When Willow lost her second upper central incisor, my mind became obsessed with a single goal:
How could I coerce my child into singing "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" while I videotaped her?
Willow is not performative by nature like her sister. Fortunately, I have a proven go-to tactic for getting children to do things that they do not want to do:
I pay them.
I offered Willow one dollar. She said no. I offered her two dollars. She said no. I reminded her that we're leaving in a couple of weeks for a road trip to Florida (we're going to watch the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavor!), and if she wants any crappy souvenirs, she'll have to buy them for herself. She said no. I offered her five dollars. She said no.
I was close to giving up entirely, the null hypothesis of my proven go-to tactic having been proven in this case, when Matt, who was sitting at the table watching this entire exchange with amusement, said to Willow, "We will pay you two candy bars."
Willow replied, "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
Children live in a candy-based economy, apparently. And as for teaching my child just how many candy bars she could buy with five dollars...well, I'm trying to use our Meaningless Expenses budget to purchase tickets to the roller derby this weekend, and if I can save a few bucks for that purpose, then all the better, I say. I'll homeschool on economic common sense some other day.
It took a couple of days for Willow to memorize the song, and a couple more days for me to videotape it to my satisfaction (videotaping it to my satisfaction being one of the requirements that I'm savvy enough to set forth by this time), but at last, the child belted out her masterwork:
When she was finished we put our shoes on, drove to the store, and bought the star one Three Musketeers and one Starburst in payment for her services.