note from tara: jeff has wanted to hijack the blog forever now-unfortunately, the way i am about housework? yes, that is the way he is about writing things down. so, its taken awhile. i thought it might be fun every once in awhile to get his point of view on how things go around here. his category is called “the better half”. his idea. im allowing it.
So about a week ago I brought flowers home for Tara and made some comment about earning some brownie points with the wife. Pretty typical but this time Drew (10 years old) heard the word brownie and instantly wanted some. He started to pepper me with questions about these mysterious points like: what are they? What can you buy with 10 brownie points? And most importantly he wanted to know how he could acquire some of his own.
Brownie points are such a vague thing that I had trouble convincing him that they actually exist at first. I mean what exactly is a brownie point and what exactly do you get for one? I ended up giving him a sweeping generalization that they were a favor or something nice you did for someone who would later repay the favor for you. However, this course of reasoning cracked and crumbled under the inquisitive questioning of a 10 year old. When my answers didn’t add up for him, he asked, “OK, well how many brownie points do I need to get a soda?” And then it happened…
I was about to explain that brownie points don’t work like that and I am sure he would have blown the whole thing off as some kind of prank I was trying to pull. But then I got a quick glimpse into the possible gold mine I had stumbled across.
“Well…” I answered, “uummm… 7 brownie points for a soda.”
And he bought it! Not only did he buy it but he quickly rushed to inform his brother that for a measly 7 brownie points they could get a soda. The idea spread like wildfire to the other children and soon I had them all frothing at the mouth to earn some brownie points. I would just arbitrarily assign point values to things like 12 points for 30 minutes of gameboy time. You wouldn’t believe how effective this technique has been. All I have to do is mention brownie points and I can get the kids do the dishes, bring in the groceries, quiet down in the car, or give me a quick back rub.
And the fact that I am so arbitrary with my distribution of the points just seems to whip them up into a frenzy even more. I may very well be sick and wrong, but it is so much freakin fun to just randomly award McKenna with 100 brownie points and watch the chaos erupt. To regain control I simply start giving out brownie points to the kids that calm down.
My friend Jon made the funny observation that I am the Drew Carey of Brownie Points. We used to get so riled up when he would just randomly award points on the show Whose Line Is It Anyway?
I am sure that very soon the gig will be up, but until then I can answer the question: What can you buy with 7 Brownie Points?
a can of soda = 7 brownie points
30 minutes of game time = 12 brownie points
staying up an extra hour after bed time = 17 brownie points
4 mislead children and 1 resourceful dad… priceless.
-Jeff, aka the better half