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2 Point 3 Seconds
by Crystal Singleton
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Two point three seconds. Way to go son. I knew it was Halloween. I know my son wanted a light saber to go with his Star Wars costume. I knew he wanted it bad, however I explained to him he has had two light sabers before. Maybe he was a little young for the first one. I forgive him for that. You know banging profusely until the plastic has bent so many times it just breaks. The second light saber was a gift. Maybe that is why I did not get so mad. Oh wait I did get mad. I was mad that he refused to respect his property whether I paid for it or not. This was a more rare light saber which was two sided. I admit it was not my son who broke it. I still held him accountable though.
I know he has visitors. Friends who enjoy breaking his toys instead of their own. After taking the tubes out of the light saber several times and losing them I decided to just put it up. I placed the item up top of the closet where no one could reach it. I explained to my son, this is very expensive and is hard to replace. They do not sell these at the stores. You must not let, so and so, play with it. Last two times it was him who removed all the pieces and lost them. I reminded my son of how sad he was when he wanted to play with it but was not able to because all the pieces of the tubing were missing. He agreed putting it away was the best plan for now. Weeks later. . . "mom, where's my light saber?" I replied it was in the closet and he said it was not there. I marched upstairs and sure enough it was gone. I looked around and found under the bed a saber with no pieces.
I was so mad. "who did this?" I demanded answers. My son insisted it was not him, But I argued he was the only one who knew where it was or even tall enough to get it down. He later admitted it was him, but again blamed it on the little guy who breaks everything. I said "oh well, I tried to worn you about him playing with that anymore" Needless to say, I contemplated the purchase yesterday(Halloween day) and quickly reminded myself how close to $30 dollars were literally washed down the Light saber tubes before. No way in heck will I buy this for him again. I decided the best way to teach him is by NOT rewarding him with the purchase. I am not a total black heart though so instead of coming home empty handed I did shell out a whole dollar on a glow necklace for him to wear over his costume. Just so I don't lose them at the harvest festival downtown. Sure it was a gift but more so a for my own security in knowing I could spot him from the others in a hurry. He was happy to get his special prize after school. He quickly jumped into his costume. Immediately he tore into that glow necklace and had already lost the connector tube to make it feasible for wearing. I could feel my anger simmering.
Who said to open that. I was mad. I began scraping the floor for the missing piece and luckily for my son I found it. I lay on the couch for one last effort to rest before we head out for the evening. "mom, mom." I hear him, "can I go outside and play?" I responded, "No, we are going to leave soon, I don't want you to rip your costume or anything." One minute later. . . my daughter arrives to the couch, "mom, um Caleb lost his glow necklace, he threw it on the roof upstairs. The outside roof."
MMMMM! My headache, My son. My dollar. I was heated and it was not about a silly dollar. It was that I felt my son had total disrespect for his property. Not only that but I had just told him to not go outside. Not only had he disobeyed me, he lost yet another brand new item I had bought for the joy of his heart. In addition I am now forced into rewarding his behavior by taking them to the Harvest Party because I can not leave him home alone and I have two other children who are waiting to go. I refuse to punish them for his behavior. I was in a pickle. How will he ever learn if I reward him with all this candy and fun? I know my daughters waited patiently and expected some fun. In fact my oldest daughter just got out of the hospital that very day and going was imperative. This harvest party was the leverage I was using for her cooperation at the hospital for getting her IV's. She deserved to go more than anything. That's when I knew just what to do.
My son had recently raked the lawn of my parents for two dollars. Cha-ching. That money was mine. I not only lectured my son for the gazzilianth time on respecting property and following the rules but I am getting my two dollars back. It may sound petty to some parents but honestly we all know it's not about the money. It is about the principals. The principals we have to teach our kids about respect. That day it was a dollar for my headache and a dollar for the glow necklace that I may as well just let blow out the window. That only takes 2.3 seconds too.

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