An hour is FOREVER

abeinthe store


Me: Hank, can you come out of your room and get the talheres (silverware)?

Hank: Yes, of course, but where is papa?

Me: Shuuuuush, listen. (keys in the door)

Together: PAPA!

Pai: Family!

Me: Drop your stuff dinner is served.

Pai: How was everyone’s day?


Hank: Mariama (Hank’s best friend) is also in punishment.

Me: You have to make mistakes to learn.

Hank: I think I have learned.

Pai: That is all we ask.

Me: When you are punished we are also punished.

Hank: Mommy said we couldn’t go to the café after school because I was grounded and my stomach grumbled all the way home, until mommy made me a torrada (toast) and some grapes.

Me: It’s a hard knock life, but I too didn’t get to go to the café. I could smell the fresh bread and cakes on my way past.  My stomach also grumbled.  We are a team, the three of us, and when one member is missing we all suffer.

Pai: Do you have homework?

Hank: No.  That was something else I was thinking.  I don’t have homework so can we play a game after dinner?  It is not electronics.  We can play Sneaky Squirrel or Monopoly Party or Candy Land or checkers or do a puzzle.

Me: I am afraid not buddy.  After dinner you have to go back to your room.

Hank: But we can play in there?

Pai: Part of being grounded is being alone in your room.

(conversation moves on.  Hank remains very quiet and slow to finish dinner.)

Me: One more bite and you are all finished.  Thank you for eating so well.

Hank:  (with a face strait from a 1982 Precious Moments Commemorative Plate) I don’t want to be finished.  (weepy) I don’t want to leave you and papa.

Pai: (from a hug) We are here.

Me: (heart breaking) Punishments are hard, but in about an hour I will be in to read you a chapter of The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

Hank: (huge fat tears) An hour is FOREVER.

Me: Then we better make this the best group hug ever.

(and we did)


Right now



Me: Hank, please come to the table for dinner.

Pai: Who wants orange juice?

Hank: Me, but not mommy, she is allergic.

Me: Correct!

Pai: Anything else while I am in the kitchen?

Together: No.

Hank: (chewing)

Me: So.

Pai: Do you understand why you are grounded?

Hank: (mouth full, mumbled) Yes.

Me: Don’t talk with your mouth full, please. Take time to chew.

Hank: (swallows) I was begging for things and I had very bad behavior and then I threw things and… Is that it?

Me: Yup.  I am glad you understand your punishment.  Do you also understand why it is important?

Hank: (chewing, shaking head no)

Me: There are times when you don’t understand what you already have, because you are constantly looking to the future.  Instead of seeing the games you have on the ipad, your Nintendo DS, your PlayStation, every single art supply you could ever hope to ask for, a huge collection of cars and Playmobil, your 4 channels of 24 hour cartoons, your shelves and shelves of books, not to mention YOUR IMAGINATION, which is the best toy of all…  Instead of seeing all of those things you are looking ahead and wanting more, wanting the next new thing.  It is very important that you see what you already have and to know how blessed and lucky you are right now.

Pai: New things are special, but not expected.

Me: Can you think about that this week?

Hank: (chewing, nodding)

Me: Right, now on to another piece of important business.  Do you guys think I can fit this huge piece of quiche in my mouth in one bite?

Hank: Go on, try it.

Pai: (eye roll)

Me: (mouth stuffed, mumbled) I did it!

Hank: (giggling)

Me: (mouth still full) My mouth is like the Tardis! (swallows) It’s bigger on the inside!

Hank: (laughing)

Pai: Don’t talk with your mouth full, please.

Hank: Take time to chew (positively purple with laughter)!


After a long weekend of gimmies and tantrums

floor plan 2


Me: Well, thank you boys for trooping along with me on all of those errands.  Your help was so nice.

Hank: Did I have good behavior today?

Me: Hank, you had excellent behavior.  Just a moment ago I was thinking I was very proud of you.  All day at school and then an entire evening full of running around without complaint.  Thank you for being so lovely. (reaching back in the car to squeeze his hand)

Hank: So now that I was so nice can I have a new ipad game?



Hank: I was so very good today so that I could have a new ipad game.


Pai: (parking the car)

Me: It is 9 o’clock at night.   We can discuss this tomorrow.

Hank: BUT WHY?!??!

Me: It is time for bed.


Me: Hank.  I suggest you check your attitude.

Hank: I was so good and I was so nice, because I wanted a new game and now you are saying I cannot have one! (crocodile tears)

Me: What does crying get you?

Hank: NOTHING! (launches into a full fledged Rumpelstiltskin tantrum, throws coat  and book bag on the filthy garage floor)

Pai: Hank, pick up your things.

Me: We do not throw our coat on the ground.

Hank: It was an accident!!

Me: That is a lie.

Pai: We are right here.  We saw you.

Hank: IT WAS!  (sobbing)

Me: Tomorrow you are grounded.  No electronics, no TV.


Me: You need time to think about fairness.


Me: I know.  It is pretty silly to lose the whole ipad over one game, isn’t it?

Hank: (fits and sobs)

(By the end of the night Hank gained three new days to his grounding.)