After the English improved, the boys were told "No, thank you!" to pounding on the walls with anything, including grubby hands. For awhile, it was better, really, it was. I let go a long time ago of being concerned about the number of Matchbox cars on the floor or the general chaotic look of my house. It's comfy and it is real. I have noticed how often people attempt to comment on the walls, "It's that cheap builder quality paint," or "Next time you should try egg shell." Don't get me wrong, it isn't like we have fist holes everywhere. Just a ridiculous amount of dents and chips, mostly from cars. I also realized about a year too late that the boys' hair leaves a stain...whatever, it's just a wall.
Last week Etienne rediscovered his strength with the Matchbox car. Within 48hrs, we had significant damage to his bedroom wall and door frame. The first time, we were firm but reiterated prior rules. The second night, not so much. Now if the tire and hitch of the trailer he was holding hadn't been an identical match, neither my fabulous spouse nor I would have believed that he could cause such holes with a plastic toy in a wooden door frame. He could! Like CSI working scene, we lined up the vehicles and the holes, and he confessed (score one for truthfulness).
We felt strongly after the second new hole that he completely comprehended the damage and really didn't care. So Ryan and I schemed, trying desperately to come up with a consequence that would nip this new damage in the bud. Scooper pooper! We decided that when E put a new hole or dent in the wall, he would be given the chore of cleaning up the dog messes in the yard (DON"T JUDGE, and besides, it had been done a couple days prior, so only a couple messes were out there.) Ryan gave E the plastic bags and the instructions. Within minutes, he had recruited his brothers to be on the search crew. Within minutes more, E returned to his daddy, grinning ear to ear, shouting "Finished!" Ryan told him to go to the other side of the yard. Again, with pride, he yelled "I already did!" Seriously.
Of course our creative punishment would back fire. Leave it to our E to enjoy pooper scooper duty. Bless his big heart.
|Ranger, the super dog. He wears eye patches, capes and pearls. The little boys used to only be able to pet him through the screen door. Now they lie on him during movie night. Literally.|