Now, your weary exasperated Matron initially made the sticker system a threat out of desperation during Monday's exorcism.
Matron: "I swear to God we are going to start using STICKERS as a reward for getting out of the house!"
Merrick immediately freezes, mid-flail, from his position behind the couch.
Even the IDEA got him out the door. Imagine the real thing?! Some fuzzy! Bright colors! Balls, bells, stars, dogs and kittens. Friends, the Matron is here to tell you that you can buy anything on a sticker, including Barack Obama and Willie Nelson.
Wise, wise readers also clued in on another current shaping this stream: suddenly, Merrick is the CENTER. OF. ATTENTION. Including Scarlett's. That's right--Scarlett was the one who created the Mother Board for Stickers, crafted chores (with Merrick and parental input), and determined said reward system.
There was much bartering. Merrick believed that he should get a 'surprise' for each sticker. The Matron thought ten. Global diplomacy ensued and several world wars later, they were grid-locked at 4 (Merrick) to 5 (Matron).
The elder statesmen conceded.
Since Tuesday, Merrick has been obsessed with good deeds. He has set the table. He offers assistance ("Hewe, let me cawwy that, Mama"). Not once as he fought about homework. He has been out the door on time.
To date, he has scored one new Nerf gun and one mini-box of Russell Stover assorted chocolates, which he dutifully -- enthusiastically even -- shared in the spirit of earning MORE STICKERS.
Better yet, his teacher (thanks decades of experience) signed on to be part of the team. She is letting Merrick pick the next Great Book series story that the class will read together.
Merrick: "Mom! I am IN CHARGE of reading in Room 110!"
Be still, oh beating heart! Words she never thought she'd hear.
The battle is hardly won but at least, she hopes, the army is assembled and on the field. (are armies on fields?) And it was definitely time for action. Not necessarily worry, but action.