The most unthinkable thing happened yesterday. One of our biggest fear…

Jerry drew on our white walls with a marker. 

I don’t have a picture of the drawing on the wall. I was scrubbing some dirty socks in the toilet when I heard the husband screamed in hysterics. Something he hasn’t done before and I instinctively knew something bad happened.

I rushed to the room with the scrub in my hand, saw the drawing and almost fainted. I just immediately used the scrub that I was holding in my hand to try and scrub it clean, with minimal results. The husband was screaming away at the kid, and my mind was working as fast as I could on clearing the mess, which is why I didn’t have a picture.

Here’s roughly how it looked like. I draw a similar drawing with my Note 3 based on what I remembered on a picture after I scrubbed the walls clean.

Re-enactment of Jerry's drawing on the wall.

Re-enactment of Jerry’s drawing on the wall.

I eventually managed to scrub off everything with mama lemon dish washing detergent and a sponge if you must know. I probably took some layer of the paint off but since it is white walls, it is not too bad/visible. At some point, the husband asked me to give up and was resigned to repainting the walls.

The husband was so so mad, he kept scolding the kid. When I was done scrubbing, I pulled the husband away to let him cool down a little and talked to the kid. I made sure he knows that he cannot draw on the wall, and punished him to face the wall for 10 mins, while I secretly snapped some shots of the kid as an after thought to document this moment.

Boy stares and wall and left standing.

Boy stares at wall and left standing.

For the first time in his life, he actually listened and followed through the punishment and stood at the wall… though he started fidgeting after a while, turned his back on the wall and propped his foot on the wall even! We checked on him every time we walked past the room to make sure he did what he was told, and daddy eventually decided that he needs to say sorry to the wall.

D (daddy): Say sorry to the wall!
J (jerry): Sorry.
D: Say it sincerely!
J: Sin..cerely.
(I didn’t expect that and burst out in silent laughter and ran away, not before letting off a muffled giggle and the kid heard. He broke into a smile thinking it is funny. I had to tell him to stop laughing and ran to the kitchen to laugh till my sides ache)

D: You need to say Sorry to the wall many many times.
J: Sorry..Sorry..Sorry..Sorry..Sorry..

Jerry says sorry to the wall.

Jerry says sorry to the wall.

In his reflective state, where he is left to think about his actions and not allowed to move.

In his reflective state, where he is left to think about his actions and not allowed to move.

In between his punishment, he just kept crying because he knew he could not leave where he was standing. He was probably a little lost (haven’t seen daddy and mummy so fierce before), a little shock trying to take all that in, and obviously very upset to be kept in a spot and not allowed to move.

Jerry's tears soaked face.

Jerry’s tears soaked face.

When I decided it was enough, I went to talk to him again and ensured that he know better to draw the walls again, and that it will cost a lot of money to repaint these walls.

Mummy (M): Do you want to come out?
Jerry (J): yes..
M: You can only come out after you clean up the playroom. See all the toys on the floor, go pack them up.

He moves towards the toys and actually started packing, putting everything into every other drawer he could find. I pulled out everything and made him sort them according to what the boxes are meant for. He eventually packed everything clean and daddy checked before letting him out of the room again.

Jerry packs up the playroom.

Jerry packs up the playroom.

Do you think what I have done is a good idea? I hope it teaches him something because he is really not an easy kid to guide. He defies all instructions all the time. What would you have done if you were me?

At the same time, while the “paint on the wall” was something note-worthy, I think what is more note-worthy in my opinion is that for the first time, this kid accepted his punishment, and stayed in a spot for 10 mins to accept his punishment. I found it amazing that he took to our instructions and actually cleaned up the entire room all by himself.

It made me think that maybe he isn’t that bad a kid after all. Maybe he has grown while I wasn’t looking and am now able to listen to instructions. Or has anything that has happened the past week changed anything at all?

P.s. We lost him many times in the malls while we were in bangkok for a family trip and almost went crazy from panic. He simply refused to listen and kept running off. I don’t know if the numerous stern warning and beatings on his palm had any effect at all. And then, I was totally surprised that this happened yesterday.

Parenting kids does keep one on his toes huh? Nothing seems constant.