crap! And you got to do what you got to do when you need a 19 month old to cooperate, I am with you on the stroller situation with Eli is SO hard to keep him in it for periods of time now.

I was cracking up when I read the line about how you have to hide them in your cabinet! hahahah...Eli freaks out when he see's cheerios & the Kashi TLC breakfast bars, he calls them cookies and FREAKS if he sees the box!

Erin said...

Your next BOB should be equiped with a DVD player so you can play Sesame Street for Norah while you run :)

Her Name Is Rio said...

BUDDY FRUIT!!!!
Sorry....just had to let it out there.

Agate Lake Girl said...

Jon was having trouble getting Rylee into the car seat. I got her in there in two seconds... with the promise of a fruit roll up. Whatever works! :)

Lisa said...

neither of my kids ever enjoyed the stroller. i ended up using it more like a shopping cart - hauling stuff around in it while chasing the kids

H. said...

LOL! My daughter still has her "dee-dee" (pacifier) at 3.5-only at night, but I am not worried about it either and she is way older! :) Also, my kids both LOVE those Buddy Fruits(we call them "Squeezies"), but also wish they made them bigger to last longer! My daughter now likes fruit leather (like a fruit roll-up, but all natural) and they last longer...and my son (16 months) loves raisins which take a while to eat! :)