I have a confession to make and it’s a shameful one. I’m almost too embarrassed to write it! What will my fellow mom’s think of me? What about the crunchy Moms? What about my Southern mom friends who will roll their eyes and wonder…big deal?

So here goes.

Last week… I used an incentive (bribe) to get my four-year old to participate at soccer who had suddenly decided that soccer was “boring”

You say…big deal? Everybody does that.  Here comes the confession part.

I bribed him with a can of Dr. Pepper.

Oh The shame!!!

We were ready to leave for soccer when Eli brought me a can of Dr. Pepper….yes I drink pop (soda for the rest of the USA) so get over it. I have one a day.  I know….it’s awful for the body with the chemicals and what not. Yada Yada.

I told him that he couldn’t have it unless he participated in his soccer lesson and didn’t whine. He was excited to take on this challenge and off we went. Frankly, I was high fiving myself because the only thing good about this soccer class has been listening to the adorable (good-looking) British coaches laugh with the little preschoolers and play sleepy lion on the field.

And then we got to soccer and Eli refused, in front of ALL THE OTHER MOMS to play, announced that he hated soccer, and stood and cried.

I played it cool… you know. I looked at the other Moms, put on my best “oh my word, he is so tired today” face, then calmly whispered in his ear so that none of the other Moms who were sitting on their perfectly spread out blankets with their BPA free water bottles and organic, non gmo, gluten-free, peanut free, bland snacks would have to hear me say, “If you want your can of DR. Pepper you have to participate”.

Then I waited… would he announce that he wanted his DR. Pepper and that I had promised? I had already planned to deny that we drink pop and announce loudly how awful that stuff was, but he didn’t say a word.

He also still refused to play. Instead, he sat in the shade and watched his team run up and down the field. The upside was that one of those terrific British (handsome) coaches sat next to him and played with him the whole time. He was loving the attention!

Every once in a while he would come back to my chair and tell me that he wanted to go and I would whisper “Dr. Pepper”. He would go back to his shade and sit.

An hour later, soccer was over and we went to the mini van. He was ready for his reward. But nope, he didn’t get the Dr. Pepper. He was distraught and as all the other Mommy’s were watching and LISTENING he was exclaiming loudly “I want my Dr. Pepper!! I NEED my Dr. Pepper!!”

I shrugged it off to the yoga pants-wearing Moms, but inwardly cringed. What were they all thinking??

We drove off and Eli settled down. I explained to him, in the privacy of our van, that he didn’t earn the Dr. Pepper because he had not participated in his class. He looked wistfully out the window and I thought, “I think he understands!”

We pulled into the cute little farmers market stand in our town to buy some fresh tomatoes and cheese. I was feeling good. I won this game! I played by the rules! This has been an awesome parenting moment! Mommy 1 — Eli — 0.

Until he spotted the bottled Stewart’s Root Beer behind the glass door.

He looked at me and smiled knowingly with those sweet little blue eyes.  I looked around and saw a couple of the other Moms from soccer with their lovables  babies wrapped in slings and reusable groceries sacks thrown over their shoulder and I suddenly didn’t really care what they thought.

And then I made a decision… it wasn’t a Dr. pepper and I wasn’t rewarding his bad behavior…so I bought him a bottle.

**Disclaimer:  I love my crunchy mama friends.  No offense intended 🙂

Keep smiling and waving!

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