Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hot Tub Chaos....

Swimming lessons are done for the day and teacher says Bubbalu can go in the hot tub. A post-lesson treat for all the kiddos. They love it! Especially in our not-always-sunny Pacific NW summers.

Mommy walks over when she decides it’s time to go and tells Bubbalu, “Ok, it’s time to go, get out and get your flip flops on”. Six pairs of 4 yr old eyes look at me.

“NO! Teacher said I could stay in here!". Five pairs of 4 yr old raised eyebrows, one pair of Mommy raised eyebrows.

“Bubbalu, GET. OUT. NOW.” (No, not yelling….the scary quiet voice paired with the look that every Mom has which primary purpose is to scare your kids witless. I'll not tell you what my MIL calls this voice and look...Something along the lines of the big scary guy who rules the underworld of fire and brimstone. Yeah.)

“NO!”. Five 4 yr old children thinking, “hey, if HE gets to run the show, maybe I should try to!?”

At this point I’m trying to maintain my dignity (and balance) while chasing a 4 yr old around a small in ground hot tub while 5 other children look on with awe at Bubbalu’s response and fear at the Momma with THE FACE. Awesome.

Course, the pool deck was jam packed with parents and grandparents watching their precious young’uns learn the art of staying alive in the water. And now watching me run around the hot tub deck trying to grab my defiant son.

Yep, I eventually won. AND I did not fall in. Score +2 for me.

Bubbalu’s consequence of his (very public) defiance? No post-swimming lesson hot tub time the next day….which was the last day of swimming lessons. Painful.

Fast forward to three hours pre-swimming lesson the next day. I’m feeling super sad about Bubbalu not getting to sit in the hot tub with his swimming buddies. He LOVES people. He LOVES making new friends. He will be very sad not going in.

I hemmed and hawed, trying to come up with alternate ideas for a consequence for him instead of banning him from the hot tub on his last day of swimming lessons. I admit I almost changed my mind.

I’m glad I didn’t. What would that be telling him? Disobey and be defiant, especially in public…Mom will be angry and punish me….then I’ll get out of it the next day. Um…NO.

That last day in the pool he was telling anyone with a pair of ears that, “My Mommy said I can’t go in the hot tub today!”

Awesome. Make me look like a mean Mommy.

Then his teacher says to him, “Hmmm, sounds like you might have gotten in trouble.” THANK YOU. YES.

Bubbalu, “Yeah, I didn’t listen. I wouldn’t get out when Mommy told me to yesterday so I don’t getta go in the hot tub today. I'm gonna listen better next time”.

Almost fist pumped the air and cheered. What I said MUST have sunk in. (Pun completely intended)

Here’s to following through!

I am by no means trying to brag about how wonderful my children are, how compliant they are with respect to discipline or even my own response. Sometimes you just gotta finally say, 'Phew, that was good". Especially when so much feels like it's going wrong. Which I have much more to share later....and it involves paint. Yup.


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  1. Love how our kids keep us humble.
    The most important thing in parenting, Let you Yes be Yes, and your No be no.
    Good job, Amanda.

  2. Yay, way to stay strong! He needs strong parents behind him to guide his STRONG personality! Love ya, you're doing great, even through the embarrassing moments.

  3. Luke had something similar yesterday and b/c of it..no pool time last night! But he knew and said the same thing "I didn't listen to you so I don't get to go in the pool."

  4. Go Bubbaloo! Isn't it great when something clicks and you think, wow, they did listen. Makes being a mom all worth it...even when we are all stressed out. So way to go mommy too!

  5. You didn't cave and it reinforced the fact that when mama says something, she means it and there WILL be consequences. Way to go!

  6. Ten mommy points to you! Following through is key, which sucks because it is by far the hardest part. Unfortunately my boys have extremely short term memory, so my following through one day usually has no affect on the next day's behavior. And The Mommy Look... My Mommy Look is in need of new edge. It's losing it's power!

  7. Mean mommies unite!

    Good for you -- I often struggle with my strong willed child. He sows such a hard road that I want to give him grace, but I know that he, more than the others, needs to experience the consequences and see me follow through.

    Stay strong!
    aka The Meanest Momma :)


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