No, not a Christmas post, as in after Christmas. I got up with the kids at 6:15 this a.m. (sleeping in at our house!!) and when I accidently knocked Robbie's pillow (I was holding Lissa and a bit off balance) it made an odd noise. Pillows by nature aren't supposed to make noise. So I investigated and found that he had hidden his Nintendo DS and two new games in his pillow and been playing them at night. For all I know, ALL night judging by his heavy lidded gaze. I asked him why he snuck them upstairs as he knows bedrooms are for sleeping only. My kids have no toys in their bedrooms otherwise they simply don't sleep. He answered that since he hadn't had time yesterday he did this. Given that he chose to spend the day messing around with his new MP3 player and watching a new movie he and Chet got for Christmas, his lack of time for video games wasn't my worry.
So I now have a Nintendo DS in my closet for a few days and I told him he was mine for the day. I find that for Robbie time outs are useless. Writing about the issue is sometimes helpful but more often than not equally useless. Charging him monetary penalties works in certain circumstances but let's face it. It is the day after Christmas and the kid has everything he wants, with the prospect of two more giftings with extended family to fill in any and every item that might not be in his possesion yet. So he was my enforced "buddy" today with breaks only to play with KC and Elisabeth. He did lots of cleaning, but I was cleaning with him. I don't want him to perceive that he is my slave. His foster family had foster kids do gross chores. Things like cleaning dog poop when he was 5. I am sorry that is just gross. Feed the dog at 5. Water the dog at 5. Grownups do the poop when a kid is 5. So today he helped me clean the kitchen within an inch of its life. He did the recycling. He folded and put away laundry. You get the drift. Anytime he looked just about done, I had something else for him to help with. They weren't all onerous. He helped me make banana bread bites. I know he likes to cook and cooking is a skill I want all my kids to have to I actively foster this. But I made him wash all the dishes from the cooking; usually I happily take on this task.
So by tonite I predict that a very tired 12 year old will fall into bed rueing the fact that he couldn't wait 12 hours to play a video game. . . at least I hope so!