An object in motion will continue in motion at a constant rate of speed until a force works against it to slow or stop that motion. Yes, that's my rendition of the law :)
The day continued to go down hill. And there was NOTHING I could do to fix it... until...
First off, Kristopher is a sweet sweet child that is generally very well spoken, obedient, and kind. But he is also 4. And he can be a terror. Today was one of THOSE days.
After the park and nap time, I was on the couch with Emma and Brianna. They were playing with the "chatter" Elmo and Cookie Monster and Brianna was rubbing on Emma's hair and generally just being sweet. Kristopher, on the other hand, wasn't happy about that. He, for some reason, believes that if Brianna is happy that there is something wrong. This is not a newly established tradition, it has been ongoing since the days of Cain and Abel and sibling rivalry at its best. I'm sure it will come with Emma and Micah as well, but they are still new enough that he's excited to see them happy and will let them play with his toys.
Problem being-- the toys Brianna was happy with were HER toys! Kristopher wasn't thrilled, still, and decided that she should want to play with her Abbie Cadabbie doll instead. He went and got it and said to her that he wanted to trade her. Now, she's sitting ON MY LAP and I said to him "No, Kristopher. Don't take Elmo, she's happy and it's her toy. NO. Don't take Elmo. Kristopher, NO. NO!" And with that, he snatched Elmo away! Um...??????????????????????? If this wasn't the end of a very long day. And if it hadn't happened ON MY LAP. And if I hadn't said it so explicitly NO DON'T DO THAT. And if I wasn't sure that he'd heard me. And if he had given it back at least. Then maybe he wouldn't have deserved what he had coming to him. BUT HE DID.
A quick swat and sent to a time out was my initial reaction (along with getting the girls off the couch so I could get up- we don't need any unscheduled hospital visits, they'll see us enough as it is!). Then I went and sat IN the chair with him and looked him in the eye and discussed WHY he was in trouble and WHAT was going through his head. Then I nicely told him to get his hiney to bed and stay there before he got in more trouble. He obliged. I turned off his light, closed his door, and he was allowed to cry it out. Which lasted 10 seconds until he was happy on his bed again.
A few minutes later we had the speech. A new one, because I'm tired of the old "why'd you do that, go say sorry, don't do it again" approach. No, we had a better chat. Oh, and first he had to talk to Daddy on the phone. I don't know what went down there, but basically we both decided that Kristopher had NO idea that taking the toy from his sister was wrong. He saw no problem with it. He wanted it. What's so bad about that. OUCH. We have a problem.
So... the new conversation went something like this... "do you LIKE Brianna? Do you want her to be happy? Why do you make her cry? Is there a reason you want to see her cry? Ok, good, I'm glad that's not the case... but there's still a problem. NO taking toys from her. Yours, hers, mine- doesn't matter, don't touch her. NO touching her otherwise. Unless she's hurt or going to hurt someone else, you MUST talk to us about toys/ touching and not just decide to do things yourself. When we say NO you HAVE TO listen. You'll have consequences if you don't. BIG ONES. If you continue in the behavior you are currently showing toward your sister, you will spend more time in your bed with the light off and door closed than you will playing. Now... the consequences."
By this time the mention of the fact that he wasn't acting like he liked Brianna alone had him in tears and then by the end he'd dried it up and was grinning again.. UGH 4 yr olds! They have a switch, I swear!
So... the consequences were this: No snacks at all today. No juice except after dinner (water- get it yourself). No TV time. No swinging. No VSmile. No doing ANYTHING to Brianna. She cries- YOU suffer if you're nearby! No complaining about your food. No playing with Mrs. M during Speech therapy. No privledges. You're done. And if you decide to whine or be nasty you can just go sit back in your bed with the lights off. I'm DONE.
Yes, that's what happened to put the breaks on the falling ball. Kristopher hung out with Daddy during ST and ended up playing with the computer- which I guess wasn't on the list and kept him busy, but is VERY close to the other things ON the list... oh well. He ate his dinner. He drank 1 cup of juice after and didn't complain. Daddy gave him 1 potato chip (not knowing about the no snacks rule, he worked Daddy over well...) and then when Daddy left the office he decided to chow down on his own. So... he got a lovely consequence, was reaquainted with his bed for a bit, and finally I think it struck him that he really should behave if he wants to have any fun.
So... how do you get the ball rolling in a positive direction so that it continues onward in that fashion unless it's impacted by something to change its direction?? I'd much rather experience Physics that way!!