Why is it that we let Kid #2 get away with more than Kid #1 could ever dream of getting away with? Is this why the first born is such a stringent rule follower and second-born children are typically more carefree? Whatever the reason I am coming to the unfortunate conclusion that I've got some work to do making Christopher more accountable for his actions. I've been lax. I've made too many excuses (but he's only 3, 4, 5,...and...but just look at that face!). I've been too permissive. No more.
Christopher is out of second chances.
This was the hard lesson he learned when he didn't get ice cream with the family the other night. We were standing in line at the ice cream shop for Pete's sake and he had to go and do something we told him not to do. His father told him no. I told him no. And, he went and did it anyway. No ice cream for Christopher.
He screamed and he cried. The other ice cream patrons must have thought I was the meanest mom in the entire universe, but he made the bad decision and now he had to live with the consequences. Period. He tried to make it up to us. Sorry. He tried to state his case. Not interested. He tried to say he didn't hear us. Nice try. He was flabbergasted that we all walked around licking our delicious ice cream cones while he walked around licking his wounds.
Since then he's lost American Idol-watching, dessert, and other privileges. What Christopher thinks is cute, charming or charismatic can be disrespectful. What might have been humorous coming from a 3-year-old is not even remotely funny in a kid who just turned six. Christopher is used to working a crowd and using his God-given persuasion potential to get what he wants. And most of the time it works. Until now. I'm drawing line in the sand. He will cross it at his own peril.
As hard as it is to see my kids suffer (I really did feel bad about not giving Christopher ice cream...not bad enough to break down and give him a cone...but bad nonetheless) it's harder for me to see kids who aren't required to take responsibility for their actions. Christopher will be held accountable. Neither one of us may like it because I'd rather not send him to his room or eat ice cream in front of him and he'd rather be doing what we do as a family instead of sulking off on his own, but what I say goes and no means no. It's not always up for discussion.
We all learn from our mistakes. Let's hope Christopher learns from his that we will have a much more enjoyable summer if he gets it right the first time because he's out of second chances.