Last night, after I had unlocked Lion to do some manscaping and then edged him a few times in search of pre-cum, we were watching tv. I was on my iPad and Lion asked a question. Before I could respond he both asked if I was paying attention and then declared I wasn’t paying attention. The truth is, I was trying to form a coherent thought. We’d been watching something about the Northern Lights and it was mesmerizing even if I was also on my iPad. It annoyed me that he was so quick to jump to the conclusion that I wasn’t paying attention.
First of all, I’ve been trying to be better at responding to him even when I am in the middle of something, especially when it’s “just” a game. Secondly, sometimes I am reading something interesting and he really is interrupting me, but he wants me to drop everything to answer him (or lock him back in the cage, or help him look for a snack, or whatever). Thirdly, sometimes Lion gets involved on his iPad (or a book or magazine, etc.) and doesn’t answer me, but I realize he’s in the middle of something so I wait until he’s through before I engage him.
So what did I do when he declared I wasn’t paying attention? Did I tell him he was a bad boy and that little outburst required punishment? Did I grab a paddle and take care of it that very instant? Nope. I turned off my iPad, plugged it in and didn’t do anything. Fail! It didn’t even occur to me till later that I should have punished him. True, I can still add it to the list. But I need to get into the mindset of punishing him right away. Or at least telling him to add it to the list right away. It just highlights that I am not very good at punishing him. Yes, I am effective with the swats, but I am not effective at calling out behaviors that need correction.
Mrs. Lion has a lot of work to do to conquer the punishment beast. Luckily, Lion makes his share of mistakes to give me more practice.