This was supposed to be the first week of summer vacation. I had several things mentally planned - splash pad, blueberry picking, maybe a trip to the pool. But around 7 o'clock tonight, M1 changed our plans for us. He is grounded for the duration of the week. Unless someone can come up with a more inventive punishment for what he did, anyway... I'm fresh out of ideas.
I had gone outside to water some garden transplants that we'd picked up from my dad's house this afternoon; Oz came out just as I was finishing up so he could mow the lawn. I walked into the house less than a minute after Oz came out and was greeted by a panicked girl: "MOM, M1 climbed onto the coffee table and jumped onto the couch!"
My first reaction was to make sure that nothing broke - our coffee table has a glass top, and somehow I doubt it's been built to withstand 90-some-odd pounds of boy jumping off of it. "Is he hurt?"
"No, it didn't break. But he thinks it's funny... and he almost landed on me!"
Thank heaven for small mercies... but what do you do with a child who deliberately waits for the minute he thinks he can get away with things like this... and then DOES them?? Clearly he's not ready to be left alone in the house, not even for a minute. And I could 'tomato stake' him, but I'm also not up for that level of personal torture. I love my kids, love being around them... not my philosophical cuppa tea. So he's grounded.
Oh, he'll get to come out for certain things - chores, meals, bathroom breaks, errands and previously-planned engagements such as a field trip to the local animal shelter. And if he demonstrates good behavior, I'm happy to let him earn rewards like listening to our read-aloud in the evening or 30 minutes of playtime with his sister. By and large, however, his week won't be the fun-filled time it could have been.
He does know better. The minute I hollered his first, middle and last name, he knew what he was in for. He's never been punished so harshly for anything EVER, and that's saying something, because he's done some really stupid things in the past, like the time he drilled a hole through his bedroom closet wall and into his sister's room with a drumstick or the time he put a rubber band around a cat's paw and forgot about it or the time he carved tic-tac-toe grids into the headboard of his bed using a screwdriver or the time he peed in his nightstand drawer, but I'm really, REALLY sick and tired of dealing with it, especially because these days I get not only the misbehavior but also the "I don't care/you can't make me/it's all your fault" brattitude that goes along with it. The only rule in this house that I've ever insisted that the kids follow 100% of the time is the Golden Rule, and even he admitted that he wouldn't want me jumping off of his furniture if he'd paid for it, and he sure wouldn't like it if I disobeyed him the minute his back was turned.
Argh. The logic makes it from the brain to the mouth, but it never makes it from brain to musculoskeletal system.
It'd be really easy for me to stop and say that it's all due to his ADHD or his Asperger's or whatever, but that'd be a load of crap. His ADHD is medicated to the point that he can choose his behavior, and his Asperger's has no bearing whatsoever on the current incident other than he really doesn't care about anything outside of his own little Circle of Me.
So he's grounded.
M2 and I are going to have a great mother-daughter week!