We have in our kitchen a little plastic kid’s table. We picked it up at a garage sale years ago, and the kids love using it. In fact, whenever we’re not eating as a family, that’s where they prefer to eat.
This morning they were eating breakfast there while I cleaned up in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, C was feeling silly. At one point, he decided to bang on the table whenever his little brother would go to take a bite. He banged so hard that everything on the table fell over. They had sippy cups so this wasn’t as messy as it sounds, but even so, I thought I should put a stop to it. “Hey, big guy. No banging on that table right now. Finish your breakfast and then you can go play.”
“Okay,” giggle, giggle, BANG!
Time for the serious daddy voice. “I said No.”
giggle, giggle, BANG! giggle, giggle.
sigh. I walked over, lifted him out of his chair and took his chocolate milk away. “Go. Stay away from the table. You’re not allowed back at the table until your brother’s done.”
“My chocolate milk!” He wailed. “I want my chocolate milk!”
“Next time,” I suggested, “perhaps you’ll listen to me when I say no. You can have your chocolate milk back later.”
He went to the den and collapsed dramatically on the couch. I watched him go and then BANG!
His little brother had just banged on the table. I looked down at him “do you want to get in trouble too?”
Fortunately, he’s a sensitive little guy. He wilted under the force of my glare. “:No”
“Okay, then.” Having successfully sucked all the joy out of the morning’s breakfast, I went back to my cleaning. Sometimes, parenting is just no fun.
That’s when I heard C’s whisper from the couch to his little brother. “Do it! Bang on the table! Do it!”
Fortunately, his little brother resisted the temptation.