We are all governed by rules and consequences beginning at a very young age. I recall Grandma’s classic punishment was making us go to bed after supper, which meant no going outside to play and no television–just straight to your room. However, her sentence was not to be administered on the day of the wrongdoing. The way Grandma did it was to tell us, “Tomorrow you are going to bed after supper.” Her thought process was that by making us think about it for more than twenty-four hours, we would feel more miserable than if it was over immediately. It was like pulling the Band-Aid off slowly rather than ripping it off quickly. Not that this ever happened to me. Oh no, never me! I’m pretty sure it happened to Uncle Mart, Aunt Ar, and Uncle Dave many, many times.
What punishments do the three of you remember? As I recall, the sanctions doled out in our house involved being sent to your rooms, being deprived TV or computer time, and the worst–losing your possessions. A classic tale was when Casey was being bad, and I was upstairs with her in her room, which overlooked the backyard. Dad was sitting in his chair in the family room watching television when suddenly, he looked up just in time to see Casey’s Barbie car being hurled out her window to fall with a crash onto the deck. Of course the car was broken so the punishment lasted longer than I intended, but Casey did stop her bad behavior after her tears subsided.
For Jamie, it took more than just the removal of a single toy. I am not sure what she did, but I know you all remember how Dad began removing the toys from her room. One by one he began moving them out of her room into ours, but still the yelling and misbehavior continued. She would not stop, so Dad continued to relocate her toys. It was not until he picked up her desk chair and began walking out of the room with it that she screamed in despair, “Not my chair!” and then said, “I’ll be good, I’ll be good!”
Bryce learned to count to twenty very early on, because his punishment for misbehaving has been to be put in a corner for “time out.” One of his parents would count to ten, and then as he got older, to twenty, before he could leave. Now with baby “Jane Doe” (still no name yet) set to arrive in two months, we are all holding our breath waiting to see how he reacts to sharing the spotlight. Will he spit in her eye as Aunt Ar did to Aunt Ellen, will he hit her like Kelly did to Jamie, or will he tell her, like he says to Dad or me, “I’m so happy to see you, Jane Doe?” Somehow, I doubt it will be the last scenario. I am expecting that Bryce will be learning to count to a much higher number until he realizes the new guest will be there to stay.