It was a pleasant Sunday morning. Early Mass followed by donuts at the church’s patio, and a quiet drive home. I should have known something would happen.
The children were quiet once we were in the house, well as quiet as eight children are able. The girls were helping to change their brothers. The boys were cooperating. They all seemed to be doing precisely what was expected. Wife and I were fooled into a false sense of security. We went into our bedroom to change our clothes in the calm before the storm.
At some point when my slacks were in between my knees and ankles we got a knock on the door. “Umm,” came #1’s small voice. “My snow globe got broke.”
I pulled up my pants and Wife and I went out to see what happened. The facts were undisputed by all present. #1 was teasing #4 by holding her snow globe hostage. In turn, #2 took #1’s snow globe. (Perhaps I should have mentioned before, I recently gave all four girls each a small snow globe.) While #2 was holding the two snow globes, she started tapping the two against one another. Predictably, one gave way, and it so happened to be her older sister’s.
Unfortunately, that meant Wife and I than had to discipline #2. No parent likes that part of the job. We both wish that the children could simply be sorry and learn their lesson, but children require consequences. Otherwise they never quite get what knowledge we are imparting on them.
And the punishment for today, #2 was to give her snow globe to #1. Immediately after that, both girls were upset. I understood #2, she was more upset about hurting her sister than loosing her snow globe. But #1, she was upset because she didn’t want to take #2’s snow globe away from her sister. What is a parent to do? It was never intended to punish the entire household by punishing one.
Well, Wife and I deliberated and talked to our eldest. She was very upset about receiving #2’s snow globe. So in that case we came to a compromise; #1 was allowed to give #2 back her snow globe if she liked. And the final result was the two decided to share it, though I kind of think the last compromise was more to keep Wife and I happy. I’ll need to watch out for those two.