Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you plan, especially when a preschooler is involved. What a preschooler wants and what a preschooler means are clearly two different things!
For weeks, Lily has been asking me for “piggy coins” for her Hamm the pig. Her Hamm is a freebie we sent away for with four cereal box codes. He’s not exactly high quality. His cork comes out if you look at him wrong. He wasn’t piggy bank material when you consider the 1 year old we have wandering around here.
I wanted to use coins as rewards for chores, so I told her we could go get a new, functioning piggy bank if she picked up her toys for five days and after that she would get “piggy coins” every time she did something good. She held up her end of the deal, so we made a special trip to the store just to get her piggy bank.
Lily was very enthusiastic about our trip and the whole piggy bank gaining/buying process and the prospect of piggy coins until we walk up to the pigs and I point out the prettiest one. And she says “I don’t want one. I already have one.”
Then she got very upset when I informed her again that her flimsy Hamm could not be her piggy bank. She couldn’t play with him if he had coins in him. I told her we could buy a second Hamm to hold piggy coins and that upset her even more.
I don’t know how she thought “buying a new piggy bank” meant “putting coins in your existing piggy bank”, but I guess my grown-up to preschooler language is still in development.
My reward was going down the tubes after days of build-up and I didn’t know what to do! She still wanted coins. She loves coins, and I wanted to use them as a reward so badly that I told her we were buying a particularly cute piggy bank in a tiara and tutu and she could keep her coins in there, but still play with Hamm.
“I don’t want Mrs. Pig! I want piggy coins!” is the retort I got.
Mrs. Pig, eh? I’m impressed she knew to call her that!
I bought Mrs. Pig anyway. She and Hamm sit on top of the piano together until Hamm needs to go play with his friends.
Mrs. Pig didn’t get the warmest reception at home. I thought I’d have to return her. Lily shoved the first piggy coins into Hamm and I was going to let him be the bank if she kept him on the piano, but she promptly took his cork out and endangered the baby.
It took some heavy prompting and praise of Mrs. Pig , but her reward, which somehow turned into a torture device and made me feel like a bad mom, is now being used for piggy coins. Every time she does something good, the piggy coin goes in Mrs. Pig.
I just wish the acquisition of Mrs. Pig had been as glorious as it promised to be!