Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's wrong to beat your children, right?

(For any potential CPS people out there, it's an empty, sarcastic comment, ok?)

James may not survive the week. After the special 'keys' incident we had Sunday, he follows up with this:

This morning I had a ton of dishes to wash so I asked if he wanted to watch a DVD. I set him up with Blues Clues, a snack and milk.

I washed and washed--all the while hearing him talk to the video. I knew he was safe and out of trouble.

Oh, if it were only that easy.

I finished the last dish, dried my hands and went into the living room to play a game with him. When I walked in, I saw JAMES' LIFE flash before my eyes. It's a good thing I saw the cute and cuddly parts, because that, and that alone, saved him from his first spanking.

He had taken his sippy cup of milk (without the stopper), turned it upside down, and shook it all over just about every surface in the living room.

Couch? Check.
Chair? Check.
Ottoman? Check.
Pillows? Check, Check, Check and Check.
Large area of the carpet? CHECK.

I yelled, "WHAT DID YOU DO IN HERE?!?!?!"

(Looks at me with the "oh man, she found out what I did" look.)

Me: Go to your room RIGHT NOW!

Waaah, Waah, waaah.

I put the pillows in the washing machine, I wiped down the (thank-heavens-they're leather) couch, chair and ottoman. (At this point, I called Ben and told him to come home NOW instead of an hour later. The whole incident was going to make me late to work.) Then I hand scrubbed the carpet once with wet rags and then again with carpet cleaner.

Ben and I had a brief conference on discipline. We have always said we would try to stick to 'natural consequences' as much as possible. Ben got James out of his room and supervised him scrubbing the carpet for 20 minutes or so while constantly reminding him that he has to clean up the messes he makes. We also revoked the privilege of having drinks in the living room.

I was exhausted and frustrated before I ever got to work. I had my students (all mothers of babies and young children) journal about the things their kids do that frustrate them. I felt better after hearing the other tales of toddlers gone bad.

Man, I wish I had a lovely bathtub to soak in.


Anonymous said...

Wow, glad it's not just me. I feel for ya sista!

Janine said...

This makes me excited for the coming years... um, ok maybe not.

J & K Shapiro said...

Oooooo. Sorry. It is easy to laugh when it's not your kid. Eve went through a draw on everything phase.

Ben Swan said...

You forgot the part where after about 15 minutes James decided the scrubbing was not fun anymore and threw down the rag which earned him a time out. And after the time out we resumed scrubbing which brought on the the learning part (as well as the screaming and hollering part) for James. I think he learned a good lesson that day about not making messes because cleaning them up is NO FUN.

Crockett Clan said...

HeeHee I can't help but laugh. Ben probably doesn't remember dumping a full 1 gallon pitch of milk on the carpeted dining room floor instead of waiting for us to pour him a drink. What can I say history repeats itself or it is in the jeans.
Ya gotta love those days.