My sister Stephie is one of the most awesome and funny and smart and sweet people I know. So we were so excited to have her come visit us for a few days on her way to a work conference in Tampa. We had a great time together, and Stellan can't stop talking about all the fun things we did with her. Come back soon, Tia!
In case you didn't know, we live only an hour from the Alabama state line. So on a recent trip the Birmingham temple (the closest one to us), we stopped at the Florala State Park on a lovely Saturday afternoon. After such a nice time there, maybe I should cut Alabama a little more slack.
When Stellan does something he shouldn't, I ask him to stop or to switch behaviors. If he repeats Bad Thing A, I then mention to him what the consequence for another repeat offense will be. It only took a few tries for this to degrade to this:
Me: Stellan, please stop Bad Thing A or Consequence B will occur.
Stellan: If you invoke Consequence B, I will retaliate by resorting to Bad Thing C.
Me: If you resort to Bad Thing C, you will then earn yourself Consequence D.
Stellan: If I am subject to Consequence D, you will suffer the wrath of Bad Thing E.
And so it goes. I've found various strategies to stop this cycle, because I really don't like encouraging his creative little mind to think of of the meanest naughtiest things he could possibly do to upset me. But sometimes he does come up with some funny stuff. Like this one from earlier this week:
Me: Stellan, you can either leave the store with me right now, or I will pick you back up next week when Rachelle and I come back. [Not serious about this threat, but close enough be being serious that it comes off sounding pretty truthful.]
Stellan: But if you leave me here, I'll have to take someone's car. And we live really far away from here, so it will take a long time to get home. And I'll get sleepy while I'm driving the other car and I'll fall asleep and crash it. And then I'll get hurt.
Our house is a bit older, and as a result, there are some things that occasionally fall apart. But after today, I'm starting to feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.
#1. Our mailbox is wide open. The door rusted off on one side, and then the other. Now the mailman just leaves the whole door inside the box with our mail.
#2. A big storm blew our trampoline net off completely. Now it sits wide open. Don't worry, we'll get a new one soon. Come check it out anytime - you can see it easily from the street because our gate is wide open - it won't close.
#3. Our door frames are pulling out from the wall. This nice open gap also means nails stick out of the frame, one of which left a nice bruise on Rachelle's forehead the other day. She is tough, though, and is using it as impetus to walk all the sooner. Yeah.
#4. This one's the kicker. Today our garage door broke. I don't mean the mechanism that opens and closes the door is not functioning; I mean the door is broken. As I was pulling out of the garage, the door came down on our car. I managed to get it back up with the help of a neighbor, but a bolt on a hinge that holds two panels together is toast, and some of the wood has splintered apart. The door is broken. Tonight we'll go to bed with the garage wide open.
Late night addendum: Apparently this is theme that transcends our household. Tonight at choir practice, I left Rachelle to wander the choir chairs under the watchful eye of the choir at large while I filled in for the missing pianist. She found an open mousetrap (this kind) and was discovered with it stuck to her face. Some kind sopranos swept her away to the bathroom for some soap and water, but stopped short when they noticed her skin coming off with the adhesive. Don't worry, she's been completely de-stickified quite humanely by a very attentive mother in a very soothing bath. Poor little mouse.