Mike eventually went to put a halt to their fun, and he found that they indeed had been having "fun." They had found a black marker (I have absolutely no recollection of leaving a marker in their room) and...you can probably imagine what I'm about to tell you: they had colored all over themselves (in their ears, on their faces, between their toes...everywhere), all over their sheets, and they had drawn big gigantic circles on the carpet. Miraculously, the walls were virtually unscathed (it was probably only a matter of time).
|Aaron's feet and the carpet|
It's a good thing I had two hours to convince myself this was a good idea. Truth be told, I enjoy having them watch a show almost as much as they enjoy watching it. It gives me a quiet moment to get a handle on the day. This punishment was going to hurt me, too.
The boys were not thrilled about the consequence (at least I knew I'd chosen a good one!), and Monday was about as painful as I was expecting: they were grumpy and whiny, they didn't want to play by themselves, they made a constant stream of messes, and they were bored. I almost caved, but when it comes to consequences, I am unrelenting. I held out.
On Tuesday, things brightened a bit. After a little coaxing, the boys went downstairs and listened to a picture book on CD. Then they went to the playroom and played until it was time for us to take Aaron to preschool. And it only got better from there.
I won't meticulously describe all the days that followed, but let me just say that the transformation was amazing. Instead of hanging around me and whining, they were playing downstairs or outside. Their creativity skyrocketed. They were playing with toys they had completely forgotten about and sitting at the kitchen table drawing detailed pictures and relaxing on the couch looking through books and making up their own games.
Yesterday, I told Mike I didn't want the week to end. I loved what no TV had done to my boys. The crazy thing is, it wasn't like they were watching TV all day before. They were watching about an hour each morning...none in the afternoon, none in the evening. But eliminating it literally transformed the whole day.
So this morning, I didn't tell them the week of punishment was up.
And they didn't ask.
They were too busy playing.