Learning a few lessons from my son

Yesterday I did a mean thing: I spilled one of 3Po's secrets. I told The Pea about something funny that happened to 3Po a couple of months back. In my defense, I didn't think it was embarrassing at all, just cute, and I wanted to share it with her (in fact, it's so cute I'm dying to blog about it, but I won't because I'm in enough trouble already from telling The Pea). And even though he protested and asked me not to tell her, he was laughing as he said it, so I was dismayed to see him dissolve into tears after I told her.

In hindsight, it was a stupid thing to do and I shouldn't have done it. I apologized as best as I could and both The Pea and I swore not to tell anyone, not even Alfie. Not surprisingly, he said he didn't trust either of us -- so I came up with a guarantee.

Me: Okay, 3Po, if The Pea ever tells your secret to anyone, anyone at all, then she will not get to go with us on our Chicago trip in June. Ok? She'll have to stay behind with your daddy and miss all the fun (this is not an idle threat, and The Pea knows it, since Alfie is staying behind anyway and he can easily work from home with her).

The Pea: What? No fair!

Me: No, it's completely fair. And if 3Po ever tells any of your secrets, the same punishment will apply to him. What do you think, 3Po?

(note: neither of them considered that this threat would no longer apply after our Chicago trip. But it was enough to mollify 3Po)

3Po: Okay, that's fair. But what about you? If you tell, then you can't go to Chicago, but then none of us can go without you, so we all get punished and that's not fair.

Me: That's right. We need another punishment for me. What about this: if I ever tell anyone one of your secrets, I WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO BLOG OR GO ON THE COMPUTER FOR 1 WEEK. That's such a horrible punishment for me that I will never be tempted to tell any of your secrets ever again.

(3Po's eyes go round and he completely forgets to cry. He knows this is a serious punishment for me!)

3Po: Okay.....

Me: And you know what? How about this? If I tell, I won't be able to blog for 1 week AND I have to do laundry for 1 week and none of you can help me.

(All of a sudden, 3Po starts to tear up. I'm bewildered.)

Me: What's wrong, honey? You're still mad at me? You still don't believe me?

3Po: No, I believe you, but that's such a horrible punishment for you that I will feel so, so bad knowing that you're so unhappy! (he starts to cry in earnest) I think you should just choose: 1 week of no blogging or 1 week of laundry. Not both.

Oh my sweet, darling 3Po. His code of ethics puts mine to shame. When I grow up, I want to be as decent as my son.


Elizabeth @ My Life, Such as it is... said...

Good parenting! Amazing what kids find embarrasing isn't it. Kudos to acknowledging your son's feelings, your error in judgement & finding a creative way to rebuild your trust with your kids.

Alfie said...

His code of ethics is courtesy of his Dad! LOL.