Our Tuesday night bedtime routine was severely detoured with a shocking discovery.
Noah (7) had written, in PERMANENT MARKER, on Natalie’s headboard. He and Natalie had been playing in her room the day before and obviously it was some elaborate "plan".
Her headboard has two sliding "doors" on either side that can create a closed off area – or slide toward the middle, open area. Inside one of those areas he had written "Entered?" with Yes and No checkboxes.
Now first you need to know that this was NOT his first offense. A few months ago he took a permanent marker and "labeled" his wood desk drawers. He received a severe scolding (including the lecture of how furniture costs money and money doesn’t grow on trees) and some dire consequences I’m sure.
So I yelled "Noah get up here now!" I obviously had the "you are SOOOO busted" tone in my voice because he scampered up them stairs pretty quick (followed by hubby).
When he realized he’d been found out he started the tears and the "I forgot", etc. etc. Mark must have realized I was close to the boiling point because he took Noah into his room while I finished putting Natalie to bed.
My fury was not just because of the disobedience. It was because of what he wrote on. The bedroom set that is in my daughter’s room belonged to my grandparents. My grandparents that I still miss desperately! The bedroom set was in their bedroom from the time they moved to Phoenix when I was young to after my Grandma Opal’s death in 2000. (Grandpa died years earlier.)
Besides a rocking chair, the bedroom set was the one big thing I chose from their house, hoping one day I would have a little girl that would use it.
Once I had finished putting Natalie to bed Mark told me I had to go talk to Noah and give him his consequences. Mark had asked him for what he thought his consequence should be and he volunteered "No Gamecube for like a year."
I had a hard time coming up for the consequence on this one. I try to come up with what I call "natural consequences" that are somehow related to the offense. What we finally decided on was that he is not allowed to use markers, at all, for a month. And all pens and markers have to come out of his room (only pencils left) until he has shown to have better judgment. I also decided to hit him in the wallet to make him understand that he was defacing something of monetary value. So he owes me 2 weeks of allowance as well.
It seems ridiculous to cry over a piece of furniture but that’s what I did that night. I explained to Noah why it was special to me but I also had to tell him, "Yes, it’s just a piece of furniture." The fact that it is now "damaged" does not damage my memory of my grandparents. I’m not under any illusion that we’ll have that bedroom set for the next 50 years. And it wasn’t perfect – there’s a big water stain on top of the dresser that I creatively cover up. But the emotion is what it is.