An eye for an eye

Technically speaking, I’m not really an advocate for this concept, an eye for an eye. Which is why it is surprising that I have found myself repeatedly using it when approached by a certain parenting dilemma.

Scenario

Both children are in the bathtub. One is 3 and the other 8 months. They love taking a bath together, and the baby is not restrained in any way inside the bathtub. She crawls around, stands up, plays and splashed to her heart’s content, much to her older brother’s delight.

A parent is always present during bathtime. Watching, and commenting when things get a tad rough.

At some point, the older kid takes a cup and starts pouring water on the younger one. The parent watches, and since the younger one either doesn’t mind, or shows pleasure, the parent says nothing.

Inevitably, water gets splashed over the head or into the face of one kid, and loud complaints can be immediately heard.

The parent assesses whether it was accidental splashing, or on purpose.

If it was on purpose, a comment is delivered.

Don’t splash your sister in the face. It’s ok if it’s an accident, but don’t pour water on her head/face like that on purpose, ok?

Given that the older kid is 3, chances are the incident will repeat, particularly since no one was crying, and likely, even laughing.

The next time it does happen, the complaints naturally get louder, and the parent delivers a warning.

Do you like it when someone pours water in your face? Next time you pour water in your sister’s face I’m going to splash you in the face the same way.

Which of course does happen, because, you know, he’s. 3. years. old.

Waaaaa, you poured water in my eeeeyyyyeeee….!!!!
I need to wipe my eeeeyyyyeeee!!!!
I want a waf clof to wipe my eeeyyyeee!!!

Like I said. An eye for an eye. Not sure however if the message is getting through.

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