I’m in trouble. My boys are starting to call my bluff. They’re getting smarter. If I lose the power of my empty threats, what do I have left to keep the chaos at bay? Twice yesterday they called my bluff and I was left scrambling to come up with a Plan B.
First they were playing with a water bottle filled with sand, beads, buttons, and other knick-knacks. I don’t remember where this came from and why it is in my home but this didn’t seem like a good idea. Obviously they opened it. Fortunately they brought it in the kitchen so the mess was contained to the tile floor. They wanted to keep the beads but were indifferent about the rice.
I didn’t know there was a problem until they were yelling at Dora for licking up the rice. Honestly, I didn’t care if she ate it but the boys thought otherwise. I told them they had to sweep up the rest of the rice, which they did. For about a minute. Then they whined about how hard it was to sweep the whole kitchen floor.
So I told them that they had to sweep up all the rice or else I would throw away the rest of the beads and buttons which a moment ago they were so attached to. They huddled and a minute later Big Brother brought me this:
“Here Mom, you can throw this away.”
Great. Guess who swept the rest of the floor? (It was actually Tim, not me. Sweet man.)
Next, we were on our way out of the building to get pizza for supper. There is a dish in the lobby that sometimes has candy and the boys ran to check it as they do every time we come downstairs. They both grabbed candy and started yelling,
“Can we eat this? Can we eat this?”
I told them no, because we were going to get pizza. “You can either have candy or pizza,” I said.
Little Guy immediately answered, “I want candy!” and clutched the treat close to his chest.
Well shoot, what do I do here? It’s not like I could let him have the candy and make him sit there while the rest of us eat pizza, right? There were tears (everything’s so much more dramatic when you miss your nap) but we convinced him that pizza was better than candy and going to get pizza was better than going upstairs and going to bed early. He agreed.
I think they’re on to me. What do I do?