From my October/Halloween 2015 Archives and as I discovered this week…. a small victory:
Choosing my battles……..
We went away this weekend to NYC and Sleepy Hollow. We try to take a Halloween Weekend every year to somewhere either “Halloweenish”, Spooky, Historical or where costumes are involved. We will be going to a ComicCon the weekend after Halloween (that counts) so we decided to do just a quick overnight to Sleepy Hollow this weekend. Our usual Halloween destination is Salem MA, but we’ve switched it up the past couple of years mainly due to the fact that Doug is <insert colorful metaphors> of going to Salem – I, on the other hand, never tire of it.
We had already done a weekend in Sleepy Hollow a couple of years back. We did just about everything there was to do with the exception of the BLAZE. I did not know that in order to do anything in Sleepy Hollow in October, tickets must be purchased on-line ahead of time. Fortunately, once I discovered this and by the skin if my teeth, I was able to get tickets for everything else.
This year we thought ahead and got tickets for the BLAZE early. Since that was all we were going to do in Sleepy Hollow, we decided to first spend the day in New York City (DC’s favorite place), check into our room in Sleepy Hollow and go to the BLAZE at 9:30 PM (the only time available when we purchased the tickets).
I had not been feeling well all week and would have opted to skip the whole thing and stay home on the couch, but DC had already been told about the trip and he already added it to the calendar so that meant it was engraved in stone.
Knowing his propensity to over-pack DVD’s for the sole purpose of stacking them next to him while he watches YouTube on his computer, and knowing full well there would be a visit to a bookstore at some point during the trip, I told him that he could only bring 5 DVD’s and 2 books. I said it more than once. I just didn’t want to have to keep track of a bunch of unnecessary stuff and try to carry a bunch of unnecessary stuff. I just wanted to pack light and get this over with. (I did forget my jacket in the room, so I really couldn’t manage to keep track of the necessary stuff – turns out, they don’t ship forgotten things. We have to go back and get it).
5 DVD’s and 2 books.
He went about packing his laptop, his DVD’s, his books, and pens to edit said books.
“DC, how many DVD’s did you pack?”
“5 DVD’s – 2 books”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I promise”
When I went to grab the charger for his phone, I found that he already packed that as well. I found THAT to be a bit impressive. He is usually only concerned with his books, DVD’s and laptop.
I told him how proud I was that he remembered his charger by himself. He took that compliment and added that “I am proud of the 5 DVD’s and 2 books” – he was just pointing out the fact that I forgot to tell him in that sentence that I was proud that he followed the rules.
We spent the day in New York City. We visited all of his favorite places and headed out for Sleepy Hollow about 3 pm. All I wanted to do was sleep for a little while before dinner and the Blaze. In the room I was just telling Doug what a great job DC did packing only what I told him to and remembering his charger, when I noticed a good 15 to 20 DVD’s sitting next to his laptop. Now, this has been an issue before and the celebration over him being sneaky and figuring out that he could just hide them is long over with. I do have to give him props for figuring out if he packed his own charger there would be no reason for me to go into his backpack (a new level of sneakiness), but like Tonya in ‘All the …..small things’, I have to be the mother, even though I knew full well what would be in store for me after reprimanding him.
As soon as he realized that I noticed just how many DVD’s he had with him, it started…..
“I am sorry Mom. I will never lie again!”
“I am so sorry, Mother!”
DC only gets to use his laptop and DVDs on the weekends. That has been the rule for many years. Losing his computer privileges is the only thing that EVER makes any kind of impression on him.
“DC, you lied to me again. I told you the last time you lied to me that you only had one more chance before your lost your computer for the weekend. This was your last chance, so no computer for the weekend.”
(Seriously, as punishments go, this is really not much of one. It was all ready Saturday night. We would be going out soon and we were leaving the hotel the next morning, but this did not matter to him).
Now, 2 inches from my face……
“I promise to never tell a lie again”
“Mom, I’m sorry!” – those of you that know DC, you know that:
He is sorry for absolutely everything! Partially he believes “I’m sorry” will get him out of anything. Like a typical man, he thinks that saying “I’m sorry” even if he doesn’t know what he’s sorry about will get him out of anything or at least get me to stop talking. If he really wants to bring it home, he goes to: “I’m ‘ter-bly’ sorry” or “I am soooooo sorry”. He’ll even throw in a “Can you ever forgive me?” (movie line), if he thinks it’s necessary.
He says he’s sorry, WHILE he’s doing something he shouldn’t, and will continue right on doing whatever it is because he’s covered, he already said he was sorry. Or he’ll say he’s sorry when he’s about to do something he knows he’s not supposed to do. He’s covered, he said he was sorry!
I heard this and variations of this throughout the evening all recited 2 inches from my face. I won’t go into the amount of times I explained to him that just because he promises not to do it again does not get him out of the punishment he was already given. I understood that he was sorry and I was proud of him for being sorry…… believe me, it was covered and covered.
We did enjoy the Blaze –
but every few minutes he reverted back into his “I’m sorry” campaign.
Back in the room, he changed his tactic.
“Mom, thank you for much for the trip”
“Mom, thank you so much for the dolls”
“Mom, you are my queen.”
“I love you Mademoiselle”
“I am being so good!”
I did explain to him as I always do that I never would think or say that he was “bad” – he is not bad; he just did something wrong – on purpose.
We went to sleep (remember, I am still not feeling well). 4 or 5 times during the night, I woke up to find this boy 3 inches from my face telling me that he has “Good Behavior” and “I promise never to lie again”
There are times when DC really does not understand what he has done wrong and I will speak with him and try to get him to understand – this was not one of those times. He knew exactly what he was doing while he was doing it. I can not just let everything go, even though at this point I really wanted to get some sleep. If I gave in now he’d know that I would give in the next time.
He hadn’t packed any paper to bring on the trip so he resorted to writing me apology notes on the inside of his books.
As many times as he brought it up, there was an explanation for him. I love him, I always love him. I was not happy with the choice that he made to lie and sneak but I am not angry at him. If he does not do it again he would not lose his computer again.
We left the hotel, looked around Sleepy Hollow a bit, had lunch and headed home.
Monday was a holiday but the weekend was over, which meant his punishment was over. It also meant that he could not use his computer anyway because the weekend was over. He double checked the end of punishment fact with me and was extremely happy to hear that he was correct in his assumption. We were home all day on Monday and he was quite happy not to use his computer, because Monday is not “the weekend”. But he knew it was ON for the following Friday and I never heard another word about it.
(He understands the word “punishment” from Full House. I originally never used that word – that was all him)
Update October 2016:
We just returned from a non-Halloween themed trip to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. I am happy to report that DC, with out being reminded more than once, did stick to the “5 DVD” rule.
And as a Mom who just loves Halloween, I was very proud of his choices:
That’s my boy!