I got home late this evening -- and was informed immediately by Evan (11), Zayd (9) and Paul (age not available), that Ethan (6) was not nice to Substitute Sitter. Ethan had actually become quite sassy and bossy to Saint Sitter in the last several weeks as well, but I had hoped that a new person would have deterred him. Apparently not.
While I am not sure of the specifics surrounding his naughty behavior - He was quite sheepish when I got home. He knew he was in trouble. Later, while I was painting my artwork (my forged painting of Joseph Albers work -- a story for another day)... he sat next to me and watched.
Me: So, can you tell me why you were naughty today to the sitter?
Ethan: (sigh) Ohhhh... Dad already talked to me. I already talked. He told me.
Me: That's fine, but you didn't tell me why you were naughty.
Ethan: (bigger sigh) Oh! Do we have to talk about it again. I already knowed I was in trouble. I already knowed. I don't want to talk about it anymore.
Me: Okay. Fine.
We sat in silence for a few minutes while I painted.
Ethan: Can you read me a book and put me to bed?
Me: I can put you to bed, but I don't know if you should get a book tonight.
Me: Because you were not a good listener today and you were mean to the sitter.
Ethan: But I want you to read me a book!
Me: I know you do. But I don't think you deserve a book tonight. Naughty boys who are mean to people shouldn't get what they want.
Ethan: Well... I was only a little mean to her.
Me: Mean is mean. There is no little mean.
Ethan: Yes there is little mean! I was only a little mean to her... (pause) so you should read me half a book. Cause I was only kinda mean to her.
He can't read yet, but he clearly he is not stupid.
Me: A half a book.
Ethan: Yes. Only a half a book.
Ethan: Or a really short book. Not a long book.
Me: Ethan - I'm not going to read you a half a book. You need a consequence for the way you acted today. If I read you a book, then there is no consequence.
Ethan: But a half a book is a con-quence.
Me: No. It's not.
Ethan: I was nice to her when she gotted here! I promise.
Ethan: I show-ed her the whole house. I show-ed her where everything is. I took her upstairs and downstairs. That is nice! I should get a half a book... can I? Please?
I caved. I read him a book. I know I shouldn't have - but I did. He WAS nice to her when she gotted there.