Sometimes a correction to a small child is necessary. In actuality I'd say 70% of the things I say to my children during the day are things like, "quiet - the baby is sleeping", "don't touch that please", "Say 'No thank you' not 'waaah'." and many times plain old, "no!".
But my kids are getting older now and rather than a correction a lot of times they need instruction.
I remember the time Joe and Molly got into the cake decorating stuff and my kitchen was a HUGE mess. They were so little and it seemed always getting into things. I couldn't find any punishment for them. There was no way to make them clean it up since they were both afraid of our vacuum cleaner and since they would think spraying cleaner was the most exciting thing ever and may try it again I had to just put them in the bath and clean it up myself.
That is not the last time I've found a mess made by my children, not the last time I've had to clean it up and not the last time I wanted to murder them either.
Today Molly came to me with a hang nail. I told her to get the finger clippers and she ran off. I was face booking. I wont lie. I didn't notice she didn't come back until I called them for lunch. About an hour after lunch I went into my bathroom to put away a box of bandaids Lucy had spread all over the living room. I was thinking, "hu... how did she even get these out?" since I close my bathroom door and my bedroom religiously.
I entered the bathroom and found red toenail polish all over the floor, the cabinets, the walls, the door and leading into my bathroom on the carpet. I immediately assumed it was Lucy, she had grabbed the bandaids after all. So then I leaned down and realized it was dried on. I got the polish remover and started on the floor. It cleaned up just fine from the cabinets, walls and door. The carpet - not so much. But it was while I was scrubbing the carpet on my hands and knees that I discovered something. There was a coating of clear toenail polish on the carpet and when I inspected the floor in the bathroom more closely I discovered that whoever had made the mess had used the ACME school of thought and tried to cover the red polish with the clear polish. I wont lie; I giggled at the thought. "Maybe if I put the clear stuff on the red stuff the red stuff will become clear!" I bet the child thought it was a GREAT idea!
At that point Molly had come into my room and was standing in front of me. My eyes saw her toes first and my heart skipped a beat. They were completely bloody. Like toe massacre. But then I realized it was toe nail polish.
I sat up and asked her if she had made the mess and she looked at my face closely not sure if she should lie or not. I kept my face relaxed and she smiled. "Yes, I did." she seemed to think I would be very proud of her and she wasn't the least bit ashamed. I decided to approach it calmly. I removed the toe nail polish, washed her feet and told her she wasn't aloud to touch things without asking me. I get the distinct impression she was painting her toe nails because she thought I would enjoy it. I remember doing strange things as a child hoping someone would think it was great of me and instead getting in trouble.
The way children's minds work I will never know, but I learned today that I should think about the kids' intentions before deciding whether or not I should be angry... but I wanted to be angry because I had to clean it up and by golly getting onto my hands and knees is not easy. lol. I'm pretty sure I have a few more years (like 3 or 4) of horrible children antics I'll have to put up with so I may as well accept this as life.