Today was one of those days when I really didn’t want to have to be the adult, but I had to shove my soft side out of the way and let the sensible side take charge. Apparently, my son has been having a bit of a problem keeping his hands to himself in preschool. As is the case with most boys, he likes to be goofy and act crazy with his friends. I guess this has caused some problems for the teacher starting class activities on time. She decided to create an oh-so-sophisticated “smiley face” system, whereby he gets a happy face on days when he’s cooperative and a frown face on days when he’s not. Since my youngest was going to church this evening, I had told my Grouch we’d have a dinner date to the cool mall food court and playplace. The kid was beyond excited about our little excursion — he could hardly wait. So, when I picked him up from school this afternoon, I could just tell from the “cat-that-swallowed-the-canary” look on his face, that all was not good in the hood. He had gotten himself in trouble, and as a result, received two very unhappy faces on his behavior chart. As soon as he saw me, the tears instantly welled up in his eyes. I could tell how heart-broken he was. I wanted so badly to take back my ultimatum about the dinner date. My heart kept telling me that he’s only five, but my head kept telling me that I couldn’t punk out on my follow-through. As I wrestle with the fact that I was looking forward to our date as well, the decision seemed so much harder. I don't want to make an adult decision today, Lord. But resounding through my mind was the instruction to "let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no'." If Grouch couldn't trust that I meant what I said, how could that effect him later? I had a serious battle with this in my mind but, ultimately, decided to go with my head. It killed me to tell him we couldn’t go on our date. I knew it was the right thing to do, but it totally sucked to be the bad news messenger. I fully realize that this is just the tiny tip of the iceberg for what’s to come as far as discipline goes. To be honest, I dread the teenage years with every fiber of my being. I guess for now, I should just thank my lucky stars that I’m only dealing with a water-spitting contest in the preschool coat room because God only knows what will be going on in the coat room in just a few years down the road….