Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Only Thomas and Ben

Without going into detail, I'll start this post by saying I can have a bit of a temper. Not the kind of temper that makes me hurt my family, but definitely one that has the capability of putting a hole in the wall. ;) No, I didn't punch the wall (I wouldn't want to hurt my hands), but let's just say a door knob can easily go through drywall with enough force. It's embarrassing and I can't believe I'm sharing, but let's be real, who hasn't let their temper make them act like a three year old. I'm proud to admit it was the first (and hopefully last) time I've ever taken aggression out on a wall. I promise, I really am much more mature than that. Anyway, that isn't really even the point of this post. I just knew I needed to explain how the star (the hole) of this post got there or someone would ask.

That being said, I have been lazy not to fix the hole yet. We've had a lot going on and I'm just not the spackling kind of girl. Oh sure, I can do it, I just prefer not to. The hole has been in the boys bedroom for about 2 months now. A few weeks ago, David saw Parker putting paper down the hole. He reprimanded Parker so we thought the confusion as to whether the hole was a random receptacle was over. It wasn't. Last week, Parker asked me if I would help him get Thomas (the train) out of the hole. I was a little upset with him. I then asked him if he put anything else down the hole. Yes. He also put Ben, the train, down the hole. Fantastic.

I had no idea how I was going to get these darn trains out. I would have just left the wooden friends in the dark ravine if it weren't for the fact that those bad boys cost almost $20 a piece. I figured that there was only one way of getting the trains out, and after consulting with David decided to place another hole in the wall beneath the current reminder of my childish ways. Before I did so, I asked Parker again if there was anything else down the hole. No. He said no.

I strongly believe that lying comes natural for humans. We don't have to be taught. David and I have our flaws for sure, but lying is not one of them for either of us. Parker has not witnessed us lying to escape punishment or to manipulate situations, yet he struggles. Some kids have a harder time than others, and I apparently have one of those kids.

Without Parker knowing, I went into their bedroom and started fishing for Thomas and Ben in the second hole I created. I got a hold of Thomas. Good. I grabbed the second item. Expecting to see Ben, I was surprised when a race car was pulled from the rubble. I thought, maybe he forgot he stuck that down there too. I pulled out another car. Now, I was a little ticked. I then proceeded to pull 14 items from the hole. I was fuming. I wasn't upset that he did it. In fact, I found it kind of funny how his little hands couldn't resist the temptation to experiment with the unknown. No, what made me mad was the lie. I decided to give him one more shot.

I went to where he was and explained to him that because he didn't choose to take care of his trains, he would be losing the privilege to play with them the rest of the day. Then I explained to him what the consequence for lying would be which also included losing the trains for a day.  I essentially made it to where he was getting disciplined for not taking care of his toys both ways, but was being pardoned from other punishments if he told me the truth. I had him repeat back to me the ground rules for the upcoming conversation to make sure he got what was going on. Three-year-olds like to play the stupid card sometimes when they have a full grasp of the situation. I was trying to eliminate the possibility of confusion. Nope, there was no confusion. He understood what I was asking. I then posed the question to him on more time. "Parker, did you put anything else besides Ben and Thomas down the hole."  He shook his head and adamantly responded with a "No."

I took him in his bedroom where the mass of drywall dust covered toys lay and upon seeing them he immediately started to act remorseful. He knew he had been caught. After receiving his punishment we had a good long talk about lying and trust. I know I didn't completely get through to him, but it was a start.  The rest of the day he apologized for lying to me and for hurting my feelings and trust. I was thankful that I was able to teach him a lesson that day. We parents really do have such an important job.

Meet the hole and its captives.

Don't let this sweet little face fool you, I have my work cut out with him. It really is totally worth it.


Heidi Mitchell said...

Ummm, did the caterpillar really fit down the hole???

Apparently shoving toys down a hole is great fun. You should've put that hole there sooner. hehe

David said...

One positive, he seems to be a pretty good packer, good for trips :)