The boys have been taking swimming lessons for almost a year now. Aaron has turned into a little fish. He is so excited to get in the pool and swim (which basically means trying not to sink). He likes to use a kick board and float on his back and he recently started to jump off a small diving board. He loves to go under water now and we have talked about going down a water slide now that he is comfortable going below the surface.
Jeff, on the other hand, is not a fan of getting his head wet. He enjoys swimming at least. His excellent teacher has managed to get Jeff to put his ears in the water while floating on his back as well as blow bubbles once, but aside from that Jeff comes out of the thirty minute swim lesson mostly dry from the neck up. The teacher has encouraged Jeff to jump in from a sitting position on the wall instead of the diving board but that hasn't worked. The teacher has tried to get Jeff to bob under the water and that has never happened. Even jumping in from the side while holding the teacher's hands has stopped. Jeff has hit a plateau.
During this week's swimm lesson I looked at Derek and told him that I was ready to bribe Jeff if he would jump off the diving board. (My mom says bribery is just another word for positive reinforcement so we'll go with that term!) Derek agreed.
On the car ride home I asked Jeff what it would take for him to dive off the diving board.
"Buy me ice cream every day!" he said.
Every day??? Crazy. No way.
"Ummm...I don't think I can get you ice cream every day. What else could I get you?" I asked trying to renegotiate the terms of this verbal contract.
"Ice cream every week!" was the response.
Ugh. I guess I should figure out how long this ice cream buying is supposed to last. Maybe his idea of ice cream every day is only for a week. I thought he would say lunch at a restaurant or a movie rental from the library. Somehow this top notch negotiator is thinking long term and trying to milk this for all it's worth.