As Max gets closer to 4, his terrible twos and traumatic threes have joined forces to come on in full force. In the last few months, he's thrown his first mall tantrum (you know the one, belly on floor in the middle of the food court, feet and fists flailing. I wouldn't let him have chocolate milk and he was pissed. I was that mom. We all get a turn, right?)
So anyway, consequences.
Today in the car, on our way home, Max and I were chatting like always. We spend a good hour in the car getting home, even longer when the weather is crappy like it was today. We got into a back-and-forth, as we often do.
“No, YOU'RE silly!”
“No, YOU'RE silly!”
and so it goes until we both laughing (or I crash the car, whichever comes first. (I'm kidding Mom, I'd never crash!))
And then today:
Me: “No, YOU ARE SILLY!” punctuated with random, admittedly annoying sound effects.
Max: “No, you're STUPID!”
Me: Jaw meet floor.
The only punishment I could come up with was to turn off the music, so after a I stern through-the-rear-view-mirror admonishment, I turned the radio off and we continued on in silence. I thought that sucked, but I was wrong. (He got an additional “talking to” at home, and then apologized to me)
Fast forward to bedtime. Max got a bunch (I mean, a BUNCH) of Thomas sets for Christmas, and he and Jamie had spent several hours assembling them all into one giant setup, in Max's bedroom. After going to bed like a champ for so long, Max has recently taken to getting out of bed, turning the light on and playing for however long… we've found him choo chooing away at all hours. The threat has always been that we'd put the trains away, but it always worked to get him back to bed.
One night, when Jamie was out of town last week, just my picking up one piece of track resulted in a massive meltdown, and I admittedly wussed out. (My sister, if she's reading this, is shaking her head at me. I know it.)
Well, I told him again tonight, turn your lights on to play, and the tracks are gone.
*SPOILER ALERT* He totally got up and played with his tracks.
So I did it. I put the entire track away. I feel awful, especially for Jamie who spent so much time assembling it. Max is wailing away up there, that his trains are gone. So like I said, consequences suck.
But here's my question for you: Did I do wrong? Now that Max is quieting down, I'm wondering if I messed up. I was already annoyed and hurt, from the Stupid thing earlier, so I'm wondering if that's why I finally followed through on a threat that's been made a dozen times before. Or should I just have followed through the first time we threatened it? I'm torn. What's done is done, and we'll go over this all again tomorrow, but I'm curious: What would you have done?