Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Punishment gone awry

This morning I uttered a phrase that I now regret even more than I regret eating all those cinnamon rolls at lunchtime. And believe me, the stomachache and lethargy that come from major carb gorging ain't nothing to sneeze at.

We were, as per usual, running late this morning. And as always, the more I snapped at the kids, the more they slowed down. I told Danny and Charlotte to get dressed and I foolishly continued doing whatever chore I was busy with.

When I heard the sound of Legos bashing against each other, I decided I should investigate, because unless Danny was somehow able to construct pants out of tiny, colored blocks, (and considering his major tactile aversion to anything but sweats) it was obvious he was not getting dressed.

Sure enough, neither of my kids had made any progress in dressing themselves, which is when I decided to issue an ultimatum.

"If you do not get dressed in 3 minutes, you will be in big trouble. No for Danny and no videos all day long for Charlotte."

Almost the minute those words were uttered, I knew I had made an enormous mistake. It all happened in slow motion; I could almost see the words in a conversation bubble over my head. I tried to take them back, but to no avail. I was going to have to see this one through.

Thankfully, Danny, from experience, knew I wasn't bluffing, so he quickly got dressed and brushed his teeth in the most angelic and cooperative manner imaginable. He wasn't prepared to go through withdrawals this afternoon. Smart kid.

Charlotte, on the other hand, looked me right in the eye with a defiant glare and said, "I don't want videos."

My first thought was, "Crud, what am I going to use for punishments now if videos no longer hold their sway? She must have lost her appetite for mindless entertainment. What will I do to get some peace and quiet around here?"

I should not have wasted a moment worrying.

Within minutes of returning from taking Danny to school, Charlotte started nagging me for a video. I gently reminded her of the punishment that had been issued, seriously, maybe 15 minutes before, but it did nothing to calm her down.

She ramped up from nagging and started begging. When that didn't work, wailing and gnashing her teeth ensued. I showered with Charlotte knocking on the bathroom door, shrieking, "I want a MOOOOOOOOOOOOVIE!!!! Mommy! Gimme a MOOOOOOOOOOOOOVIE!"

Then, my clever little girl, who appears so sweet and cherubic, but who at times I swear must be possessed by an evil spirit, upped the ante yet again, and spent the next 30 minutes mercilessly torturing her little brother, knowing full well that mommy has a very low tolerance for the screaming of toddlers and babies.

She's nothing if not smart and determined.

Luckily, she was distracted by the arrival of her friend, so I got about 2 hours of peace, but immediately after lunch, she started in again.

And hasn't let up since.

I think at this point she doesn't even care about the movie. No, now it's a big game to her to see how miserable she can make me. To prove to me that issuing this kind of punishment is a big mistake.

And believe me, I have learned my lesson.

There's about 3 and a half hours to bedtime. Think I'll make it?


Lizbeth said...

My husband uttered the fateful phrase, "I will remove all your How its Made video's right now if you don't eat." They didn't eat.

Video's were removed from the DVR at 8:00AM saturday. It was the longest day Of. My. Life. We made it and I know you will too. But by this time at night I was way past tipsy, I have to tell you. Not that I endorse alcoholism mind you, but it got me thru the tail end of the day!


Heather said...

Oh how I wish you the best of luck! It's so incredibly hard to follow through on the threats we make. I think the punishments are much harder on the parents! Stick to your guns. You can make it through this and eventually come out on the other side all the better for it. Hang in there :)

Lizbeth said...

Did you survive?

Jenni said...

Man, the follow through can be a real bitch.