That's OK, I thought to myself, I'll just engage them by
I told them that if they helped me to clean up the house today, then we would go to WalMart when their older brother got home so they could spend the gift cards they got for Christmas. They whooped with glee, high fived one another, and shouted, "what do you want us to do?". I helped them tidy their rooms and load up the laundry hampers, then left them to put away all the stuff we pulled from under the bed while I went to feed my washing machine. By the time I had sorted and started the laundry, a mutiny was occurring. I winced as I heard the screams of laughter echoing down the stairwell, and knew that it wasn't going to be good. And it wasn't.
Let's just say that the day only went downhill from there. After several reprimands and a few time outs, they decided they 'hated this place' and were moving in with the neighbors'. We talked about this for a bit, and my son decided he'd rather just stay here. My daughter was adamant she was leaving. I suggested she might want to start thinking about what she was going to pack.
She asked for a suitcase. I suggested she use plastic bags. She agreed. An hour later she was in the front entrance with 8 bags of 'necessities'. I listened as her brother asked why she was taking her crocs. Her reply? Well, I need to have summer shoes of course. Hmmmmm . . . appeared she was thinking long term then.
|Almost ready to go . . .|
Finally she was finished, and asked when we could leave. I apologized for the misunderstanding, and stated that I was afraid she would have to walk. I encouraged her to rethink her packing, as carrying 8 large bags of clothing to the neighbors' house might not be all that easy.
In the end, she reorganized things, stood at the door, and stated, "well, guess I'll see you at Kindergarten Graduation". I reminded her to brush her teeth and call home every once and a while, gave her a hug, told her that I loved her, and wished her all the happiness in the world in her new home. And then she left.
She actually dragged her two big bags of clothes and heavy back pack full of shoes for every occasion all the way to the neighbors' house!
Shortly after she left, I went over to pick her up. I would have gotten there a lot faster except I had to keep stopping to pick up various items such as a bodysuit, fur vest, and sequinned gloves that had somehow fallen out of her bag during her trip.
After we had a cuddle and some dinner, I asked her if she thought she would ever run away again. She looked me in the eyes and said:
"sure, but I'm really going to need a suitcase next time".