It’s half way through June. Not that I am counting the days, but time flies by quite fast.
I heard or read it somewhere but now I don’t remember the source, that when you are 20s, time flies at 20 miles per hour. In your 30s, time flies at 50 miles per hour. In your 40s, it’s 80 miles per hour, and in your 50s, it’s 100 miles per hour.
The correlation between your years of age and MPH are abitrary, but the point is, life will get busier as you age. You need to hold on to the present, as the future will come fast and then the moment you enjoy in the present will soon become a past.
In my present I have the little Peanut who got out of bed 10 times in the last hour of my life. For various reasons, he does not want to sleep. I think the cause of it was his nap in the late afternoon.
This afternoon while I was downstairs doing a load of laundry, the boys snuck into the kitchen and picked up two one-gallon freezer ziplock bags. By the time I found out, which was about 15 minutes later, the ziplock bags were half filled with water, and the other half was spilled all over the floor in PP’s room.
There was a trail of water from the bathroom floor, to the hallway, and to its final destination. And I mean, it became a lake, not a puddle. Peanut was down on the floor and spreading his arms making a water angel.
I was livid. I was angry. I was exhausted from cleaning up other mischievous adventures earlier in the day. So I left everything there, went to the bathroom, and cried.
I just cried because I did not know what to do in that situation. I cried because I needed to remove myself before I lost my senses. I cried because I know yelling at them will make it worse for me.
So I just cried to myself.
In the end, once I calmed down, I asked them to give me a solution to the mess, because I would not clean it myself. PP apologized and was first to volunteer to clean up by himself.
I had both of them on the floor cleaning, using dirty laundry and towels. Peanut did next to nothing but spreading more water, but I refused to pick up a rag. Instead of giving them time-out, I asked them to spend as much time needed to finish the work. That was their punishment — clean until the floor is completely dry.
And they did. I am sure things like this will happen again, but at least today they knew, or so I hope, how much time and effort goes into cleaning their messes. They were exhausted from more than half an hour of being on the knees wiping up and squeezing water into a bucket. On top of it, they did not get their snacks at all as I took it away as part of the consequences.
But whenever I have the boys learn this kind of lessons, I am left with ambiguous guilt of whether it was a right thing to do, or was I being too harsh. I want them to be free with their childhood discovery, but also want to teach them responsibilities and redeeming themselves by making mistakes. Yet, I am still second-guessing myself of my approach today.
Any experience parents out there to help me find the answer to this situation? What would you do?