Valerie dumped out her crayons, then asked me for candy.
I told her she could have one piece of candy, but she had to clean up the crayons first. She started singing the "clean up" song, which gave me hope for a minute that she might actually do it, but she didn't even open the crayon tub. She just wandered back and forth across the floor, scattering crayons in every direction, happily singing the "clean up" song.
I spent about five minutes trying to explain to her that I wanted her to actually put the crayons in the tub, and that no, she couldn't have a candy until she did it. I finally offered to help her do it, and started cleaning up the crayons myself. I kept asking her to help, reminding her that she couldn't have a candy if she didn't help, only people who helped put away crayons could have candy. I cleaned up as slowly as I could, giving her ample opportunity to help.
Then all the crayons were put away, and I was faced with a dilemma. Consistency is key, right? Follow through with promises and threats? So, I got myself a piece of candy. I told her I was having a candy because I had put the crayons away. And I ate my candy, and I didn't give her any. And she started to cry.
I don't think she understood what was going on. So instead of teaching her a valuable lesson, I just ate candy in front of her and didn't share.
I hope one of us learned something today.