Bad Choices

We have been having “behavioral issues” with Ethan lately. It’s part of him growing up and testing boundaries but I’m getting pretty tired of it. This morning we were all tired cause we were all up way too late last night which with Ethan is a recipe for disaster.  We had plans to put out the new slip n slide this afternoon but needed to go grocery shopping first. By the time we Craig was ready to go Ethan was tired and Emerson was just waking up. So we decided that Craig and Emerson would go to the store and Ethan and I would stay here. My hope was that Ethan would nap or at least lay in his room.  Which he did a little but I told him if he came out of his room he would not be playing on the slip n slide when Daddy got home. By the time Craig got home he had come out 5 times. UGH FACE PALM!!

So being the house of endless chances (that it feels like we’re becoming) we give him another chance –  clean your room and you can go out and play when you are done. I go into Ethan’s room about 30 minutes later and can’t believe how clean it is. I tell him how proud I am and say “See I told you if you just put your mind to it and do it, it won’t take long at all”. Then I spot something in the corner. A small box crammed with about 10 – 15 toys and a book.  I nonchalantly push it to the center of the room and take the box so I can put in the trash. I say “Wow, you’re really close but you missed these things. Put them up and you’re ready to go out”

I go in there again and again the same things are crammed back in the corner minus the box that I took away. I push them back to the middle of the room and remind Ethan he has a choice. If he cleans his room he gets to go outside and play but “if you hide things from me instead of putting them up you will not be playing on the slip n slide today, you are making the choice it’s up to you”

A couple of minutes pass and Ethan is at the back door trying to slip past me. I say, “Ethan, did you really clean your room or do you need a few minutes to make sure everything is put up and not hiding?’ He tells me again he’s done. I ask him two more times and two more times he tells me he is finished with his room.

He tries to slip past again and I say “No, lets go take a look at your room real quick”

He runs back to his room, opens his closet door, and then closes it(I have no idea what this was for other then to distract me from his new hiding place). I start checking his room beginning with the corner where he has been hiding his toys. I’m excited to see that the toys aren’t there. But… I can tell from his face that they are somewhere, so I get down on my hands and knees and start searching his room. I know when I’m close because Ethan erupts into tears. I find the toys tucked under a table, look at him and say “Well that’s a bummer, I’m sad that you made the choice not to clean your room.” Ethan goes ballistic and yells for no less then 20 minutes straight.  I want to slit my wrists to get away from it and Craig says “Can’t he just clean his room and come out” I ask Craig “How many more chances do you think he should get?” but I stand firm. Later we talk about what he has to do tomorrow to get to play on the slip n slide – his room has to be clean and he has to finish his math work for the day.


  • James Hill

    Sounds alot like lil Craig to me he was very strong spirited and intelligent and knew exactly what buttons to push….I was around you husband most of the time at that age.

    • admin

      I believe it and I totally knew it! I tell Craig all the time that I think Ethan is probably just like him as a kid. It’s times like that, that I really miss having Joni around, it would be nice to hear this is how I handled it stories.

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