The boys have lately been electing to gift Webkinz to each of their friends as birthday gifts. Considerable thought goes in to the selection of the particular animal and, on occasion, several shops must be called to locate the preferred one. In the midst of all this research on behalf of their friends, Ross and Lars have (of course) been planning their own acquisitions. Lars will start his collection with three polar bears, one called Mask (because our street hockey goalie mask is white and so is a polar bear), one called Lars (in honor of Lars, the Little Polar Bear), one called Whitey (should be painfully obvious). Ross had his heart set on the husky dog.
Chris and I determined that if the boys kept their spaces (bedroom, playroom, the lab) neat, without too many reminders, they would earn a Webkinz each. That was the right motivator! It didn't take long for them to figure out we were serious. We got clean (relatively) rooms, they got Webkinz.
On the lucky day, Lars decided to ride his bike down the road to visit a friend. On his own. He told his brother, who warned him off the venture, but Lars blasted ahead and found himself grounded to the house for 24 hours.
Of course, when one is grounded, one does not earn new Webkinz...so it could have been an even better punishment than we'd anticipated. As the pictures indicate, however, it wasn't the end of his world. While we do think that he won't be attempting a bike ride in the road on his own for a while (like until he's 32), both boys enjoyed checking out the husky who, after much deliberation, has been named Aje ("age," with a "j").
Aje turns out to be very brave and endlessly useful. Chewbacca is especially glad of Aje's dedicated training in Wookie transportation. It was also clear from the start (you see the penguin, right?) that Aje is a Polar Friend. This bodes well for Mask - the two will no doubt be fast friends and will weather many adventures together.