I've found that offering our kids ridiculous rewards for big accomplishments serve three purposes in our family: they motivate our kids, they make memories, and they enable Daddy to be a kid again. Three years ago, I told Luke that if he memorized all the books of the Bible, I'd buy him an ice cream cone as big as his head. Needless to say, he invited Daddy to help him finish it.
So when we wanted to encourage our Abby to learn how to read, we promised her a trip to the not-so-world famous Monkey Jungle once she finished reading 25 "Bob" books. In no time I had to pay up on my end of the deal. Today Luke, Abby, and I headed down to the most un-Disneyesque theme park in Florida, to the place "where the humans are caged and the monkeys go wild!" The nostalgic scent of plastic molded monkey machine took me back 25 years ago to a simpler era, when Monkey Jungle workers would tirelessly slap "Come Visit Monkey Jungle" bumper stickers on everyone's car whilst unsuspecting patrons fed raisins to free-range howler monkeys.