Lion and I were chatting today at lunch when he got something on his shirt. He wasn’t sure what it was. I told him if it was just water and didn’t make a stain he wouldn’t be in trouble. We both waited in anticipation. Lion said it didn’t really matter. He was in trouble anyway. That may be true, but the ferocity and number of swats can vary. He said he wasn’t in charge of the volume control. I agreed, but said he was in control of the on-off switch.
By that I meant he controls whether he gets punished or not. If he misbehaves, he gets punished. If he behaves, he doesn’t get punished. On or off. But the more I think about it, the more I realize he also controls the volume. Spilling something on his shirt is not the worst thing he can do. Punishment for that alone shouldn’t be severe. Interrupting me is a biggy. He’ll get harder swats for that. Unauthorized touching of my weenie is a major infraction. He’s going to feel that one.
In essence, the punishment should fit the crime. Since he can control whether he commits an offense, he does control the volume. He may not feel that way right now since he’s on the hook for not thanking me for a punishment and for touching Mr. Weenie (again!). He may think that it doesn’t matter if he spills food or interrupts because his butt will already be a lovely shade of black and blue on Monday night, but I can hit harder and longer depending on how far he wants to push things. I’m using a paddle. It won’t hurt me. And I can swat with both arms.
Lion definitely needs to be careful which buttons he chooses to push. I know he doesn’t do things on purpose, but if he thinks it doesn’t matter after a certain point he is mistaken. After all, it’s his butt on the line.