Please note the sarcasm. Yelling, crying and screaming are not really music to my ears and yet, that is what I'm getting to listen to as I type here.
I'm not thrilled about this. Not at all.
Max came home from school today saying that school had been fine, other than a fight with a friend. He enjoyed his snack of ants on a log (the log being banana, not celery) that Davan had made for him by her request. He'd earned back the black box just this morning and it was waiting in his room to be unloaded. Davan folded his clothes this morning as part of her morning chore and then, out of the kindness of her heart, delivered them to his room for him.
I told Max when he was done with his snack, I was going to give him 15 minutes to clean his room. This consisted mostly of putting away some trading cards, putting away his clothes and emptying out the black box. I let him know that if he did a good job, I'd go and shoot hoops with him outside when he was done.
He spent his 15 minutes spreading the clothes from the black box out on top of the clothes already in his room and searching for a wing for a transformer that he got back in the box today. This transformer had been missing for him for months. I found it behind my bed the other day. The wing is long gone. Oh, and I almost forgot, he also spent a good portion of the 15 minutes yelling and screaming that I hadn't given him enough time and it was ALL MY FAULT!!!!!!!
Okay. The screaming has stopped. He's in his room for a while. Back to the story.
I went to look after the 15 minutes was up and discovered that he'd made a much worse mess of his room that it had been in before. I told him he had another 15 minutes to finish up and then I'd be checking. I let him know that anything that had been in the black box that wasn't put away obviously wasn't important to him and would be either thrown away or sent to Goodwill. I also let him know that now that he'd mixed the clothes from the black box and the clean clothes and had no way of knowing which was which, he'd have to put them all in the laundry.
He yelled and screamed at me over the top of this and tried to shut his door in my face. So, I let him know that we'd be addressing the rude behavior when the job was done and we were both calm.
Then I set the timer and started this blog entry. He continued to scream, yell and cry for about 7 minutes, but then did get to work and was even polite (sort of) for a bit. Then, as the time wore down, he went back to the crying, yelling and screaming.
At the end of that 15 minutes, I went into his room (which he'd almost finished with) and told him he could either lay on his bed or go to the living room while I took care of business. He wouldn't leave, so I had to count down. He left, but came back. I counted again.
He went and stood on the couch. Then he climbed and jumped on the couch, which is not allowed due to the fact that it's a futon with a wooden frame. I let him know he'd lost couch privileges. He said, snotty, "I don't care." I said he needed to get down. He said, "I don't care," with even more snot. I counted and he got down. Then he took a pillow and sat on the step (we have a sunken living room, so there are two steps up and out) and banged the pillow on the floor of the hall, yelling.
I finished his room in just a couple of minutes. He lost a couple of drawings, a trading card, a shirt, three socks and a couple of cheapy plastic trash toys.
Then I went to talk to him. He took a swing at me with the pillow he'd been banging. Now, of course, this isn't really going to hurt me, but he wanted to hurt me. The intent was there to cause me pain. When I backed up, he threw the pillow at me instead. Then, as he went to his room, where I sent him for not staying in the living room like he was supposed to, he took a swing at me as he walked by.
I called Anthony. While I was on the phone with him, working out what to do, Max opened and slammed his door several times, finally leaving it open.
I came out and let him know he'd earned 10 extra minutes for that. He sneered at me.
When his time was up, I went and let him know that he could come and talk to me when he was ready. He came out a minute or so later. I took him off and sat with him, inviting him to cuddle. He did cuddle until he started not liking what I was saying, then he pulled away.
I let him know that because he didn't get off the couch when I told him to, he lost living room privileges for the rest of today and tomorrow. The whole living is off limits because if he's in the living room, he can't stay off the couch. The effect of this, though, is that he can't play video games.
I also told him that the violence had earned him an early bedtime, as is standard operating procedure. Unfortunately, he has t-ball this evening, so he'll have to leave early to get to bed on time.
His baseball pants were in the clean clothes in his room, so he doesn't have those to wear this evening. Instead, he'll wear the jeans he has on, which have torn knees and are dirty. He's upset about this because it'll interfere with sliding, which he is sure they will be working on this evening.
And finally, for the rude behavior, he has to spend more time in his room. This is to give me a break from having to spend time with someone who is rude to me.
He still has chores to do in addition to finishing this room time, all of which has to be done before dinner or he won't be able to go to t-ball this evening. He exasperated the issue by being rude again and then refusing to go to his room without being counted for, both adding to his room time.
And there he is. Shooting hoops with his indoor basketball and hoop. It's cruel and unusual punishment to have him spend time in his room with books, toys and even an basketball hoop, I know. At least, he thinks so. This I do know.
I did not yell, nor engage in any physical grappling with him. I was calm and carried out consequences that I do not think are out of proportion to the crimes. I even offered cuddling. All-in-all, I feel pretty good about my end of things.
I feel like crap, though, that we still have to go through this stuff all the time.
And just this morning, he earned two stickers, which put him over 40. He got his black box stuff back and, because of the 40 mark, he gets an evening out with either Anthony or I tomorrow. Davan will get to go out with the other parent, by the way, just because. And now this. Lovely.