How to Motivate the Honey Badger

It’s been a busy and hectic week. This does not bode well for the Honey Badger, who prefers to enjoy life at her own pace. She would wear her pajamas all day long and hang out at home everyday if she could. She loooooves to be home. So, when it comes time for school, appointments, picking up her brother, etc, it’s a real humdinger to get her to get a move on. That is, for anyone except her Mommy, because I broke the code. I’ve figured out what motivates her: Competition. (She’s her mother’s daughter, that’s for sure.)

The other day, her Daddy was in charge of getting her out the door for school. Usually a very patient, and very calm man under almost any circumstance, he was exasperated and slightly defeated by her stalling tactics. It had been quite some time since he had taken her to school, and it donned on me that he wasn’t privy to the methods I have been successfully employing. I chuckled at his frustration, pulled him aside, and whispered, “All you need to do is figure out her motivation. It has to be a race.” He was simply trying to get clothes on her so that he could finish getting dressed himself. She was hiding under the covers, giggling, bicycle legs kicking pants off, refusing to comply. After setting her clothes out for her,  I said, “Erin – on the count of three let’s see if you can get dressed before Daddy!!!! One….two….THREE!” and we booked it out of the room. Immediately, she kicked it into first gear. In less than a minute, she was in our room, “TA-DA!!!!!! I BEAT YOU DADDY!!!!!”. Grinning from ear to ear, she was fully dressed from head to toe. Just not in what I had set out for her to wear. Don’t think she doesn’t have time to grab whatever she wants to wear. This same exercise was then utilized to get her to brush her teeth and brush her hair. She wins every time, and every time she is THRILLED with her victory. And, so are we.

There are also fun little games that we have come up with over the last year or so that still yield successful results from motivating the Honey Badger. Dylan and I discovered that if I ask him to let Rudy out, she will practically hurdle the furniture to get there before he does. So, whenever the dog needs to go outside, I look at Dylan and wink, “Dylan, will you let Rudy outside?” Of course, I say this loudly enough so that she’ll hear. And, as soon as the words “OK—” are even out of his mouth, she’s run full blast to the door and let the dog out. We do this ALL.THE.TIME. We can interchange it with “feed the dog”, “give Rudy some water”, or a plethora of other scenarios. You’d think it would get kinda old for her by now. Nope. She’s happy to beat her brother to it, for the thrill of winning. In all its glory, it did backfire on me once. Yeah, that day sucked. I truly thought she wasn’t going to get up and let the dog out because she was engrossed with play-doh. So, I nodded to Dylan to go ahead and let Rudy out. She was horrified. She threw her arms over her chest, and let loose a very loud, angry sigh. Furious, she stomped out of the room and spent the next solid hour in her room, sobbing. That wasn’t a good time. We learned from our mistake. Honey Badger does not like to lose!

One would think that food might also be a motivator for the Honey Badger. In many ways it is. There’s always the perpetual snack. But, to be honest, a snack is not nearly as thrilling as a victory over someone else. UNLESS. Unless you are the Honey Badger and you’ve already won the race and now, you have to take a stupid trip in the stupid car to pick up your brother from school. Borrrring. So, you give the Honey Badger a little snack of pudding and a spoon for the ride to school to pick up her bro. Then, you’re planted in the pick-up line, with all the other minivans, and you turn around to smile at your precious little baby girl and you see this:


Just when you think they are gravitating more towards a human being, and further away from an animal… Wrong! This one is still just a Honey Badger looking for a thrill.  The most bizarre thing about this encounter: Shortly after I took this picture, I said, “I love you, Erin.”

She replied, very seriously, “Do you love me for who I am?”

I was floored. “Yes, I love you for who you are!”

She giggled, and said, “I love you for who you are too, Mommy!” Huge pudding faced grin.

WTF? She’s a wild creature that just keeps blowing my mind. Over and over again.