Peter has never transitioned well from favorite activities. In other words, we rarely leave the park without a flaming tantrum. I've tried a number of measures from preventative (warnings that we are leaving and what will come next) to positive ("help Mama find her car") to punitive (you don't want to know).
The only thing I've avoided is bribery. Yeah, I know, a lot of mothers do it. And I certainly don't believe that I'm better than them, God forbid! Just more intelligent, clever, creative and informed. Eventually my two-year-old would abide my wishes for the pure joy of making Mama happy, because that's just how gifted a mother I am.
I forget that God loves humiliating-- I mean, humbling-- me. Carrying my screaming and kicking child away from a public activity is not what mortifies me. It's the simple knowledge that I have failed to be Supermom. At six months pregnant, I give up. It's no longer safe to be wrestling a violent toddler into his carseat.
And so, meet my new best friends (thanks, Jennifer):
How easy it was the other day at the pool to simply lean over the water and say, "So, Peter, want a snack treat?" We calmly dressed and strolled to the car.
Failure can be so sweet.