Pay up!

GRIN # 411

I had two mom goals this summer for my kid. One was for him to become a better swimmer.

I was going to pony up for swim lessons, but ultimately I was too cheap.

At $25 a lesson, I figured bribery would be more cost effective. Besides, swimming is one sport with which I’m actually familiar, shockingly.

It started out well. The lifeguard taught Tyler to dive during break. Just like that.  SWEET! And free.

Next, I offered Tyler a dollar to tread water for one minute. I didn’t think he could do it. But he took my dollar.

A week or so later I offered him a quarter for each full lap he swam–no dog paddle and no putting his feet on the bottom of the pool.

This is where things got a little tricky. I admit I may have gotten a bit complacent, what with my earlier successes, so I indulged in a magazine while he swam, glancing up occasionally to note he was still, in fact, swimming and not drowning.

“Mom, you owe me $6!!” he said after about 30 minutes.

“There is no freakin’ way I owe you $6. That would be 24 laps!” I said. (See, I can do math). “There’s no way you swam 24 laps.”

“I did too!”

“Did not!”

“I did TOO.”

“We’ll talk about it.”

Once home, I tried to negotiate. I hadn’t really watched Tyler too closely so I couldn’t accuse him of lying, but there was no way that kid swam 24 laps in 30 minutes. Maybe half that.

“I’ll give you three dollars,” I said.”That’s twelve laps.”


“No way. We’ll talk again when I get out of the shower.”

A minute later, he bust through the door.

“PRIVACY!” I yelled. I’m convinced if that kid sees me naked one more time he’s going to need therapy.

“Where is your wallet?” he yelled back.


When I got out he was lounging on my bed like a little mobster; he was stalking me. “Five dollars.”

“Three,” I countered.

“Four,” he countered back.

“I’ll make you a deal. I’ll give you four now or I’ll give you three and pay for your movie ticket tomorrow; you choose.”

“Three and the ticket.”

Smart kid.

I mentioned I had two summer goals for him. My second? To read.

But he won’t do that for any amount of money.


2 Responses to “Pay up!”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Easy like Sunday morning… 😉

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