TZ ran away from home shortly before dinner this evening. Not sure what inspired it. But he packed his backpack with his Easter candy, an apple, two oranges (I'll need some healthy food, he said), several books, his lightsaber, his favorite stuffed animal and blanket, and a flashlight. He asked for my wallet, but I refused. His trusty sidekick K offered to go with him, so TZ packed K's Easter candy as well.
I lured K back upstairs to the dining room with dinner and the promise of treats (I extracted his candy bag), but I couldn't sway TZ, who actually burst into tears when I said he had to eat dinner before he left. So I let him go, with a warning that if he decided to come back and we were done with dinner, he wouldn't get any (that was mean, and a mistake), and that if he ate all of his candy, he wouldn't get to share K's later in the week. "But I won't be here later in the week," he replied, and walked out the door.
Ten minutes later, he came in and asked for his homework, which he completed in the driveway.
He came in again and announced that he was going across the street to see if he could play with his buddy, TM.
And again to tell us that TM was busy.
And again to say there was nothing to do, so maybe he'd ride his bike for a while.
And finally one last time to see what we'd had for dinner. And to say that he wished he'd had it. So he ate dinner (I figure it's good to model forgiveness once in a while--if your kid wants to experiment with running away, he has to know he'll get a good meal when he comes back, right?), put away his stuff, and finished up his day.