This week has been especially trying for the boys, and I cannot figure out why. But on two consecutive days, they seemed to have lost their damn minds.
Day the First - Tucker's turn. Instead of listening to his soccer coach, Tucker spent most of his practice roughhousing with teammates. I personally adored it when one of them (who mostly Tucker ignored) said to him, "Tucker, why are you doing this, stop it!" AND HE DID. That showed me that my kid can in fact hear. I eventually had to tell him that soccer is a no hands sport and if I saw him put his hands on another teammate during practice I would send him to military school.
Yes. Military School.
Now, I think we all know that I will most likely NOT send my son away. His response was, "You know what? You just need a vacation. You should just go away. We'll listen to Dad and then when you come back we'll be good." So I asked where I should go, and his immediate and emphatic response was, "Minnesota."
Anyway, I then explained that military school meant going and living elsewhere without us. He broke down in the saddest tears I have even seen him cry. Now he's terrified of me. But at least he's being more compliant and doing what we ask without it becoming a threatdown every time.
Day the Second - Drew's turn. Drew has this tendency to decide if I ask him to do something unpleasant (like hang up his backpack, or walk through a room to put his shoes away) by staging a passive resistance revolt. So yesterday, done with his crap, I dragged him off the sofa by one foot. To say he was shocked and terrified is an understatement. I sent him up to his room. He stomped up screaming, "I'M RUNNING AWAY!" to which I reminded him to pack a bag. Then I sat in the office and heard him go out on the roof over the office from one of his bedroom windows. All the while, I IMed Lee to tell him that Drew was actively in the process of running away. Then, from upstairs, there was a very scared, "Help!" Away I went.
Drew was stuck on the roof. He had also bent the screen and it could no longer sit in the window properly. Neighbor kids came by while I struggled to remove the twisted screen so he could get back in, and he very calmly said, "I got stuck." When he got back inside, he broke down and said, "I didn't want it to show how scared I was."
THIS IS A BREAKTHROUGH. He's never once given a rat's ass about that. So, part of me is crazy proud of him for learning this skill, and part of me is horrified that he has to quash his broadly emotive personality. Truthfully, in the long run, he has got to learn to control his emotions for long term happiness. However, I love that peer pressure has never gotten to him until yesterday.
Either way, I'm hoping that I don't have to continue to threaten to get anything accomplished. I may make them salute me to remind them that there's always the chance I will send them away to learn to follow rules. But don't tell them I won't.