Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crime and Punishment - Part II

So speaking of Crime and Punishment, Monday night while I was nursing Tait downstairs I could smell the distinct scent of baby powder coming down from upstairs.  It was dangerously quiet up there.  Tennyson came down with the large container of baby powder.  I said, "Tennyson I want you to take that back upstairs and put it right back where you found it."  I didn't worry too much because he has not shown that much interest in baby powder since Tait was born so I thought he was past that stage.  I mean that is so 2 years olds.  Isn't it?  When I finished nursing.  I came upstairs.

Oh a couple dabs of baby powder on the stairs, no biggie.  I got this one.

Woa.  When I walked into me and Jeremy's bedroom I about had a heart attack.  It looked like it had snowed in there.  I could barely breath.  It was so overwhelming I couldn't really respond.  I took him downstairs and sat him in time out while I sat on the couch in a stupor of thought.  This was right before Jeremy came home.  

When Jeremy came home we both started cleaning.  Jeremy got out the vacuum and I followed behind with a damp cloth.  We cleaned for almost 2 hours.  Tennyson sat in time out the entire time bawling his eyes out.  When we finished cleaning Jeremy just looked at me and asked, "What do we do to him?  How do you punish this?"  This was one of the worst things Tennyson had ever done.  He definitely knew better.  It is 4 days later and our house still smells like baby powder.  We thought about throwing away his beloved green blanket.  In the end we decided on a week without television (or netflix or movies or any media of any kind).  

What do you all think?  Does the punishment fit the crime?


naomi megan. said...

oh tennyson. whatever shall we do with you. i would have the hardest time following through with a punishment looking at that cute face. good luck!

Anonymous said...

One punishment could have been to clean it up with you. And then do some more cleaning around the house and to write a letter of apology. Do you think he will forget what he is being punished for at a day? When he's not allowed to watch tv (or netflix) in 6 days, is he going to remember and be able to recall the feelings of contrition he's supposed to? Maybe something more immediate like the timeout. Could you get yourself to cry and tell him how much he hurt your feelings?

Tiana said...

Don't you hate anonymous comments?

We have had a similar incident at our house when Ellie was a baby (Ches being the culprit). Of course, ours was on carpet, so easier to vacuum up.

I have actually talked about crime and punishment with friends, and one friend talked to her doctor about is. He said that long term punishments don't really work with kids, because they can't remember and associate things for that long. A one day, or immediate punishment is best.

It sounds like Tennyson's remorse for his actions might have been enough, and then no media for that day.

Don't worry, friends. I promise that you will laugh about this one day. Plus, there are worse things he could do. I have a friend whose kids got into her paint box on the top shelf of a closet. Just imagine...


Ye Stewart Clan said...

It is *SO* hard to punish that cute little face. Discipline is my least favorite part of parenting, but alas I have to chastise him because I love him.

I like the idea of writing a letter even though he can't read and is just barely learning to write.

Usually I do have him clean up his own messes and pick up his play things. But this mess was way beyond Tennyson's abilities. So Tenny got a lot of grace on that one!

I could never bring myself to cry over spilt baby powder. Maybe pre-June 1, 2010 I could have. But not now. Tennyson would see right through it. Plus, I think I've already scarred him by how much I've been crying this year.

Remorse is a hard feeling for Tennyson to feel. I still don't know if that is what he was feeling during those 2 hours of time out. He seemed more remorseful that he was being punished than for doing something wrong. It is so hard to know when they are capable of certain things and when they are not. I am not sure Tenny is capable of remorse yet. I really really really regret not taking a childhood development class in college. I feel so clueless! So I love all these comments because I need all the help I can get! Keep them coming! (And yes I am really glad it wasn't paint although I have dealt with that one on a lower level) :)

Hillary said...

At least it was baby powder. Remember that time you put dryer sheets in your car because you loved the smell of your fresh folded laudry and it ended up being so overwhelming you had to drive with the windows down? :)

I've been punished with much more for a crime far less.

You've done the right thing.

Holly said...

I REALLY feel for you guys - especially because I have a child that similarly likes to wreak havoc! She is so sweet and fun half of the time and drives me nuts the other half. I don't profess to be an expert, and am still trying to figure things out myself, but here are a few of my ideas: Most important - follow through! Since you've already told him what his punishment is, you should stick with it. I don't think forgetting why he is punished should be an issue - especially if you remind him why he isn't allowed to watch t.v. whenever he asks about watching a show, etc... Whenever my kids get in trouble and get punished or go to time out, I always make them tell me why they are in trouble instead of me saying it. That way, they have to be thinking about it and I know they understand why they're in trouble. Hope some of that helps! Love you guys!!

Ro Ro Riot said...

Years from now you're going to be really glad you have those pictures. His younger siblings will be even more glad you have them.

Daisy Chick said...

I totally agree with Holly's comments. We too have had some really big disasters created by children. I think it is about reminding them why they are being punished and that this is a consequence of their actions, following through, and also following up with love. I have started taking pictures of the disasters because it helps me calm down a bit, before dealing with them and my Mom told me once "Remember that if this happened to someone else you would probably laugh." The week after we got our new van I had picked up McDonalds and didn't realize there was BBQ sauce in the bag, I turned around on the freeway to see Ethan had decided to marinate himself, and our new van in it. He was barely 2 and all I could do was laugh. You are great parents.

Anonymous said...

Remember me calling you when Henry did this in Roscoe's room. The baby powder on the walls etc. I can't remember what I did, I think I had him vacuum but he went crazy sucking things that shouldn't be sucked. It was a mess.
KIDS ARE HARD-also remember when you filmed Ruby after she put desitin all over her body?

Katie said...

We really should be best friends. We have the same son. Ours is just a year behind so, it's good to see what we have to look forward to. It's so hard to know what they even understand. Sometimes I feel like I'm giving him too much information and sometimes too little. And I can't ever figure out if he really knows better or if he's just being a kid. It's SOOO hard! I heard something in RS today that I applied to parenting. They were talking about charity and how the pure love of Christ builds us up to change us. And sometimes when we want to change people we put them down to change them. I was thinking how I do that to Luke. It's so hard for me to figure out how to be positive and loving and still be firm and use discipline. I don't want him to feel like a "bad kid" but I don't want him to think he can get away with things either. I'm glad Jeremy came home so you could both be in on the mess. I hate dealing with stuff like that alone. I like that kid. Just think - it's that same zaneyness and creativity that makes you love him so much.

Grandpa Jay said...

I actually agree with Holly's comments (and remembering back to her younger days, I'm thrilled that I can say that).

Anyway you look at it, you guys are great parents and Tennyson knows that he has parents who love him and want the best for him. What more could you ask?

Grandpa Jay