Saturday, June 27, 2009

Evil Stepmother and Discipline Gone Bad

Alexis: Mom are you a stepmother?
Me: No, why hunny?
Alexis: Because stepmothers are mean and so are you.

Alrighty then!!! There ya have it!

Dale and I started a new bedtime routine with Alexis this week. Each night is such a fight, with multiple trips back out to the living room for hugs, kisses, drinks, hugs, kisses, drinks, and so on. It gets exhausting. So, we decided that we would give her one warning and then if she did it again she was going to have 5 of her favorite toys taken away and not given back for a long time. Well, that first night of the new routine was heaven!! Not once did she come out of her room. She fell asleep right away and Dale and I were able to enjoy some alone time time with Aiden who refused to fall asleep right away. Go figure.
The second night wasn't as smooth and we actually had to go in and handpick her favorite toys. She of course will guide you to her favorite toys if you let her. "No daddy, this doll is my favorite, not that one." So, Daddy collected 5 of her toys and put them in a trash bag to store them for a while till she would earn them back.
Well, that trash bag was hung on the front door till I could think of a good place to store it. (Read: find a a good, out of the way place to store it, but without forgetting about it for years.) The next morning I woke up, saw the bag and gently reminded myself that I needed to find a solution for the bag so it wouldn't spend it's time on the door handle. (I have a serious short-term memory problem that I had actually forgotten it was there to begin with till I saw it the next morning, but that is a whole other post in and of itself). I, of course, didn't think about it again ALL day.
Later that night when we were starting the bedtime routine all over again I remembered I needed to find a solution for storing the bag and looked over at the door, only to find that the bag was no longer there. Where could it have gone? Did she get it and just take the liberty to return the toys to herself? Did Dale actually put it somewhere? Where could it be?
And then it hit me like a ton of bricks!!!
Did Andrew actually think it was trash and do his chores without me asking him? No, that couldn't be! He never does the trash without me nagging asking him multiple times.
Dale and Andrew were sitting on the couch watching TV (probably something SciFi in nature) when I started in with my interrogation. Once I got to the bottom of it we had determined that he had in fact taken the bag out that morning when he took Suzy Q down to go potty. Dale actually got sick to his stomach thinking that 5 of her all time favorite toys were gone. He and Andrew put on their shoes and made their way down to do some dumpster diving.
They weren't gone long. That could be a really good sign OR a really bad sign. Unfortunately I knew it was not good news when they entered empty handed. The dumpster was completely emtpy! That is when the reality of it started to hit. Of course it was empty! The trashman had come today, with the kids standing at the kitchen window, Aiden pounding on it, just waiting for him to look up and wave at them. Little did Alexis (or the rest of us) know at that time that she was waving goodbye to her first ever Cabbage Patch doll, her Cinderella and Ariel princess dolls, her lullaby teddy bear from grandma and grandpa, and some other toy that still remains a mystery.
Andrew went to his room and just sobbed. Repeating over and over, I am the worst brother EVER!! Which of course was not true at all. Had he done it out of spite for his sister that would be one thing, but he had done it out of a helpful spirit. That could not be punished.
Now how to break the news to Alexis? Dale and I decided to let her get a goodnights sleep and then we would deal with it in the morning. The next day came and went with her asking multiple times when she would get her toys back, but without us mentioning what had happened. I just wasn't ready for the meltdown I was envisioning.
So, on Thursday night we decided we would tell her at dinner time. We were at a small Mexican restaurant and thought that might be best so she wouldn't throw a huge fit like she might at home. We told her the bad news and then followed it up with the fact that we would be heading to Toys R Us after dinner to get her a new doll. She really was ok with it and was actually super jazzed to be making a trip to her favorite store in the world.
We picked out the new doll that would replace her 5 (or was it really only 4?) toys and happily returned home. It goes without saying that she went to bed that night without a fuss, and without any toys being taken away. We seem to have found the trick that works for now. Maybe, just maybe, having them thrown away really sent the message to her that mom and dad are not fooling around. And from now on if we do need to take toys away they will not be placed in a trash bag and we are all going to take a peek at the trash before it gets taken to the dumpster. Lessons learned!!
Even with the replacement doll (which honestly freaks me out because it talks and crawls), I am still an evil stepmother. Go figure!! Such is the life of a mom.


  1. oh my goodness. This made me laugh so hard. So something that would happen at our house. Poor Andrew!! I can completely picture the whole thing. Absolutely priceless. Thanks for sharing. By the way, your little man is so stinkin' cute. Reminds me so much of Bauer.
    Have a good one!

  2. I'm laughing too, but I know it's not funny...but it kind of is! I'm just glad she wasn't upset!!

  3. Oh gosh! So funny, but poor Andrew! Glad she's okay with the new doll! :)

  4. Hey Joy! I have a LOT of catching up to do on your blog!! Funny to read this post first... glad she didn't have a total meltdown, and I hope bedtime keeps going a little smoother for you. I do NOT look forward to that stage.

  5. Poor Andrew! I'm sure he felt awful! I'm so glad things worked out okay in the end.

  6. LOL - okay, have had the same thing happen, I am so die hard I just said, Well if you'd gone to bed on time....I try to never show guilt. lol

    But internally...OH MY GOODNESS, I just fretted so much, and felt absolutely sick. The lesson I learned..spend $4 and get those plastic boxes w/ nice plastic lids...and if we find the toys later forgetting that I put them away, well let me tell you - its like Christmas...oh the love!