Aidan got in big trouble today. It was almost time to leave for church, and I told the boys to go get their shoes and socks. Ian immediately obeyed. But Aidan said "I wanna watch the rest of my movie!"
I said, "No, Aidan. It's time to leave. Go get your shoes and socks."
The arguing continued. He screamed, he kicked, and he yelled "NO!" at me. I finally walked over to the TV and turned it off. He defiantly stomped over to the TV and turned it back on. I spanked his butt, picked him up and planted him by the family room door, and ordered him to get upstairs and get his shoes and socks. Instead, he scrambled over the couch and back to the TV.
Darren stepped in and threatened to throw the DVD in the trash if Aidan didn't comply. Aidan again said, "NO!" We gave him several chances to change his attitude.
So Darren threw the movie away. There was much screaming and gnashing of teeth. Aidan was beside himself. He tried to retrieve the DVD from the trash, screaming, "I DON'T WANT IT TO GO IN THE GARBAGE TRUCK!!!"
"Too bad," said Darren. "It was your choice."
Ian came down the stairs crying his eyes out. It was HIS movie too, and it wasn't fair that it had been thrown away. Darren said, "Aidan, it's not fair to Ian. He's sad. Ian, why don't you go tell Aidan how sad you are?" So Ian walked over to Aidan, but before he could say anything, Aidan huffed, "I don't WANNA talk to you." Ian's eyes welled up, and he said quietly, "Aidan doesn't want me to talk to him." Then he cried.
I was furious with Aidan, and I ached for Ian. So I decided to try something different.
"We have to stop at the store on the way to church. Ian, since you were such a good boy and minded me, you get to have a treat at the store!"
Darren tried a different approach too. He offered to let Ian have the movie out of the trash. At first, Ian was happy about it. But then Darren said, "But Aidan won't be allowed to watch it with you." At that point, Ian's face dropped, and he said, "I don't want it."
At the store, Aidan stayed in the car with Darren and threw a wall-eyed FIT. He was completely out of control. Darren actually had to sit in the back seat with him to keep him from escaping from the car. In the meantime, Ian chose a bag of Cheetos (a favorite snack that I NEVER buy) for his treat. "These chips are HEALFY, Mom! They have CHEESE! So it's not junk food." :)
At church, Aidan apologized to me, and all was forgiven. But the punishment stood, and he knew it.
Back at home, Aidan said, "Ian's gonna share his Cheetos with me!"
I said, "Aidan, those are Ian's special Cheetos. He doesn't HAVE to share them with you. Ian, you do not have to share."
Then Ian marched into the family room where I sat, furrowed his brow, and looked me straight in the eye.
"Mom, I am going to share. I am."
What a sweetheart. He's the best brother ever.
I love my boys, on good days and on bad. On the good days, I think we're doing a pretty darn good job as parents. But on the bad days, I question my judgments and doubt my abilities. This parenting thing... whew. I don't think you're EVER experienced. Because each kid brings a whole new set of rules and demands a whole new set of approaches.
We're doing the best we can. I just hope that in the whole scheme of things, we get most of it right.