This morning, I wondered vaguely why the kids were so quiet. This was, of course, foreshadowing, because my younger little angel came tiptoeing over, ready to shop his brother. “Mommy, come see what we are doing.”
I approached the bunk bed alcove and saw my older son guiltily stuffing his scissors under his brother’s pillow.
They were doing this, apparently: cutting a large hole in the net that houses our stuffed animal kingdom. It is a vast kingdom, ever wider since the Wild Kratts entered our lives, and now their home has been destroyed.
As I gasped and loudly voiced my disapproval, these loving brothers immediately began to throw one another under the bus.
One: He did it.
Two: No, he did it.
One: He did it too. And it was his idea.
Two: I did it only a little. You did it a lot.
One: You did it a lot too.
Not sure what this will mean for their proposed future marriage.
And what to do? I’m more of a “consequence” parent than a “punishment” parent, but what the hell is a logical consequence for this? Is it that they have to strew all their homeless collection of stuffed animals throughout the fun apartment? That may be a logical consequence for them, but it is a cruel punishment for me.
I sent them to their beds (well, I can’t send them to their rooms) to reflect on their crimes, and to give myself a chance to try and parent my way out of this. After a few minutes of asking myself “What the blanking blankity blank were they thinking?” I came to the conclusion that kids just have incredibly poor judgement. And sometimes they just do stupid things for no reason.
I tried to plumb my own memories for similar offenses committed before I could be tried as an adult. And I did dredge one up. It still brings a shudder through me to remember the time I poked a nail in someone’s basketball to see what would happen. And then had to buy them a new basketball. So the Mr. and I sternly sent them to fetch their plastic wallets and extracted enough allowance to order a new home for all the stuffed animals now creating a vagrancy problem at the fun apartment. (I thought it was somewhat lenient of me not to ask them to pay for shipping, but we do have Amazon Prime, so . . . )
I’m not sure they felt the real wrath or have had their judgement improved. But pretty much everything else they have asked for today, from breakfast candy to screen time has been rejected. And we now have a scissors checkout policy.
Although I do agree to paint all of our toenails with glitter, because, really, who says no to that? I don’t know, but it isn’t me.
Sometimes these consequence things just seem messy to me, instead of the crisp, clean message of reparation they are meant to send. But in some ways, most of our life is like that–muddled but generally well-intentioned.
And I can’t say I blame them for being a little lacking in self-control, when the previous evening had involved a past-bedtime dance party at school. Great fun, but I could almost see the next day’s meltdowns written on their faces. Summer, come ye quickly, but give me strength!