Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Please Weigh In on..."Should I Totally Punish Luke for This

Friends, I need your take on this.

I drew Luke a nice, warm, relaxing bath and prepared his toothbrush with paste, as usual. His bed is turned down and his little stuffed bunnies are next to his pillow...ah, how invitingly relaxing!

Historically, Luke takes his clothes off in the bathroom and leaves them on the floor and then gets into the tub, where he bathes and washes his hair, like any self-sufficient 8-year old would. After brushing his teeth and toweling off, he puts his clothes in his hamper and puts his fresh jammies on, poised for a peaceful night's rest.

Now, I don't usually watch this routine very closely, because he IS 8, and isn't in danger of drowning, etc etc. But he called me into the bathroom specifically tonight, where once I came in, he was giggling in the tub STILL WEARING ALL OF HIS CLOTHES. Oh boy, what a HA HA HA. And a HO HO HO.

I was supremely pissed off and ordered him out of the tub to put the now WET CLOTHES in the sink, for fear the entire bathroom would soon be a lake. Luke didn't understand a) why I didn't find the humor in it, b) why I told him that it was EXTREMELY naughty for him to do such a thing, and c) why that meant that my knee-jerk reaction was to forbid him from using the computer for 24 hours. Thus, I was met with his hostility and his questions...

Luke's reasoning:

1) "The dirty clothes are going into the washer and dryer tomorrow anyway."

2) "At least I took off my socks."

3) "You never told me it was naughty to get in the tub with my clothes on, so how was I supposed to know it was naughty?"

In reaction to the computer punishment, he said, "I don't care, I wasn't planning on using it tomorrow anyway." Well, that's a load of crap because he spends an inordinate amount of daily time making videos and uploading them to YouTube, and watching some other idiot's channel where they experimentally microwave stuff to see if it blows up.

So here's my conundrum: While there was no sign posted in the bathroom about the prohibition of bathing with one's clothes on, was that still supposed to be an assumed? Should or shouldn't an 8-year old know better? What IS so terribly naughty about it that deserves punishment, because I myself can't reasonably think of an answer, other than it's messy, wet, stupid and irritating? Is the punishment I handed out sufficient?

I'm curious to know what you all think about this. Post a comment or email me here, whether you're a parent or not. Because we were all 8-year olds at some point. My son, as many of you know, is WAY too intelligent for his own good, which often makes dealing with him a royal challenge.

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