Today, I enjoyed a lovely pilates class at the YMCA. Then I picked up my children and headed home to make lunch.
We arrived home. I unlocked the front door and dumped our bags on the table. I hung up my keys. I got ONE out of the car and asked him to go inside and wash his hands.
When I turned to walk back to the car to get TWO, I heard our front door slam shut. For a moment I thought, surely he wouldn't lock us out of the house. We have a key stuck in the deadbolt lock most of the time, and for a moment I thought, what would I do if he turned the lock? My keys and phone were inside the house. But I dismissed the thought and quickly got the baby out of the car.
Well ... my instinct was right. My three-year-old, my sweet handful of a son who is making me age quickly beyond my years, had indeed locked the deadbolt. There is no other way to get into our house from the front, unfortunately. We live in a townhouse and have no access to the backyard except through the house which is a HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE DESIGN and I CANNOT WAIT to live somewhere else. But that is another blog post altogether.
I beat on the door. I called his name. I threatened and demanded and finally begged. But I knew what he'd done ... he'd locked it and run away to hide. I considered my options and was grateful the baby was with me, at least I didn't have to worry for HIS safety. Just as I was turning to start knocking on neighbor's doors to see if I could use someone's phone, I heard the lock turn. ONE opened the door.
We believe in spanking at our house, but sometimes I wonder if it even makes an impression. I do my best to save spankings for times like today, when it's vital that my kid understand that he is never to do that again -- EVER. I sent him to his room while I made lunch. When he came downstairs to eat, it was like none of it ever happened. He complained about his sandwich not having cheese in it. I stared at him for a long time before speaking. Because what I really wanted to do was to remove his lunch from the table, dump it down the sink, and send him straight to bed. Isn't that what they would have done back in the olden days? But while I might have it in me to spank my son, I simply cannot let him go hungry. So I let him eat. And then I sent him to bed.
Sometimes it's hard to remember that my son is three. Just three. He is learning. He's growing. I have a hard time balancing the patience that raising a three-year-old requires, with the ability to discipline him when it's needed. Most of the time I wonder if I'm doing any of it right.
Mothers of boys ... mischievous boys ... my heart goes out to all of you. I honestly have no idea how to keep my son in line except to pop him with a wooden spoon. If any of you have better ideas, please feel free to share. I'll just be over here, lying down.