After about a week of no punishments on his list, this morning Lion added two. He forgot the napkins on the breakfast tray. And when I went to clean up from breakfast I found water all over the counter. He had filled the coffee maker.
Neither of these is a big deal. Punishment is just a way to help him remember the napkins. I tease Lion that he’s not very dainty. No matter how careful he thinks he’s being he still has a certain sense of brute force about him. For some reason, filling the coffee maker is a challenge. We have a small pitcher and as long as you’re (I’m) paying attention, you can get the water into the reservoir with no spilling. Lion, however, tends to use the side of the pitcher where there is no spout. So what’s the problem? Who cares if he spills water? Well, as you can imagine, the water doesn’t care that it was supposed to be in the reservoir. It’s free now. Free to run under the other appliances on the counter. Free to run off the edge of the counter. Free to get whatever it encounters wet. And then we (I) have to chase it down. So to encourage Lion to be more careful, it is on his punishment list.
Adding things to his list has a threefold effect. First, I tell him what he did and that he should add it to the list. Next, he has to remember it’s punishment night and tell me what’s on the list. Finally, he gets punished. Technically the enforcement has three tries to correct the infraction. I guess I can also assume that each time he adds something to the list he reviews what’s already on the list. So maybe those items are enforced multiple times. Once the punishment is served he might remember the next time he needs a napkin or fills the coffee maker. That’s the goal.
Are these two things now rules that he must obey? Well, no. I’d like to think that he’d always try not to make a mess no matter what he’s doing. He does try to clean up after himself. If he spills a few drops of water I won’t punish him. It’s just when I have to chase the water all over the counter that it becomes an issue. I am only after the out of control messes. As for the napkins, I am trying to help him remember things.