A day of punishments…

Well, today stinks.

It all started with Z this morning.  As I was making breakfast this morning, he called out, “Oh no, Parker went potty on the rug!”.  Parker, our 9 year old dog, has not done anything like that in YEARS.  I ran in shocked and upset and start to clean up the puddle.  Then I notice one of his tub toys sitting on the table.  I quickly put 2 and 2 together.  I say, “Is this water from your toy?”.  Z just stared at me.  So, I asked him again.  When he still refused to answer me I knew that he had truly, flat-out lied to me.  I sent him to time out and stood there stunned at my sweet 4 year old who had turned into a cunning almost 5-year old.

I decided that time out wasn’t enough in this instance since it was such a deliberate lie, which I have repeatedly told him is unacceptable in our family.  So, I “grounded” him.  For him, this meant a day without T.V.  I don’t let him watch that much television anyway, but what he does get to watch, he LOVES!  He will ask me about 20 times a day if he can “watch a show”.  So, I though this would be a heartbreaking consequence for him.  We did so much today, though, that I had to purposely send the little guy to watch a show, so I could be sure that Z felt his consequence.  I felt kind of silly forcing my 2 year old to watch T.V. to teach a lesson to my 4 year old, but it seemed like the best thing to do at the time.

Then came bedtime tonight.  The little guy has made big improvements in staying in his room at bedtime, so I haven’t locked his door recently.  After putting all of the kids to bed, I came downstairs to enjoy the quiet.  About 20 minutes later I heard the little guy laughing.  From MY room.  I knew that wasn’t going to be good.  I ran up there and found him in the bedside co-sleeper WITH the baby!  WHOA!!  She seemed happy enough with him there until they both heard me scream!  So, seeing as though he did something dangerous enough that he absolutely could have injured the baby (or worse), I did what I never wanted to do.  I spanked him.

I feel terrible!  I spent 5 years teaching parents different techniques to use with their children as alternatives to spanking!  What a hypocrite I feel like today.  This little guy can just push me to the limit.

I guess the bungees are going back on the door tomorrow.  It breaks my heart when he cries about his door being locked, but honestly it would probably be best if we just left them there until he goes to college.  I am terribly afraid that we are only seeing glimpses of what our future is going to be with this guy.  Entertaining, for sure, but challenging on even the best days.

He has his second day of preschool tomorrow.  A blog for another day…

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6 Responses to A day of punishments…

  1. Lauren says:

    Love your blog Emily! Wish I could give you parenting advice 🙂 I’m sure he will still love you in the morning!

  2. Emily says:

    Oh Emily, I can just feel your heart aching in this post. 🙁 I’m so sorry you had such a rough day. Even the BEST parents have bad days, we are only human. Five years of not spanking is really, really good. (I don’t believe in spanking either, so I really ‘get’ on some level–even though I am not a parent–how you must feel about what happened today.) Still, I just wanted to write a comment to tell you that one time of doing that does not make you a bad parent, it makes you human…and b/c you know it’s not okay to do all of the time and you don’t do it all of the time, your little one is going to understand that hitting is not okay and it’s not something you will make a pattern. I don’t know if I’m helping or making things worse, but I thought you might need a bit of a hug tonight. Lots of love, Em P.S. I promise to email soon…I’ve really not been on email much. I’m having trouble keeping up!

  3. Kelly says:

    My goodness I can’t believe the day kept going like that for you! You handle so much all the time, it amazes me! Love you and there will be so many eyes on those boys this weekend you won’t even have to think about it! 🙂

  4. Kemie says:

    I’m from a different generation, of course, but the rare spanking never warped anybody. Don’t worry. Safety

  5. ehilimire says:

    Thanks for the support, everyone! I went to bed last night feeling absolutely awful, but today has been a better day! (Knock on wood! 🙂 )

  6. Julie Donaldson says:

    I like your blog Emily! Don’t be too hard on yourself about the spanking. My mom spanked me a couple of times – it never really hurt physically – it only hurt my feelings. It was enough for me to understand what was unacceptable behavior in her book. I look up to my mom in many ways, and think she was a wonderful parent. Isaiah has received 2 or 3 spankings from me in his life – never hard – just enough to hurt his feelings. He seems to understand what buttons not to push with me. Now, since he loves video games so much, I am giving him 4 “men” at the beginning of the week (on our whiteboard), and if he loses all 4 men in the course of the week, he can’t play video games on the weekend – video games are a huge treat for him. Seems to be working! Take care!

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