Total Punishment Misfire

Yesterday started off poorly with Wes waking up grumpy and punching his sister while they brushed their teeth. Then there was some over-the-top reaction from Nikki about Wes taking her seat at breakfast. Some random poor behavior before we were even dressed for the day. All signs pointed to a tough Mom Day.

However, Nikki went to school and Wes was actually quite cooperative about letting me get some work done on a freelance project. The day went okay until the evening when both kids were being various levels of difficult doing the same stuff they get in trouble for at least one million times a day.

Seriously. You know how Moms always say, “I’m sick of repeating myself!” – Well this is what I’ve been saying a lot lately: “I’m sick of telling you that I’m sick of repeating myself!” Basically, I’ve been repeating myself complaining about repeating myself complaining about the same poor behavior a bajillion times a day.


Last night I reached a boiling point. There was hitting and throwing of toothbrushes and when I went to the bathroom 15 minutes after I told them to brush their teeth, there wasn’t a clean tooth in sight. If they continue with this behaviour and skip their routine, they’ll soon be visiting someone like a Dentist in Temple Terrace to resolve any issues they may have. This is why I’m getting them to keep on top of their oral hygiene now. And that bathroom? Was just filthy. I usually ignore but last night they were being so awful, that bathroom became my focal point.

I yelled the usual rant and then made them start scrubbing it clean while they were crying.

I was actually kinda proud because they were upset about having to clean (which is a sign of a good punishment) but they were doing it which meant that I wouldn’t have to do it all myself! I was coaching a bit, but they were doing it while I lectured them AGAIN about how sick I am of repeating myself about repeating myself about not making giant messes with toothpaste.

And then – the worst thing every happened.

They started having fun.

They were actually kinda getting into cleaning their bathroom! They were scrubbing toothpaste off floors and walls and cabinets and enjoying it. They were asking for more cleaning wipes and wanting to go beyond the scope of their original punishment. They were happy and proud AND WANTING TO CLEAN MORE.


Not because neither of them wanted to do it, but because they both wanted to do it.


I mean – I’m happy the bathroom is clean, but isn’t that the worst? When you give a kid a punishment and then they enjoy it? I mean, I’m certain no punishment ever sticks at this age and we are just all bound to repeat ourselves a tragillion-million times before the kids leave the house, but it’s all the more difficult for it to stick when they actually like the alternative to following the rules.

I mean…SERIOUSLY…they wanted to clean toilets. WHAT IS LEFT?

3 thoughts on “Total Punishment Misfire”

  1. I’m sure if you make them do it enough – they will hate it eventually, lol.

  2. I’m thinking this is a win. They got the punishment part for a bit, but now they LIKE cleaning bathrooms, so they can do it for fun. SCORE!

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