It’s safe to say that Lion and I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking we disappoint each other. I think I don’t do enough for him. He thinks he doesn’t do enough for me. We’re a mess.
Last night I gave Lion his punishment swats for saying he’s broken all the time. Before I started, I warned him that if he moved we’d have to start all over again. One of his New Year’s resolutions was to stay still for punishment no matter how much it hurt. After eight or ten hard swats last night, with a pause in the middle for effect, he rolled over and told me it was just too much. I thought I could get him to roll over but then I realized it really was too much for him. Naturally, I thought I had gone too far. And also naturally, he thought he hadn’t gone far enough. He spent the rest of the night apologizing for moving and for breaking his resolution. He thinks he failed me. I kept telling him it was okay. After all, I thought I had failed him. We’re quite a pair.
This morning he asked if we can try again. We can. But why? What am I punishing him for? This is where I lose focus. He already feels bad that he moved, so isn’t he already punishing himself? He didn’t disappoint me. If anything, he disappointed himself. When my kids did something stupid, I’d yell for a bit and then tell them they were grounded for a certain period of time. When my then-husband came home we’d discuss it and he’d yell all over again and tell them they were grounded. Why? I’d already handled it. We’re done here. Why beat a dead horse?
So tonight I’ll punish Lion for not staying still during punishment. My challenge will be to make the swats as hard as last night. Punishing him for moving does not annoy me as much as his saying he’s broken.