You know, before I was a parent, I used to judge other parents horribly. A tantrum in the middle of the grocery store? Why didn’t you give her a nap before you went? Feeding a piece of candy? Oh the horror of the toxic food coloring.

And oh how I judged.

Then, I spawned two angelic looking little terrors.

Now, to be fair, my kids aren’t that bad. They know that when Mommy says I will take you out of this store screaming, that I really don’t care who is looking, I will carry a screaming, kicking child out of the store rather than beg her to behave.

BUT and there is always a but.

Tonight my oldest daughter has a sleepover. Youngest really wants to go. But the little girl whose house she’s staying at doesn’t have a sibling that is the same age as my youngest. And while her parents have no issues with her going, my oldest daughter (while surprisingly NOT having a fit about it) said she wants time with her friends without her little sister around.

I have pretty strong feelings about her doing this but on the flip side, she’s a pretty good big sister, as I imagine big sisters go. So her request seemed pretty reasonable.

Except that youngest child had already packed her bag. Last night.

So this morning, having lain awake tormented on how I was going to break my five year old’s heart AND have to put up with, not a tantrum, but a quiet little heartbreaking sob worthy of an academy award, I decided to ask her this question:

If you could do anything in the local area other than go to this birthday party, what would it be?

Oldest immediately started to snit, but I gave her the look – you know the one passed down from generation to generation between mother and daughter? Yeah that one.

Youngest thought about it and said, I want to go to the mall and then I want to go to the Disney store.

That’s it? Wow, I mean, I fully understand that this is bribing my youngest child so that my oldest gets to have some alone time with her friends (they’re 8, so they’re at that age). But all I have to do is take a Zanax and go to the mall and I have peace and quiet in my home?

Now maybe this is a bad precedent. Maybe I’m setting myself up for a whole lot worse down the road. But I did not do a, if you start being good I’ll take you to the mall, bribery. I asked her to think of an alternative to going to the party.

I think that’s a pretty good deal.