Monday, July 9, 2012
Can Calgon Take Me Away?
Yesterday was a rough day with my J. He LOVES the computer and my iPad. He plays this Minecraft game, he watches funny videos on YouTube, and on my iPad he loves to play all the different games we have. But it is MY computer. And MY iPad. And we, as dutiful parents, limit the time he is on them. It's a generous limit, mind you, but we control (supposedly) the amount of time he uses these things, for obvious reasons. His main rule is simple: ask before you use them.
He has had difficulty following that rule. It is incredibly complex, after all. (snort.) I have had talks with him about it, I have cut him off for a day. The other day I told him if I catch him going on without asking again, he is off the computer AND the iPad for a week. Reasonable, in my opinion.
So yesterday I was outside with hubby for JUST A COUPLE MINUTES and when we came in I saw Jack hurrying to shut my iPad, which was sitting on the charger on the kitchen counter. My blood boiled, but I just calmly looked at him. Oooooh, he looked guilty! Flashbacks of my own childhood were flying through my mind.
Me: Would you like to tell me what you're doing?
J: (silence. Blank stare.)
Me: Did you ask permission?
Me: You know what that means, right?
J: Yes, a week.
And then he trudged out of the room, defeated, but trying to act normal. After all, it's not like he could argue. But then I was in my office at the desk, and he came CRAWLING into the room, saying he felt so guilty that he said he could barely walk. AUGH! If I wasn't so supremely irritated I would have thought it was funny. So I told him to go to bed if he feels that weak. He just kept lying there waiting for some pity, and it was making me crazy. So I said, "J, I'm a bit concerned. I know you feel guilty, and you should. So suck it up. But I'm concerned because had I not walked in at that second and caught you, you would have finished what you were doing and shut down the iPad, and you would have gotten away with it. Then you wouldn't have felt bad, and that bothers me so much. You need to make the RIGHT decision. Even if it doesn't fit in with what you would like to do in that second. If you would have waited a few minutes, I would have come in, you could have asked permission, and we wouldn't be in this mess. You made this CHOICE, and now you own the consequences. So if you would like to be all whiny and dramatic, feel free to do it in your room, with the door shut."
And I left the room, patting myself on the back for not throwing my stapler at him.
So then that drama was over, and we continued on with our day.
Then it's late evening, and I'm working on a project at the dining room table, watching a Hoarding show on TV. In my happy place, in other words. A asks if he can watch TV, and I said they could downstairs in the family room. I was using this TV. He's got a bowl of Cheetos, and he's making himself some hot chocolate. He asked if he could watch in my bedroom instead. For "cozy time." So I said they could, but NO food or drink in my bed. Which they know. They use these little lap desks as tables on the floor and have a snack ON MY FLOOR before they crawl in the bed. He gets all excited because I don't always let them lounge around in my room (they can't be in a room without destroying it, after all), and he goes and changes into his p.j.'s and a robe. Very cute. So he and J start getting ready to go up there, and I happily settle into my project.
Until J comes downstairs freaking out that he SPILLED HOT CHOCOLATE IN MY BED. WTF????? And it's all over him. So I trudge up there, and yep, it's spilled. Lots of it. It is on some of the pillows (soaked through the pillowcases to the pillows, mind you). It is on the flat sheet. It is on the fitted sheet (soaked through to the mattress pad, and then to the mattress, mind you). It is on the duvet cover. Soaked through to the down comforter.
So I start hollering random mom cliches, stripping the bed and making them put each piece down the chute. They're looking at me like they're afraid I might throw them down the flight of stairs. Don't think it didn't cross my mind. I get the bed cleaned up and re-made, and then just go back downstairs, hoping not to see them anymore for the evening. Right then is when hubby gets home from work and I told him the whole thing. Then I got a beer and just started watching my Hoarding show again.
A few minutes passed, when a paper airplane flew into the room. I picked it up, and it was a note from A telling me how much he loves me and how much he loves his family, and closing with, "so as you can see I'm so sorry about the hot choclit." That kid. So I of course gave him a hug and kiss and said thanks.
I think J is feeling pretty low now, because I really didn't see him again until I went up to bed. The two were laying in A's bed, J was watching him play games on his iPod. I said good night, and told them once again that I love them always. Even when I'm super mad at them, I never stop loving them. And I went to bed.
It's true--I never do stop loving them. I just need to get the hell away from them sometimes.