When dealing with parenthood and children in general the fine art of bargaining often comes into play. Also known as bribing we like to use the less mercenary term of bargaining but really it's a give take thing where the parent may really not care much what they have to give to get the desired results. Mind you the age of the child must be taken into consideration. When said child is very young the object of the bribe is normally not terribly expensive. A Polly Pocket or Littlest Pet Shop whatnot is all it takes but it must come often and be pretty instant in the younger years. We used this ploy when the kid was 5 and we really needed her to stop sucking her thumb. When she was an infant we tried every pacifier on the market but she insisted on the thumb. It's easier to ween the paci, trust me on this one. As the child got older the stakes went up as did the time. When trying to get over the thumb sucking she got a bribe once weekly for every week she didn't suck her thumb. In the 1st grade she needed to be at a certain reading level or she would not pass the 1st grade. The bribe was the Nintendo DS. She missed that first goal but we gave her a second chance. In order to play DS games you have to read directions, if she couldn't read there was no use to owning one right? The next time her teacher tested her she passed 2 levels and went beyond her goal. She got her DS.
We have an only child, for the most part she gets everything she wants. At a price because nothing in life is free. We're mean parents like that. I also don't want to raise a trust fund baby, she can pay her way through college just like her momma did and not spend the whole time partying and pissing away her family's money like I watched many a co-Ed do. Not my kid.
So this brings us to the give take bargain as it stands now. The rat thing. You remember the rat thing? I don't want the rat. I thought the kid wanted the rat. Well here's the deal. She wanted a guinea pig or a turtle. Her cousin wanted a rat. Since she follows what her cousin does she got a rat too. Now don't get me wrong, she loves the rat and plays with it and talks about it all the time. But I don't think she's in love with the rat. If you know what I mean. Her grandmother told her that she'd try to donate the rat to the local school's science program once she left. The kid said she wanted to keep the rat. The husband said we'd take the rat. The mom (me) said the grandmother would have to pay for the rat to come home. And when all was said and done the grandmother balked at the $75 price tag to get the rat to said home. Don't get me started, I did a lot of research to figure out how to fly a freaking rat across state lines at a decent price. Trust me, this is way cheaper than flying any other warm blooded animal ($330). The rat counts as a lab animals, hence the lower price.
I talked to the kid this morning, we chatted about this and that and I eventually asked her if anything had been decided about the rat. Short answer, no. I don't think the kid was keen on giving the rat to the school. Until I started bargaining. I told her that if she could find a good home for the rat that we'd get her a guinea pig when she came home. Trust me when I tell you this is the lesser of 2 evils. Guinea pigs don't stink the way rats do. Not even close. I think they don't live as long either. Double bonus! I made sure she knew I was adamant about her needing to find the rat a good home. That's a MUST. I did also mention that we already have a guinea pig cage here at the house. I bought it for the chinchilla before I bought his monster 2 level mansion. That he only uses 1 level of. I took the second level down last week to put 2 vivaruims on top of the cage. I'm pretty sure the chinchilla hasn't noticed yet.
So yeah, she likes her rat a lot but she'd like a guinea pig more. Momma latched onto that bargaining chip like you would not believe. We may not have to acquire a rat and this would be good. Very very good. Let's just see if grandmother gets on the ball and finds that rat another home. Cross your fingers, I really don't want a rat.