Pushing buttons

Both Chris and I hit breaking points today. We're not to the, "Where's my 30-day money back guarantee" point, but you'll see what I mean...

This afternoon the kids and I were watching S&M, I mean Sound OF Music, sorry, it's an honest mistake after the 7th viewing, when a stranger came to the door. I told them to stay in the house but they beat me to the door anyway. I wedged out the front door in a vain attempt to not be followed onto the porch but that didn't work, so I tried it again with the porch door where and I successfully picked off my children. Then, as I'm trying to talk to this guy who was running for some office, my little darlings are making faces through the clear glass door and/or opening it behind me. So I'm standing there, discussing gas prices with one hand holding the door closed, when I hear the unmistakable CLICK of the lock. I thanked Mr. Candidate for his time and excused myself to attend to other matters. Indeed, the door is locked. I ring my own doorbell. My wife assumes that it's the kids messing around and doesn't answer while I glare into the smiling eyes of my daughter on the other side of the door twiddling her fingers on the door handle.

"Open the door," I say. She giggles.
"No TV," I say. I get a big smile.
"3. 2. 1. No TV," I say as I start walking around to the back door.
*CLICK* "Daddy Come!"

Oh, my dear, it's waaaaay too late for that now. I storm through the kitchen, mumble something in Chris's direction, and followed through on my promise... I turned off the Sound of Music. My children were sitting on the same couch (in perfect scolding position) so I stood in front of the TV and grunted, "No TV." My son points at his sister and says, "Yordanos no tv. Habtamu tv." My daughter then smiles and points back at her brother. "No," I said thinking as quickly as I could, "I said stay in the house. Y and H no stay in house. No tv." I left the room and we found other things to do for the rest of the evening, but I have to confess I did have an "Oh crap, what are we going to do for the next 4 hours without tv" moment.

What's significant here to me is that this is the first time I can recall that they've really turned on each other. We don't know what all these kids have been through together, but I think it's a good sign that they're feeling 'at home' if they're willing to start ratting each other out for personal gain. Up until this point they've pretty much always come to consensus, and it's been difficult to punish or reward one without the other because they keep sharing their misery or misfortune.

Chris hit a pizza/pasta Waterloo as we have had both daily for nearly 2 weeks. She had mentioned earlier that the sight of spaghetti sauce makes her ill now, and I really didn't get it. Then I watched my son *drink* the extra sauce from the bottom of his bowl today. The short story is summed up in Chris's mealtime ultimatum, "No Dinner, no Jell-O."

The kids ate their rice dish with relatively no hassle.

PS) H's life lesson today was that just because you *can* eat water softener salt straight, doesn't mean you should.


Yarnsmith said...

I can't believe the no dinner (not my finest rice dish by any stretch) no Jello thing worked. As a kid, I'd have been like "Pffft. Not worth the Jello." They shoveled it in though...

The McEvil One said...

Oh, I can sympathize with the whole 'spaghetti sauce makes me sick' thing...I'll have to tell you the ravioli story sometime.

Becky N said...

I spewed coffee on my computer screen at the vision of H trying out the water softener salt. How much water did he consume afterward?

It is good to see they are acting like kids, good to see you are going through the same thought processes we all did when it came to discipline, most importantly, seeing your family love blossom and grow.


The Gillman Family said...

Lee and Chris,

Sounds like things are a little trying but it also sounds like you are doing a great job!!!! Maybe all that patiently waiting before the referral helps to be patient after after the referral!!! I really enjoy your posts!
Kim (YG)

Anonymous said...

Ok, you should warn people before they began reading this blog. I almost peed my pants! WELCOME TO PARENTHOOD!!!! We have all been locked out of our house or car at one (or more) times. This is the first of many...
Remember Lee, we took Brad's gaming systems away for the ENTIRE summer, so don't think we didn't have the "Oh crap, what did I do?" moment ourselves. A 16 year old without Wii or XBox? Hello? Who is being punished more? Yep, you guessed it, us.

Julie & Greg

ethiHOPEia said...

Been following your blog and appreciate all your real life parenting posts! Thanks for being honest!