Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Follow Through

There are several things that I can think of where the words "follow through" are considered to be a very important part of the process. I know in golf, you have to follow through on the swing. Granted, I haven't a clue as to what that looks like, but I HAVE heard it. In tennis, you follow through. If you stop short on your swing, the ball doesn't go where you aimed.

Well, parenting is no different and I became painfully aware of that today. I had to go to Walmart for some stuff and the 4 boys were a bit of a handful. The baby did OK...he's only 1. He didn't scream. He just sat facing the back (or front rather) of the basket. My 2nd son did OK for the most part. He certainly kept reminding me of that fact, as well. No, the problem came mostly with sons #1 and #3. My 3rd son LOVES to push the basket. Being only 3, his strength and aim are serious issues. Since he can't see where he is pushing, he ends up going as fast as his little legs will go. This leaves the baby, clinging to the basket seat, white-knuckled as he knows, instinctively, that the groceries should NOT be a blur. It then leaves me out of breath and out of patience as I remind myself to "Punish in private. Praise in public." *I never liked that...not once does it tell a parent when to beat the snot out of them.

OH GO ON! I DON'T BEAT MY KIDS! (regularly)

Anyway, my oldest son has to have things just so....and that means he pushes....period. He does it right, he's the oldest, he is, after all, in 2nd grade and with that comes all rights and responsibilities to push the basket. Normally this isn't a problem for me...except that #3 screams "My turn.....MY TURN!"

As I was saying, we were in Walmart and had sufficiently distracted son #3 with Cars fruit snacks. (I never said I was above bribery.) Well, at the end of the shopping session, #3 realized he had yet to push. Seeing as how fruit snacks were finished, he decided to go push. No problem, we are about to check out.....except for one thing....son #1. Forget the fact that he had been pushing for the past 40 minutes. was STILL his turn, he's the oldest, he's in 2nd grade....yada, yada, get my drift.

SOOOOO, the normal muttered threats and lovingly hiss of "You are going to get a spanking when you get home if you don't let him push right now. Do you understand me? I said to let go of the basket. You have already pushed. Hey, do you want to help me get some hotdog buns? Yes I KNOW you were here first, but we are almost done......I'll get you some candy. Do you want some candy? I can't believe you are being this ugly to your brother. He is just a baby. LET GO!!!!!" as I pry his fingers off the basket.

We make it out to the FTU in rather good spirits, considering the fiasco of 5 minutes prior. On the way home, #1 starts to hit, kick, punch, scratch and talk ugly to son #2. I told him he would get a time-out. Well, long story short and a lot of disobedience later, I told him he would go to bed for the day if he didn't cut it out. Not for one moment did I think he would continue. I mean, the word of his mother is good, right? WRONG!

So now he sits in my bed for, going on, 8 1/2 hours. It is now bedtime. He has tried everything to get up, including telling me that he can only sleep if there is a movie in front of him.

Do I regret the decision? Yes and no. I hate that it had to get to that point. But, what I'm hoping is that now he will understand that I can, and will, put him in bed all day....that his behavior was, and is, unacceptable.

I hope you have never had to get to that point. But, if you promised it, even in anger, realize that you MUST follow through.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

GOOD for you! Sticking to your guns & not losing it. LOL...sometimes it is SOOOOO hard not to lose it and hit especially when they are being so horrible. Sometimes I resort to a pinch under the arm...I know that's bad. I feel guilty when DS rubs his arm. Maybe you can now talk to #1 and explain that he will only get to push SOME of the time...maybe a time limit so "all" can get a wrist watch has a timer that goes off at 1, 3, 5, 10 ,15 & 30 minutes. {{HUGS}} Dia