Playground Uprising

January 23, 2007, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Children


“OK Mac …. build with your blocks for two more minutes and then it’s time to go to bed.”

6 minutes pass (we take advantage of the fact that he can’t tell time as we finish watching the nightly news…. kid friendly television indeed… should we worry that he knows more about the war in Iraq than Barney?).

“Lets head on up.”

The familiar sounds of teeth brushing, water running, and toilets flushing parade against the background.

“Bang, Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”

The dust up begins.

Dad comes down in a huff. I inquire, “Should I alert Social Services.” Not amused he responds, “This is now your problem.” As all great things eventually become.

Greg is in the camp of, “Do it now because I say so or I will make you”… I, on the other hand, am in the camp of, “You have a choice, you can do it because I say so or you can live with the consequences …. the choice is yours.”

Last night both camps staged a revolt, leaving the Generals bewildered and in a need of a drink.

Mac creeps downstairs and emerges in the doorway to the den.

“Go to bed.”


My camp is up.

“You have a choice, you can go to bed now or in the morning you will have to go to your room after breakfast (I know carrying punishments to the next day is a bad idea but I am covered in spit-up from his younger accomplice and desperate).


“OK (as if any of this is OK), go to bed or I am going to take your blocks away for 24 hours (granted he can’t tell time so this means little but it’s all I got).


I start to systematically take down his spectacular early evening construction and place the block box in the adjoining room…. feeling guilty but somewhat vindicated.

“Go to bed.”


“Alright, if you do not go to bed than I am going to take Quincy (the beloved stuffed bear) away.

“Are you going to give him to another little boy? Evil look. Whaling tears.”(I resist the strong urge to scream YES …know any?)

This approach is clearly not working but I am prepared to continue (arguments with four year olds tend to rob me of my reflective ability).

Greg steps in and takes the little man upstairs (an advantage of having two parents is you are less likely to be driven to a felony).

He inquires, “What is bothering you Mac?” (Why didn’t I think of that). “Was this all worth it?” (Mac says no but the glint in his eye says…. perhaps). Greg gives him a kiss and a back rub.

ZZZZZZZZ …. the little tyrant sleeps.

The morning comes.

“Mac, you know that today you will not have your blocks or Quincy because you made poor choices last night.”

I then busily try to figure out a plan that allows me to follow through with my ineffective consequence without getting our day off to a bad start.

“How about this, get dressed, brush your teeth, comb your hair, go to your room for five minutes (I might as well have said five years) then we will come downstairs, have breakfast, and start anew.”

And so we do. A new beginning. A clean slate. The promises offered through childhood.


1 Comment so far
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This is why this whole blog thing works! I feel like such a better person- we are not alone in this world- raising toddlers is such a tough business! Keep writing- it’s great!

Comment by stacey

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