So, I had to dole out a little of the old Crabbydad disciplinary action for Mr. Z, today. I'm not a fan of being the heavy, but the old lady and I do believe in reshaping inappropriate behavior with appropriate natural consequences. Hey, we were both psych majors at a VERY behaviorally-focused school, so we've gotta use that bullshit somewhere, no?
Here's what happened. I picked up the spawn from their respective camps -- they both had great days, but I could tell they were a little beat. We got home and were just chillin' -- Mr. Z was up in his room reading and Miss O and I were putting together this impossible bird mobile thing that came in her "Ladybug" magazine today. It was like open-heart surgery putting the thing together -- glue, thread, sutures -- fucking pain-in-the-ass is what it was.
Anyshit, we couldn't find Miss O's safety scissors around, so I told her to go up to Mr. Z's room and borrow his. So she trots up the stairs and I can hear the whole exchange from the kitchen:
MISS O: Z, can I borrow your scissors?
MR. Z: O! Get out of here! You're totally bothering me!
MISS O: Dad said I could borrow your scissors! Where are they?!
MR. Z: AAARGH! No way! Just leave!
That's when I ambled over to the bottom of the stairs and bellowed:
ME: Z! Just give her the scissors and she'll leave you alone! It's not a big deal! She just needs them to make her [dumbass] mobile!
MR. Z: FINE! TAKE THEM!
[SFX: mild 'konk']
MISS O (half-heartedly): Ow! Dad! Z just threw the scissors at my head!
What the shit?!
I ran upstairs and Miss O seemed fine. The scissors were on the floor and Mr. Z was doing his classic "fuck-I-just-got-totally-busted" dance:
MR. Z: THANKS A LOT, O! DAD, I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING! SHE WAS TOTALLY BOTHERING ME AND IT WAS AN ACCIDENT AND...DARN, DARN, DARNIT...
[SFX: tears, snot, weeping, misc. histrionics, etc.]
Now, I'm pretty sure he didn't whip the scissors from across the room at her. They were high up on a shelf and she was standing directly under said shelf, so I'm guessing he probably dropped them, handle first, onto her head just to be a little prick. She wasn't hurt, and he realized he totally fucked up, BUT, something had to be done.
The tricky part was, he was going to be having a piano lesson in about 10 minutes, and if I told him what his consequence was going to be at that moment, he would've been a fucking wreck for his lesson. So, I told him to chill out and pull himself together, and we'd talk about it after his lesson. He did, and the lesson went surprisingly well.
After his teacher left, he knew the judgement was going to be handed down, and the tears started flowing again. By now, I felt horrible and figured he'd already tormented himself enough for the past hour, but I had to do it. We sat down and calmly discussed why throwing scissors at his sister is an extremely unwise thing to do -- I painted the requisite horror scenes of his sister in the emergency room with the scissors sticking into her eyeball, blood spurting across the room. I asked him if he wanted his sister to be blind in one eye. I told him that people have gone to jail for lesser offenses. All the classics.
Then, I calmly handed out my sentence:
No TV, computer or video games for 10 days.*
Well, he lost his shit and ran upstairs and vowed never to come back down again. Five minutes later, he came back down, realizing he got off pretty damn easily. Shit, I only wanted to go seven days, but the old lady, after hearing the story, thought it should be 10 (the "hangin' judge" that woman is).
So I don't know -- I think it's a pretty reasonable sentence, given the infraction. Granted, they were safety scissors and all, but that's not the point. It's an issue of self-control, his big issue, and the dude's gotta fucking learn. So, he'll read more and draw more and play outside more for the next 10 days -- really not a bad consequence in the grand scheme of things (he said, trying desperately to justify his assholishness to himself).
So, I treated myself and watched "Supernanny" tonight and realized... holy fuck, do my kids have it GOOD!
*Ah, you thought I was gonna spank him, didn't you? How dare you! I may be crabby, but I'm not a fucking asshole. What the shit?!