Yes, this little angel racked up $45 worth of charges from iTunes on Sunday afternoon. I received an email yesterday confirming his multiple purchases of dragon gems – gems used to buy more animals in Dragonvale. He had asked me in the previous days if he could purchase them and I had agreed here and there to let buy some for $1.99. He also paid me $1.99 to buy some (and yes, the gems are used up in three seconds). He found out my password for iTunes a while back. Ri spilled the beans. But he has been very good about not buying anything unless he asks me first.
That little angelic voice inside his head must have turned evil on Sunday causing him to go on a gem shopping spree.
I called him after school and told him I knew about the purchases. He whispered sorry. I told him we’d talk more about it when I got home. He said ok and didn’t seen too worried. When I got home, he was playing on the computer. “Hi mom!” He seemed to have forgotten all about our conversation.
I went in and spoke with Jon. He and I walked into the kitchen and asked Mario why he bought the gems without asking me. He looked down and mouthed “sorry.” Jon opened up Mario’s wallet and took all $39 out if it. “No technology all week dude. And you still owe us $6.”
Mario bit at his lower lip. His eyes swelled with tears. He continued to look down or away from us so that we would not see him upset.
I asked Jon to go to the next room. I pleaded for Mario. “Let’s not take all his money. Let’s let him work to get it back at least….” What a wuss, I am. I even second-guessed taking away technology for the week. Thank god I have Jon to impose some much-needed discipline.
We walked back into the kitchen and Jon asked Mario what he thought his punishment should be. Mario didn’t know. Jon eventually sent him up to his room to clean it and told him that he needed to learn a lesson – that’s why he’d be banned from technology for the week and have to earn back some of his money by doing chores. Smart result and one I could not have instituted without Jon. I am so bad at punishing!
Mario went upstairs.
I went up later to check on him. I still felt bad for him even though I knew he knew that what he did was wrong. How did I become such a softie when I became a mom? I would have ripped into other people who took $45 from me!
He was lying in his bed staring at his blinds. I told him we loved him but he had to learn a lesson. He turned his head over my way and burst out crying. “But you took every last penny I had earned in my entire life!”
He turned back to the shades. Confirmation: if we want to teach Mario a lesson and make it stick – take away his money.
I left him alone and he eventually came downstairs. He walked past me as I tried to hug him so I kept doing the dishes.
“Can we play Old Maid” he asked softly.
Of course, I replied. And he and Ri and I played a hand. Then we went upstairs to get ready for bed. He got his wish to have a pillow fight (Ri and Mario both knocked me a good one). I read them Baby Brains (our new favorite book). Ri and I rubbed his back, and he fell to sleep.
He woke this morning as I was heading down the stairs to take a run. He asked to go with me. I reminded him that he could not play on technology (which I knew would be a deal-breaker). He asked if he could go downstairs and play Wii. I grabbed his arms as he jumped on my back for a piggy back ride.
I placed him on the couch and he turned on the Wii as I got my iPod to listen to NPR on my run. No tantrums about not being able to play on the computer. I even came home to a happy guy. He read off the vitamin percentages in Honey Nut Cherrios to me and then told me he loved me as he headed out the door standing close to his dad.
He must understand that discipline is not the end of the world … now, I just need to understand that….