So by the time they actually got in the bath, I was beyond frazzled. It was all I could do to keep it together and my goal was for them to play in the tub a little bit while I relaxed. But the whining and the fussing and the arguing just didn't stop. They weren't playing with each other, they just fought over the toys and everything else they could find.
At one point Kiddo accidentally tossed a tub toy out of the tub and he asked me to get it for him. When he asked, he forgot to say "please" and so as I was getting it for him I reminded him that he needed to say it. He just looked at me with a blank stare. Thinking he may not have heard me over Port's rendition of "Oh Lone Stranger" from the Veggie Tales, I repeated myself, "you need to say please".
Again a blank stare.
By then I had already handed it to him and so I said, "say thank you" and again he just stared at me.
This is sooooo not how I raised him.
And, being at the end of my rope already, I just snapped. I grabbed the toy out of his hand and tossed it in the trash. I told him that if he wasn't going to be nice and say please and thank you then he didn't deserve the toy.
He then told me he didn't want to live here anymore.
I offered to help him pack.
I know, I know, probably not the best way to go about it - but I was so done. I just didn't have my wits about me and I snapped. Of course he immediately "changed his mind" and took it all back, but I was determined at that point to teach him a lesson. I told him that he could forget about going to school and seeing his friends because since he was moving out of the house he would have to get a job so he could pay for a place to live. That upset him even more so I dropped it and let him marinate on it for a little while. Then when I was getting him out of the tub he sheepishly asked me if he had to go pack his stuff. I told him no, and then we had a nice long talk about the power of words. How, when you say something to someone, even if it is just because you are angry or upset, and even if you take it back or apologize, the other person can forgive you but it still hurts. I told him that words are one of his superpowers and that he needed to be very careful about what he says to people. I reminded him how he felt when one of his friends told him she didn't want to play with him anymore. He immediately got upset at the memory - it was the perfect example because even though he and his friend have since made up and are playing together now, the memory of what she said still upsets him. I told him it was the same thing when he tells me he doesn't want to live in our home anymore. I told him that Daddy and I work really hard to provide a place for him to live and clothes to wear and toys to play with and food to eat. I asked him how he thought it made us feel when he said something like that.
He seemed to understand it. So we went about the evening.
As the boys were getting ready for bed, I was putting the sheets back on the bunk beds. Kiddo kept getting underfoot and I was struggling with the sheets and the whole situation pushed me to the limit again. I snapped at him to move and as he did he busted out into another chorus of "Oh Lone Stranger".
That was it for me; I put them to bed 20 minutes early because I couldn't take it anymore.
Thankfully they didn't notice and went right to sleep.