I guess I should pick up where I left off–Matthew and I in a stalemate over a bucket of pine cones. An idiotic standoff that started simply because he didn’t want to carry his backpack from the car to the house.
Jason arrived home last night to a seething wife and a child sitting outside who had dug himself literally and figuratively into a hole. I got Jason up to speed and told him that I was DONE and would not be dealing with Matthew for the rest of the evening. Jason went outside to reinforce everything I had already said and to let Matthew know that nothing had changed. He wasn’t coming back in until he filled the bucket. He cried and continued to play in the dirt.
At dinnertime, I fixed him a plate and told Jason to take him some hand soap and a towel. He could wash his hands in the hose because he wasn’t coming back in. Then he ate on the porch by himself.
He was brought inside for a bath (where he got no time to play) and was put immediately to bed, with no books or stuffed animals. Jason reassured him that immediately after school, he would be back in the yard to finish the job.
We weren’t sure how this morning was going to go. Jason’s prediction was that Matthew would either be exceedingly kind and obedient or all out hell on wheels. Thankfully, he was kind. He hugged me and told me that he missed me. I told him that I missed him too because he spent all day yesterday in the yard. I told him that I hoped he would pick up the pine cones fast today so that we could spend time together. He agreed that he would.
After school, he was escorted directly from the car to the backyard. He didn’t cry but didn’t get to work right away either. He hung out for about 5 minutes, waiting to see if I was serious. After awhile, I glanced outside to see this…..
He took about 30 minutes to do it, but he was clearly enjoying himself. The weather was gorgeous and he sang loudly the entire time. When he was done he came to the door, beaming. I gave him a big hug and said, “Good job! I love you!”.
And I think he believed me. Because now he should know–I mean what I say.