Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who Really Gets Punished?

I have to admit that when it comes to our children, I tend to lead. I suppose it makes a lot of sense because I have the experience, I read "the books" and well, I am good at it. The husband follows my lead. I have never really pushed; he has seen the fruits of our labor, so to speak, and continues to let me lead. Every now and again we come to a crossroads. This happened a few days ago. I heard him telling the boys, after seeing the destruction in the playroom, "If you mess up this room again like this, I'll close the door, put a lock on it, and you won't be able to play in here for a day!" I laughed. Out loud. He did not like this. Honestly, I really couldn't help it. It just came out and I couldn't stop it.

Today, after finding a broken toy bin amongst the carnage of toys and games in the playroom, I invoked the call of the husband and closed the playroom door. I announced, "The playroom is closed for the entire day...see you tomorrow!" The husband said, "See, that's MY idea!" and smiled. He nodded to himself as he walked on to get coffee.

Three hours later, he calls from the other room, "How's the 'no playroom' thing working out?" I shot him The Look.

I knew what would happen when idle hands are left to play. I knew this because I'm with them -All. Day. Long. I don't know if he thought they'd sit on the floor, sad and forlorn all day, lamenting about their actions and the dearly missed toys. I love my husband dearly. He is, however, a product of the old school "children should be seen and not heard" train of thought. He thought that "those kids will learn a lesson!" by having their toys unavailable. Mind you, this might, and I stress might, have worked with children who care about their toys. Our boys don't have a favorite anything. They don't really form connections to objects (besides their stuffed doggy's). Instead, our boys decided to make a nuisance of themselves. They climbed all over their daddy, wanting attention. They tantrumed and pouted and whined and cried when they didn't get the attention they wanted. They were underfoot at every possible step. I could see the tension building in the husband's face and I told him to go to work early if needed. In his mind, if children can destroy a playroom, they should be able to pick it up without any help or encouragement. Ha!

I called back to him, "It was YOUR idea!"...

Here's to another wonderful New Year!

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