I hate discipline. It always attracts some sort of drama. Or yelling. Or crying. Or whining. Or any unwanted behavior. From not just me, but the kids, too ;)
So, the other day, I was playing with Callum in another room, and I hear the girls egging Clara on to do some not-so-acceptable things. Then I hear "Throw it again, Clara!"
(Mind you, we had spent all morning at the National Zoo, and I thought they'd be comatose on the couch for the afternoon, but instead, they used their tiredness as an excuse to act just like wild animals at the zoo)
I keep an ear out to see if it continued. And then, I hear CRASH and hysterical laughter following. I get up, and just as I walk into the room, I see Clara chucking a cash register as if she were throwing a football across the room. And then, as soon as the cash register crashes down, hysterical laughter follows.
Then, I did it. I lost control. I screamed. I instantly grabbed Clara, gave her an instant, 3, and as I am walking up the stairs with a flailing 2.5 year old in my arms, the big girls snicker and continue to laugh.
Well, in our house, laughing at someone doing something wrong (or getting in trouble), is just as bad as them throwing the toy. So, I look at the clock and it was 6:50pm. I reprimand the big girls for laughing and take their American Girl Dolls away for the next three days (a little harsh, maybe, but they had been walking on thin ice for the last few hours). Mairead starts screaming and whining and carrying on about it (the punishment) not being fair, she tends to be overly dramatic when it comes to punishment. I immediately tell the girls to get their PJs on and head straight to bed - an hour early. No baths. No stories. Nothing but lights out. Yeah. That didn't go over too well. Mairead becomes even more dramatic. And Lilah gets angry, calling me a 'Mean Mommy'.
Once the drama subsided, we sent them to bed, and laid with each girl. Kevin and I discussed the events and why it was wrong to laugh. Mairead was upset because she wanted her Kit back, so we told her that she could "earn" it back. When she woke up in the morning, we'd have a list of jobs to complete. One job for each year (Mairead is almost 6, and Lilah is 4). Once completed their jobs, they could have their dolls back. It took them two days to complete them all, but they got their dolls back one day earlier than they would have had they not done their jobs.
Mairead worked very hard to get her jobs done. Since Clara was asleep when it was time for her to "clean up Clara's room" she asked if she could stuff cloth diapers instead. I thought that was a reasonable request, so, she took the initiative to cross the job out, and write in the new job "stuf the diprs" with a box to check upon completion and all.