I tuck Kid in last night at 8pm. I look around his room and notice that once again, after being reminded at least 3x, that he STILL hadn’t folded his clothes. I take a breath and realize that my 6 year old son hates laundry more than I do, and I can’t REALLY expect him to jump at the chance to do his laundry.
I gently remind him that I get frustrated when I speak and no one hears me and that his laundry still isn’t don. He looks at me with those puppy dogs eyes that only kids can pull off effectively and says “Sorry Mama” I smile, give him a kiss on the forehead and explain to him that I am giving him one warning. I expect him to fold his clothes tomorrow morning BEFORE even touching his Nintendo DS or television, and that if he didn’t, I would ground him from his DS for a week.
Its a harsh punishment, but he does need to learn that he has responsibilities before he gets to relax with his hobby. I myself have grounded myself from crocheting a few times due to the Laundry Mountain overgrowing, and the Dishes Pile becoming monstrous proportions.
So as I lay in bed this morning at an ungodly hour I listen to the sounds of the house awake. Beauty and Princess playing in the backyard, and the two kitties I’m fostering running around the house. I listen as two little feets jump out of bed and the crack of her bedroom door open and then the footsteps quietly make their way down the hall to the bathroom. I listen as I hear my son get out of bed and take a few steps around his room. I smile as I hear him invite his younger sister into his room, and my heart swells with pride as I listen to the nondescript chitter chatter between them.
And then the dreaded sound. I hear the crashing sound effects and soft music from his Nintendo DS. I call up to him to ensure that he did in fact fold his clothes, knowing that the chances that a 6 year old remembering such a task first thing in the morning is almost nil.
I yell up to his room about 4 times, and I’m still battling that nasty cough (which now I fear has become a chest infection, so a trip to the doctors is in order today.) so yelling his name hurts my throat and always ends up in a coughing fit. Doing this 4 times over the course of 5 minutes has put me in a sour mood, and when he still hasn’t answered me, I get extremely pissed off.
I jump out of bed, storm up the stairs, rip into his room yelling just one word. GROUNDED!
I stop my tirade just moments before I crash into his pile of freshly folded laundry.
He barely had his protests out before I had to eat crow, swallow my pride, and apologize profusely for jumping to conclusions. My six year old DID in fact remember to fold his clothes (neglected to put them away, however, but honestly, that’s beside the point. My instructions clearly stated FOLD. I can’t give demerits for that.) The fact that he remembered made me very proud, and I told him as such.
And whats even better, is the fact that both my four year old and six year old are dressed and ready for the day. Making this morning already much easier than other mornings I have had. Which is great, since I want to be at the bookstore as soon as it opens to retrieve my university textbooks so that I can spend the next 2 weeks studying! 🙂
Amazing what you can get a six year old boy to accomplish when his Nintendo DS is threatened 🙂