(I know you are wondering just how many posts I plan on making today…I promise this is the last one, for now!)
The Demon Squad came home from school today and went right into the house. Not that there was much they could do outdoors with it (a) raining and (b) the fact that they are grounded through to the weekend.
So they came inside and dropped their stuff right in the middle of the floor, shoes were kicked off, jackets carelessly slung across the back of the couch. I gave them a few moments to wrestle with Mollyanna who was so happy to see them (since she’d slept all day long) and then I politely, but firmly, told them to gather up their belongings and put them where they belong. I didn’t get one complaint at all from either of them.
I knew it was too good to last. About 45 minutes later (once extreme boredom had set in) they started to play with Mollyanna’s penguin ball, throwing it back and forth at each other in the living room.
“Stop throwing the ball guys before something gets broken or somebody gets hurt.”
They continue to throw the ball at each other as I listen to it bouncing off the couch and the chair and the walls.
“Boys! I said that was enough! No more throwing ball in the house!”
Ignored. Completely. I counted to 10 before losing my temper. Right about the time I reached 7, I hear a crash. The cordless phone (sitting right next to my lamp on the end table) got slammed into the wall behind it and the penguin ball was sitting on the end table.
I went to the living room and just looked at the two of them, both trying to talk at the same time, pointing fingers at each other, and telling me (rather loudly) how it was all the other one’s fault.
I sighed. Now was as good a time as any. I told both of them to sit down, that I wanted to talk to the two of them. I explained to them how life is full of rules and consequences. There are rules you have to follow at school – and if you do not – there are consequences. I explained that there are rules at work that you need to follow – and if you do not – there are consequences. I also explained that there are rules at home that they need to follow – and if they do not – there are consequences.
For the past few months, they have had the house to themselves while their dad and I were both at work. Over the past few months, their behavior has become, shall we say, less than desirable. I explained to them that those days were over.
I explained that there would be consequences for their actions. I also explained exactly what the consequences would be for every single action I could think of that they could possibly do.
I also explained to them – in great detail – WHY they are not allowed to jump on beds, on furniture, to wrestle, to play ball in the house. I explained to them that they would never truly understand until they were parents, why this all made sense to me, and seemed like I was just being mean – to them.
I have not had to speak to them again, not once, for the past four hours. It’s a miracle. I even caught them tickling each other and laughing with each other (without fighting) and even saw them hugging each other.
Amazing. Me thinks there might be hope for my brood after all.