So anyway. This afternoon while Finn and Lilah were napping and I was
After they had been in there for quite a while, Daisy innocently came out to see what I was doing. I noticed that she had a purple clown smile painted on her face, and her hands were lime green. There were also various shades on the rest of her person, including arms, legs, and clothes. "What the hell?" I said to myself. Markers. Well, if she looked like that, what must the other two look like? I bolted into Joey's room to assess the damage.
Before I go further, let me just say that ever since The Flood of 2009, which resulted in over $7,000 in property damage (which, fortunately our homeowner's insurance covered), we have lived in fear of having a repeat incident. We have stressed over and over to the kids that nothing - nothing - goes down the toilet except toilet paper (in frugal amounts) and anything that started out as a food. So all the kids are very well-versed about this rule.
So I go into Joey's room and find him and Annabelle coloring with markers on paper. Innocent enough, no? However, Annabelle is also covered in marker. Joey, not so much. He and Kevin have a bathroom attached to their bedroom (I know, lucky kids), and I see that the floor is all wet in the bathroom, and the toilet lid is up, and furthermore, there is marker all over the toilet seat. "What the fuck?" I say to myself. "What the hell?!?!?" I say to them.
To make a long story short (long, because it took a couple of hours to get the story out of them), in addition to doing artwork all over each other and themselves, Joey decided that it would be great fun to put markers down the toilet! I shit you not. "How could you flush markers down the toilet?!?!" I shouted at him. "I didn't flush all of them, I shoved some of them down . . ." he replied. Some of them? Meaning more than one?
I was beside myself, to say the least. And the thing is, this is so not like Joey. He's not the type of kid who pulls crap like this - this is way more up Annabelle's alley.
I made him call Michael at work and tell him what he had done. Dad is his hero, so I thought this would really hurt him. His chin quivered a bit, and his eyes were all big with anxiety, but it didn't hurt him nearly as much as I would have liked. I took his computer privileges away for two weeks. He loves playing on the computer, but he took that like a man. I called a plumber to come out and snake our main line to ward off a possible flood, and I made Joey give me all of his money (which amounted to about $6) to help pay for it, and told him that he's not getting any allowance for a looooong time.
When I was a kid, there were occasions when my brothers and I would commit some transgression, and the worst punishment that we were frequently given was that we would "get the belt" from my dad. He would make us take our pants down and beat us with a leather belt the length of our backsides, from shoulders to ankles, leaving raised, sometimes bleeding, welts. But often before this punishment was delivered, we were told beforehand - hours beforehand - that it was coming. So we had to sit there and anticipate it, and I still can remember the knots in my stomach waiting for Dad to get home from work to give me the belt. And that anticipation, in its own way, was almost worse than the actual beating.
I can't even think of a punishment severe enough for Joey right now - severe enough to make him understand the gravity of what he's done. I feel like none of the consequences I've doled out so far are enough. There won't be any beatings here, because we just don't do things that way, but there is a part of me that wants Joey to feel that fear, that anxiety.