This past weekend, my son went missing. Not just for a few minutes and we later found him in the basement bathroom singing Star Wars songs on the toilet...nope, he was literally MISSING. We could not find him anywhere, nor could the 20-some neighbors who were out combing the surrounding streets and woods of our neighborhood. Long story short, the police were called and my son was found at the home of a newer neighbor. To her credit, she DID ask my son if he had permission to be there BUT this was a problem for a few reasons...#1: she has a VERY thick accent and he probably didn't understand a word she said, #2: odds are pretty damn good he has NO idea what the word "permission" means so he had a 50/50 chance and said YES, and #3: she took a 5 year old at his word. So for about an hour and a half on Saturday we had no idea where this child was, neighbors were out en masse, the police were called, and I stood in the middle of the street clinging to my stroller and cried. THANKFULLY we found him and I was torn between hugging the life out of him or beating the life out of him...reason prevailed and we hugged him until he couldn't breathe and then we grounded his little ass. Unfortunately at the age of 5, he's still working on that whole concept of TIME so we didn't put a time limit on it persay, he's just grounded until we say he's not. Needless to say he has spent the last few days trying to get off early....
"Mom, so you said I'm done being grounded right?"
"Yesterday, when I was playing with my guys and Ryan was crying and you were on the phone with Aunt Carrie and the mailman rang the doorbell" (impressive buddy...making me think that in the confusion of a typical day I told you something that is in fact, complete bullshit)
"Nope, sorry bud" (the 'DAMMIT, I thought that would work' look clearly evident on his freckled little face)
"Hey, mommy...when I finish cleaning up my guys, put my laundry away, and put my dishes in the sink I get to be done being grounded, right?"
Ah, mentioning chores...the way to a mother's heart. But again his attempt was thwarted...now he was just plain old pissed off.
"Mom, I need to call grandma"
"Why buddy, what's up?"
"I just really need to talk to her about you" (clearly I'm about to be ratted out to my mother...my son was going to tattle on me)
"Hmmm...I don't think grandma is home right now, maybe we can call her later" (at this point he just rolled his eyes and walked away, clearly to continue plotting)
He got down from his chair mid-lunch...
"Buddy, are you done eating?"
"Nope, just have to get something"
Comes back downstairs with his little velcro tabbed, camouflage print wallet. My son was going to bribe me. He is SO going to get arrested someday. I put a stop to that one before he even started.
He tried again later that day:
"Mom, when is dad going to be home?"
"Later tonight buddy, why?"
"I have something I need to discuss with him" (at this point I was so clearly impressed by his proper usage of the word "discuss" that I may have given him anything he asked for)
"I just really need to talk to him about my grounded. I really think I've been a good listener and a good helper so he should think about being done with my grounded" (hmmm...any pleasure I had over the use of the word discuss was wiped out by this statement)
One provision of him being grounded is that he is allowed to play outside, but he is not allowed to leave our yard, nor can he play with any friends. He attempted to worm his way around that one too:
"HEY MOM! (yelling to me from the very edge of our yard with one of his friends) If I stand right here and he stands over there and we're not REALLY playing together can he stay there and I stay here and we just use light sabers but not really play together but fight with light sabers and I'm in our yard and he stands in the street?"
Again, trying to confuse me and be logical at the same time.
"Sorry bud, we said no playing with friends...even if he is there and you are here, nice try though!"
All was quiet until bedtime:
"Mommy, you're the best mommy in the whole world" (added a huge hug for good measure)
I was ALMOST suckered in by this one...warm fuzzies started creeping their way in as I hugged my little guy. Then I hear his little voice:
"So NOW can I be done being grounded?"
I stifled the urge to put his pillow over his face, tucked him in and walked away. Sorry bud, being grounded sucks. But having to call the cops to find your 5 year old sucks way more. Someday we'll have to ground him for much, much worse...of that much I am certain. In the meantime I'm sticking to my guns, holding strict to his "grounded", and not giving in to the wily ways of bargaining of my 5 year old.