Sometimes I get so excited about a brilliant idea that I forget about the inevitable consequences. Like the first time I ate at Cold Stone, and I was warned not to get more than two mix-ins. I think I ended up with six and a stomach ache. Nice. Or when I decided it was a great idea to introduce the boys to Lego Star Wars.
It made perfect sense. In my head. The boys love Legos. They love video games. They LOVE Star Wars. What possible could go wrong?
The kind where every waking moment was consumed with the thought of Lego Star Wars. They wanted to play it every minute they were home, and barring that, they played it in their minds. They no longer played Star Wars. They played Lego Star Wars. They were actual Lego toys in the Lego land of Star Wars. It was a sickness that descended on the house.
The worst parts were the side-effects. The potty accidents because they would NOT hit pause. The tantrums over “the game not working right.” The tantrums because Tornado S wasn’t doing what Tornado E wanted him to do. The tantrums when it was time to shut off the game. The tantrums when they wanted to play the game. Like I said, a sickness.
It all came to a head the other day. Tornado E was upset that “the game wasn’t working right.” As I made my way over to Tornado E to help calm him down, he threw the remote in anger. That’s bad. It hit Tornado A square in the back. That’s even worse.
With a centering breath, I launched into action. I told Tornado E to SIT while I checked Tornado A, who was unphased by the whole thing. I marched Tornado E to the time out seat and plunked him down, reminding myself that even if it’s easier, spanking was not the answer. I set the timer. I turned off the Wii. I sent Tornado S off to play outside. I fumed as I worked on dinner. The time went off, and I retrieved Tornado E from time out, kneeling to look directly into his eyes.
Me: Do you know why you’re in time-out?
Tornado E: Because I threw the remote.
Me: AND you hit Tornado A with it. I want you to apologize to Tornado A and give me a hug. And because you chose not to control yourself, you will not be able to play Lego Star Wars for the rest of the day and tomorrow.
Tornado E: Sorry, Tornado A. That’s ok, Mommy. You’re going to forget.
I raised an eyebrow in disbelief and stormed into the office, thinking Wanna f-ing bet? I grabbed a sheet of paper out of the printer, stormed back into the great room, snatching a marker off the kids’ table. I bit off the cap and spat it out. I wrote in huge letters, “Tornado E doesn’t play Lego Star Wars.” Then I taped it on the wall next to the TV. You wanna test your Mama? We’ll play.
Now where’s that marker cap?