We sent Cass to bed early tonight.
Things were quiet out on the sunporch, and I glanced out to see an odd flash of light and to hear my daughter's giggle as she crawled out of the dryer. Cass was still in there when I hit the porch door, panic and sheer scared fury making my voice shake. He's been warned before - the dryer is so not a place to play - actually, they shouldn't even be playing on that side of the porch at all, and the gates and barriers will have to be raised accordingly. After a quick three minute lecture (You KNOW you don't do that! You could get hurt! You could get trapped and I wouldn't know where to find you!) I could feel my blood pressure rising and cut to the chase over his protests.
"Upstairs. This minute. March. Into your pyjamas and bed. I am so angry..."
He went, but he hated it. And he wasn't shy about telling me. Bear went in there when it became apparent there was a mutiny - C was sitting cross-legged on his bed in his underwear, saying loudly that he WASN'T going to put on his pyjamas, and he WASN'T going to sleep all night long. And that in the morning, he was NEVER going to TALK to Mommy AGAIN.
I let Bear sort that out while I re-set the gates on the porch and started getting Miss Rosey ready for pre-bed stuff.
Cass was still crashing around in his room when she went up to her crib. Mutters of "NOT going to sleep NOT" could be heard. I went in to check on him and he was sitting bolt upright on his bed, assorted cars strewn around him. Must have been fun, playing in the light from the night-light. I kissed him and ignored his vows of perma-wakefulness, and left.
A few minutes later, he pulled open his door and asked hopefully "Mommy? Are you coming to read books to me?"
When informed that no, there wouldn't be books tonight, that getting sent to bed was a punishment, and he needed to go to bed, he burst into loud wails and told us that we were SO RUDE to him, that he was going to tell MissMacGyver on us (Cass can not say his pre-school teachers name correctly. I don't think anyone in his class can.) and when he grew up, he was NEVER going to read AGAIN.
So, crap. While I am strong in my conviction that they should never be playing in or around the dryer (and that frightened me so badly the hair on my arms still has not gone down) I never want to curb his love of books. I think kids (boys, especially) need all the coaxing to use the library and read every day they can get.
Tomorrow he will have forgotten all about this, I know. But is it a good idea to withhold reading a bedtime book as punishment?