Last night I told Lion it was time for his punishment for making a mess and eating breakfast before I did. I told him I was going to give him eight hard swats and he had to stay still. If he didn’t, I would have to start over. He wrote a post about expectations and consequences. I was telling him what to expect and the consequences for not meeting those expectations. He said that wasn’t what he meant. He was talking about the grand scheme of things. He wants to know when to do X and if he should do Y and how to do Z. I have no idea. But wouldn’t it be a good idea if I start out with baby steps? Telling him about the punishment was a pretty good first step, I thought. Normally I don’t punish him on the same day unless he happens to screw up on an actual punishment day. And then I never tell him how many swats or what will happen if he doesn’t stay still.
I guess I’m confused about my own expectations and consequences. What am I supposed to be making him do? If he doesn’t start the dishwasher, then I do when I think about it. If I don’t start the laundry, then he does when he thinks about it. I prefer to share the work. I know he can’t really clean the house because it stirs up dust and dander, and then he’ll be a sneezing, itching pile of goo. So that’s my job. He tends to cook more often. Is that his job? When he complains about cooking too many nights in a row, I cook. He didn’t like making breakfast on the weekends to give me a break from it so I took that job back. I just don’t know what types of things I’m supposed to assign him. Maybe I’m just making too much of it. Maybe I just need to tell him I don’t really care if he hates making breakfast on the weekends. I do too. Suck it up and make breakfast on the weekends. But that’s not me. I’m more of a grumbling-under-my-breath-that-I-hate-making-breakfast-as-much-as-he-does-but-I’ll-do-it-anyway-because-that’s-what-I-do kind of person. And, no, that’s not necessarily healthy, but that’s how I roll.
Now Lion wants maintenance swats to be as hard as punishment swats. What’s the point of punishment swats then? Maintenance swats were supposed to get me used to hitting him. Punishment swats were for a specific thing. Making them both the same, to me, diminishes the punishment swats. If he gets hit just as hard for not doing anything as he does for doing something, why should he try to avoid punishment? If I’m going to get a speeding ticket for going the limit and I’ll get one for going 10 mph over the limit, I’d rather go 10 mph over the limit. There’s no incentive to go the limit.
I don’t know. It just seems like the rules change too often for me to keep track.