Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

La Nina's Big Weekend

I admit it. I'm a shameless briber of my children. I figure I don't like to work for free, so why should they want to work for free? I don't typically bribe much around school things, but sports and other activities, I'm all about rewarding performance.

For soccer, it's been easy. You score a goal, you make a pass, you stop a goal, it all earns you something good. Because with soccer I'm dealing with Maggie, it's ice cream cones for small accomplishments, DS games for the big ones. In the last game of the season, her dad promised her a DS game for a hat trick (3 goals)..and by golly, she got a hat trick. When he shouted in from the side line, she could get another game for a 4th goal. There was fire in her eyes, and let me tell you...she came close.

For dance, it's been tougher. How do you measure it? It's tough. But La Nina had a big convention last weekend, and I came up with something. The audition. She had to compete for a scholarship. Last year auditions were a disaster. She complained and created every excuse in the book about why she couldn't audition. Sore tooth was the best one. Exactly why a tooth would prevent a kid from dancing is beyond me, but she went for it anyway. Even leading up to the convention, she was whining about the audition. They suck. I admit it. Two rounds of choreography, cuts, little kids get no mercy. The age range is 6-10...if little kids can't do the choreography they get cut. And trust me, littlest ones are cut first.

Here's what I told La Nina to make her feel better: She walked into the audition room without a complaint she got $5. (Hey, life is about showing up a lot of the time.) Then, if she made it past the ballet round of choreography, she'd get another $10, make it past the jazz round another $20. She had $35 on the line if she made the finals for the scholarship. About the same as a DS for a hat trick.

Audition morning dawned and La Nina was all smiles. She bopped into the audition room and waved over her shoulder securing the $5. I left at that point, so I really have no idea what went on in the room. Even now, I don't know what happened. Moms aren't allowed at auditions.

When I showed up at the audition room 90 minutes after drop off, La Nina greeted me at the door. She had a smile on her face and she said, "You owe me 35 bucks."

Okay, that meant she made it to the finals. At an AUDITION. That means she didn't have a tooth ache, a stomach ache, a liver ache, she made it through two round of choreography and she succeeded. I was so proud and completely stunned. She's only 8. She was competing against about 150 kids under 11. And she landed in the top 16. WHAT??????

It was about a 4 hour wait to find out whether or not she won a scholarship. In this case, she'd win a free pass into the convention for the following year. Really, not a big amount, but more just a way for a dancer to get some recognition. I heard from a teacher who was allowed in the audition, she did great and was probably the youngest kid in the finals, so really she had so much to feel good about and $35. I was ready for the disappointment. What an honor for her to make the finals.

Off to the finale we went, La Nina bolting ahead of me. I was staggering behind her carrying all her junk. Only 8 kids were getting scholarships from her room and everyone should be proud, then the names. And much to my utter shock, La Nina's name was called. She won a darn scholarship. At a girl.

So, say what you will about the downside of bribing. Yes, she should do well for the sake of doing well. But sometimes, incentives work. And if they drive a kid to do something that scares them a little and succeed, I think that's a great outcome.


  • At 12:05 AM , Blogger Marci said...

    Way to go La Nina!! Abbie is all about the incentives as well.

  • At 7:29 PM , Blogger Loretta said...

    La Nina is such a talented girl! Although she had a toothache, she still kept on doing what she wants to do and I'm also proud of her! My daughter Dianne also had a terrible toothache last time. So we went to a dentist office in Hattiesburg. Dentists there are so nice and friendly that's why my child got so comfortable in having her tooth fixed in Hattiesburg, MS dentist office.


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