Eli is moving to the stage where he does things he should not do while looking sidelong at us, making sure we’re watching him do the things he should not do. This in turn has led to the need for punishment. We’re trying to redirect him as much as possible (“Eli, why don’t you take this car and give daddy his razor?”), but sometimes that doesn’t work, or we feel like we need to curb really dangerous behavior.
The current approach is, when he does something dangerous that he’s been told not to do, to take him to his room, silently put him down, walk out and pull the door nearly shut. This really bothers him, since he is a giant vacuum of attention, demanding that all eyes be on him. He cries for a moment, then comes out of his room. His eyes are full of tears; his bottom lip trembles. In a quiet whisper he says, “Sorry, daddy. Sorry, mommy.”
That reddish stain on the carpet is the remnants of my heart being pulled out and trampled upon.
Monday he was again misbehaving. “I told you not to do that,” Misty said. “You’re going to have to go to your room.”
Eli promptly went to his room, pushed his door shut, and began crying.