Some days the kids come back from school with bad notes and we have to figure out how to deal with it best. The easiest thing to do is to take away screens or the night light for a week, but sometimes we get bored with that. When Owen gets in trouble, I prefer to have him have to help me in the kitchen for a week. Trevor has mostly figured out how to stay out of trouble and is getting really good at negotiating his rewards. I have to be careful about what I promise, a problem I did not have before. Markus hates losing his light and he is mostly good anyway. The trouble with Markus is that negotiating him out of his decisions is like ending the Cold War. No-one can win but no-one can look like they lost either.

We are at the point where parenting becomes more about making the right choices and saying the right things than brute force. I can’t easily lift my kids any more and 123 magic has the tendency to wear off. Fortunately, the kids have been wonderful and parenting is more fun now than ever before.