Today I had one of those rare "good mommy" moments. You probably don't recognize them because yours are not few and far between.
But for me, these moments stand out among the bad choices, caving to tears, and general laziness. They are "beacons of potential". These moments remind me that maybe I DO have what it takes to be a mom...at least sometimes.
For the 50,000th time, my son woke up early this morning and yet AGAIN, woke up his twin sister so she could keep him company. His sister HATES being woken up.
They started fighting and I dragged myself out of bed to see what was going on. (Okay, I wanted them to shup up so I could go back to sleep).
Livi was crying. "BEN WOKE ME UUUP!"
Ben just stood there with his hands behind his back and sucking in his lips so his smirky smile was just a thin line across his face like in a Charlie Brown cartoon.
"Ben? Did you wake up your sister?"
"What am I going to do with you???!"
"Take away his Wii!" Livi said. "Take away his Wii and his Nintendo!"
Normally, this would be the solution. But something didn't feel right about it this time. The punishment didn't seem to fit the crime. Also, I had tried those things before and as sad as it made him, this "consequence" just didn't have the sizable impact on him I felt was needed at this time. I wanted to be sure he didn't wake his sister in the morning any more. She hated it. I hated it. And he just kept doing it.
I came up with a perfect punishment. My son HATES writing. He's been in occupational therapy for motor skills since he was 10 months and it was his weakest area. So, in a rare moment of lucidity as a mother, I decided to make this a "learning" opportunity.
His punishment? To write an apology note to his sister AND write "I will not wake my sister" 50 times in a row on a piece of paper.
I know this punishment sounds really old-fashioned. I had images of a boy in overalls and a jaunty cap writing "I will not dip pigtails in the inkwell" thousands of times on a blackboard covered one-room schoolhouse. I kind of liked the image.
He complained all the way through. "This is so haaaarrrrrrd!" "My hand hurts!" "This is never going to end!!!!"
But it did. And he got some great writing practice and had something concrete to show me he had learned his lesson and fulfilled his duties. He was so proud. So was I.
I said "Are you going to wake your sister again?"
He said "Nnoooooooooo!"
I said "Good. Because if you do, next time you'll write it 100 times."
He looked frightened. I don't think he'll do it again.
Yes, it was a "good mommy" moment. I think I'll suck it up while it lasts. I'm sure to damage them later.