I’m going to share a story that may get me the worst mother ever award.
But this is the truth. And it is part of the Homebound Homeschool story. So here goes.
One of the things I didn’t really like about the whole hospital process was this invisible schedule that the doctors, nurses, and therapists seemed to have in their minds. It included what a patient should be able to do or how much pain she should be having each day after the surgery.
Maybe we have been homeschooling too long. Maybe I’m a rebel.
I can appreciate that the doctors need some kind of baseline for a “normal” timeline. But there seemed too little flexibility for watching what the patient was, in fact, experiencing.
Emma seemed to flow along this recovery timeline a bit more slowly than their schedule allowed.
When the doctors were looking towards our going home, Emma was in no way motivated. She was in too much pain. The “normal” day for discharge came and went, and we were still in the hospital. Emma was not eager to go home where there were no round-the-clock nurses and physical therapists who know exactly how to rescue you. In fact, it looked like we might have overstayed what was allowed (by insurance, I guess) if not for my brilliant moment.
I was desperate. We had to get out of the hospital. I needed Emma home where she could recover in peace at our own pace. I needed sleep and privacy.
So I did what a sleep-deprived, emotionally fragile parent does in desperate times.
I bribed my child.
I told her we would buy her a Wii and get Netflix. And after she feel asleep, I realized that we would actually have to buy a television too. Oh, and a stand of some sort for the television.
When she woke up, she said, “I dreamed you said you would buy me a Wii. Isn’t that funny?”
I could have gotten out of my deal, but I was still frantic for a solution. I repeated the promise, holding out that one condition –going home. We have to go home to get the Wii. It worked. Like magic. There was an instant turn-around. And we were planning our discharge.
My couple hundred dollar bribe morphed into a $1000+ bribe. This was one shopping errand my husband was thrilled to help me with! And now we are what Emma calls a “normal American family” with a huge TV in the living room.
The upside is that I’m getting to watch Doctor Who with her during this recovery time. Ironically, she has not yet been well enough to enjoy the Wii — my original bribe.
So what to you think? Do I get the terrible mom award for bribing a child with an expensive toy? Or can you relate to my desperation?