James and Stella are at the age where they are starting to lash out at each other. A toy is taken. Stella bites James. Then he smacks her. The whole scene sometimes turns more Silence of the Lambs than WWF.
And, I have had it. Done. No more fighting. I fight idiots and idiotic situations all day long. I refuse to come home to an insane asylum.
Some advice for discipline came to me via a long story (not going into it). But the simplest thing: when the child acts like an animal, then simply take away a toy and return it after an announced, specified time.
Okay. I get it. I hadn't really tried anything since Mr. Spoon, and the Spoon has been losing powers at an exponential rate.
So I'm not home fifteen minutes tonight when the mayhem erupts. Quiet coloring kids and then a temper tantrum and a slap.
Me: James. One more tantrum and your dinosaur is going away.
James: No! (and temper tantrum on the chair)
Stella: No! (insert slap to James' head right here)
Me: That's it! I have your dinosaur, James. And Stella, you are losing your camera!
So I take the toys, and I feel all big and bad... and then I realize I'm just standing here, holding two stupid toys and not sure where to put them. Ah-ha. I flashed back to a long time ago when James' toys went flying outside in a fit of Mommy Dearest. Perfect.
Without throwing, I simply place the dino and the camera on the porch. On the other side of the glass door. Where they can clearly see the fate of their prize possessions.
They freak out. There is yet another round of hitting and biting. To this - out goes the coloring books and crayons. Then, Mr. "Sweet" Potato Head.
To myself, like a new Eminem song, I think: "That's right! I put that sh*t outside!" And I love it. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I gained some control; some respect.
So, the kids freaked out for five minutes only. And as their dinner is heating up right now, the convo at the table is going something like this:
James: Sissy, you were bad and your toys outside.
James: Merry Christmas is over. You are bad.
James: I bad too. My Sweet Potato Head outside.
Stella: Yea. Outside. Outside.
James: We get toys after lunch.
Stella: Yea. I see lunch.
James: (looking over at me) Momma. I'm good.
Well. You know, I have no real advice on discipline. I can only tell you what works (or doesn't) for me. Timeout never did. Mr. Spoon, as previously stated, once a genius, has since lost power. Me acting crazy is no longer shocking.
Putting that sh*t outside - well, that resulted in approximately forty (and counting) minutes of quiet, respect ....with nothing thrown at my head. That's some sort of afternoon world record.
Happy Friday, people!