I have had lots of things that I wanted to blog about but have been so busy with Buddy and Bug that I have not had a chance to sit and type em out. Who’s ready for the kids to go back to school, huh?
Actually, we’ve done pretty good. I’ve been working very hard to be tolerant of their little boyness and they have worked hard to be tolerable. The new chore chart I’ve set up has helped to make them more aware of the things that need to be done around the house and has spilled over into other things not on the list. WIN!
Though there are incidents like this morning. I marched up the stairs, arms full of folded laundry as the phone rang. Bug was having breakfast at the kitchen island, about 3 feet from the ringing phone. I had no idea where Buddy was.
“Could someone answer the phone?” I called out from behind the laundry. Buddy was sort of half way in the kitchen and half way out as he was feeding the dogs.
“Please get the phone!! My arms are full!”
As I deposited the laundry, I hear Buddy come in from feeding the dogs and quickly pick up the phone. I returned to the kitchen to find Buddy on the phone and Bug, still at his place on the island, lackadaisically eating his corn flakes.
“Bug, why didn’t you answer the phone?”
“Because I was eating my cereal. I was hungry.”
How I did not levitate to fly across the kitchen, over the island and lay hands on that child is a miracle of God. He immediately could see that I was displeased and rolled out his lip and started to “cry.”
“I’m sorry Mom…” he whimpered.
“Go to your room.” I said with a creepy calm.
“I said I’m sorry!”
“Go. To. Your. Room.”
“Please don’t tell Daddy, Mom!” he begged as he scurried off to his room.
“I will tell your Father whatever I’d like. Get your butt in your room.”
“Am I getting a spanking?” he asked, peaking around the corner.
“In your room!” I growled.
This is Bug’s game, see. When I ask Buddy and Bug to clean their room or pick up their toys in the basement, stomach cramps suddenly come up on Bug and he’s got to sit on the toilet for 15-20 minutes. I’ve caught him doing this several times over break.
“Don’t touch another toy, Buddy. You’ve done plenty. Go play and leave the rest for Bug.”
Buddy will struggle a bit with the fact that the room is not yet finished and also with the desire to help his brother out.
“It doesn’t help him to have everything done for him. You did a great job. Go play.”
Then Bug comes out, shocked at the work remaining for him to do. He goes off on a rant of the injustice of it all while I stand over him like a warden making sure that he doesn’t play with the toys but actually puts them away.
“I call the dogs!” Bug always yells when it’s time to feed the pets. He never wants to be the one to feed the chickens because it’s a bigger job. The water can is huge and you have to go out in the cold snow.
He also seems to never remember to take care of his breakfast dishes (or any meals dishes for that matter) and I often catch Buddy rinsing them in the sink for him. So the move this morning of munching on his breakfast while Buddy and I fly around with arms full and then racing back to try to catch the phone….nothing new. He’s the Artful Dodger.
I met Bug in his room. His tear-stained cheeks did nothing to soften my heart. That boy can turn them on and off like a faucet.
“Are you going to spank me?” he asked, peering up at me through his long wet lashes.
“What are you going to do to me?”
Seriously. He acts like I have a regular list of punishments likened to torture. Hm…what to pick? Toothpicks under his nails? A stroll down a path of hot coals? Tough decisions…
“Bug, do you know why I’m angry?”
“Because I didn’t answer the phone.”
“Yes, but even more than that, I am angry because you are lazy. You sit around waiting for someone else to do a job that YOU could do. You were closest to the phone and the only one who was not busy.”
“I was eating!”
Help me, Jesus, I pleaded as I started to feel myself levitate.
“Bug…that was not something that hindered you from getting the phone. Our hands were full and we were busy.”
“I’m sorry,” he said hanging his head in mock shame.
“We are a family, a team. Everyone does their part here or there will be consequences. Come with me.”
As I mentioned before I had been folding clothes when this whole incident occurred. I had a basket full of Buddy and Bugs clean and folded clothes at the base of the stairs.
“You will carry this basket of clothes upstairs and to your room…”
An image flashed in my mind of Bug feigning weakness as he lugged the basket up and letting all of the clean and folded clothes tumble out and down the stairs, proving that he was not the boy for this job.
“…You are very capable of this task so if you drop the basket and clothes fall out you will re-fold them and put them back in the basket. Then I want you to put the clothes away in their proper drawers. Neatly. Not stuffed and crammed into the drawers. Got it?”
I’m kind of embarrassed even telling you that that was my big punishment (I should’ve gone for the toothpicks thing…) but this is the sad state of things in my home. Bug does not carry his laundry up and he does not put them in his drawer. If he does, it’s done with Buddy. They each take an end of the basket and carry it up. Dang. I’m too nice.
Bug reached across the width of the laundry basket, took a deep breath and heaved the laundry up. He made noises and everything. You’d have thought that I asked him to carry a basket of bowling balls up. He climbed about 4 stairs and then set the load down for a breather.
“Get it up there. Now.” I barked, completely over his dramatics.
He again heaved the basket up into his arms and climbed about 6 more stairs, took a break and then got it up to the landing for a final breather before getting the basket to his room. At this point I had to hide in the pantry to laugh. I have no idea where this kid gets his dramatics? His mother? His grandmothers? His uncle? I can’t think of anyone in our family like this….
It may not have been a huge consequence but it was enough to light a fire under Bug’s butt. After putting the laundry away, he happily went out to feed the chickens.
“Oh! My bowl!” he gasped when he saw that he had left his cereal bowl out, and he cheerfully took care of that as well.
Little Bug: the charming one, funny one…the spoiled one. He’s coming along though. The other night the boys were in their beds and I heard Bug say, “Buddy? Are you awake?”
“Yeah…” Buddy sighed.
“Brother, always remember this: I love you.”
He’s a good one!