I should have been a lawyer

Or I need a really good one on retainer (Jodi, you doing any pro bono??)

The consequences are flying fast and furious around here.  This evening, after excessive kind requests and several subsequent warnings to help me clean up (I’m nice like that), the Magpie was put to bed without any stories or recorded tv episodes.  Tears flowed, protests were made and excuses were formed out of the thinnest of air.

Then she started bargaining.

Around here, we call that negotiating and have – for the gods only know what reason – encouraged it.  During normal, every day discussions, it’s good.  During consequences, however, I’m finding it a bit trying.

However, I did not actually say that she couldn’t set up camp on the floor.  I technically only said that she had to go to bed now.  The where and the how were not specified.

So I found myself wrangling her tent and trying to ensure it was set up securely in record time to quickly enforce The Consequence.

Mommy, are you having issues??

Yes, kid, I’m having issues.

Never mind the monsters who then needed banishing.  Or the fan that was too loud.  Then not loud enough.  Or the fact that she’s now back in her bed (yes, the tent is still up).

I only said no books or tv.

My consequences need fine print.  I need to account for all contingencies without having to write them out.  Some sort of not excluding clause.  Thorough definitions of what going to bed without any books or tv actually means.  Something that gets me out of having to sit on the stairs outside her room for half an hour (or more) to run interference and clarify the state of The Consequence.  Do these exist?  Can I get a template?

I mean, she can sign her name.  The contract would be valid.  I know I would, legally, be her guardian and I guess that might be seen as a conflict of interest in the case of a Consequence Contract, but I’m sure there would be loopholes for that.  I’d suggest that the dog could oversee the process but he, too, has a vested interest in bedtime.  It’s the only time he relaxes.

So, you see why I require legal advice, here.  I will gladly consider any and all (free) suggestions.

Anyone out there specializing in toddler law?

3 responses to “I should have been a lawyer

  1. Seriously, are you living in my house? Though I get the joy of consequences at naptime too.

    (It’s working somehow; today after no nap and fighting me, she found out no Curious George before dinner and ran to tell her father when he got home – hoping that some day translates into realizing consequences so she just won’t do the trying stuff…sigh)

  2. Contracts with a minor are voidable if the minor wants them struck, if I remember correctly. What you need is a deadbolt 😉 j/k. I often think I need to put a deadbolt on my 4 and 25/26 year old’s door. But the angel of my better nature, ie husband, keeps me from doing it.

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