Every once in a while, the boys have a day where they just pick at each other nonstop. Monday was one of those days. For example, Cal wanted to talk to Wes and Wes was listening to Cal, but he didn't say the specific word "What". He was looking at Cal and willing to listen, but Cal wanted to hear that special word. So instead of saying what he needed to say, Cal just kept whining "Wes! Wes! Wes! Wes! Wes!" I finally stopped him and explained that you don't always have to say "what" and that Wes is still listening. All that did was let the boys know that they could now ignore the other person altogether. And they did. Hmm, bad plan.
A few hours later, Wes got mad at Cal because Cal passed him in the hallway. I explained that it doesn't matter who is first and who gets passed. (Wes likes to walk slow and then tell on Cal for passing.) The boys rounded the corner, and Cal got to the stairs first -- and Wes ran by, cut him off, and passed on the stairs. Ugh -- I have just now taught the boys that they can cut each other off.
It was just one of those days. I told them that if they didn't start treating each other nicely that they weren't going to be able to play Mario (a dreadful punishment for them). I'm not a strict disciplinarian, and so I gave them a few warnings. By the end, I was pinching my fingers close together and showing them that they were "this close" to not playing Mario. After a while, their attitudes changes and they became happy boys again.
Two days later, we were in the car, and the boys were in great moods. Out of the blue Wes asked "Hey mom, how far am I from not being able to play Mario?" I told him that he was very far away because he was being such a good boy. He wanted to know exactly how far. I just told him far. He opened his arms up real wide and asked if he was "that far". I realized that he just wanted to know how much wiggle room he had. I made it clear that while he was super far away, that gap can close very quickly -- all the while trying not to laugh at his very smart observation.