Year 4, Day 292

It was barely after 5:00 this evening when I got a text from Jaclyn saying, “Miles had another bad day at school.”

My heart sank. This was becoming a legitimate trend, as the “selective hearing” Miles has been exhibiting around us has slowly seeped into his life away from us. I expect him to test us in ways that go beyond what he exhibits elsewhere; we are very obviously two people who will love him unconditionally no matter what he does. We discipline when we need to (read: A LOT), but it’s clear we need to buckle down even harder now that Miles is firmly entrenched in what I can only call an “awfulness spurt.”

Having spent years working with kids, I understand ways to incentivize and motivate good behavior, and I also know that supporting what you WANT to see yields better results than penalizing what you DON’T want to see. But a three-year-old is not a creature that functions on logic. As Michael Caine famously said in The Dark Knight, “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

And so penalties it is, starting with the loss of his beloved Paw Patrol (toys, songs, and especially the show). He’s got tomorrow to turn things around or, god help us all, things are going to get ugly.

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