Chapter 45: Jacob's Defiance

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Simon and Angelique sat at the dining table filling out the necessary paperwork for Jacob's official adoption.

When Sophia left the day before, Jacob had a total meltdown. For hours, he kicked and  screamed, all the while refusing any consolation from his parents. At dinnertime, he fought against Simon's efforts to feed him dinner, demanding ice-cream and rejecting any sort of compromise. Angelique had to resort to bottle-feeding the half-asleep boy when he tired around bedtime.

While Jacob slept, the therapists enjoyed the opportunity to de-stress once the boy fell asleep, hoping that his behavior would improve the following day.

And it did. Angelique had disciplined Jacob only a few times that morning for relatively minor infractions. She had simply lectured him for whining at breakfast time, but when he ran down the stairs after Simon gave him his bath, she had scolded him about the danger and sat him in timeout. The little boy had apologized after his punishment was over, and once he was dressed, they let him play in the living room.

The couple had been working on the paperwork for a while, occasionally conversing about the required documentation for certain sections. They intended to get started on lunch soon, but before they could get to that, a bored and mischievous little boy managed to sneak into the kitchen undetected by his parents. Once he made it over to Simon, he stood up, snatched a paper from the stack and ran as quickly as he could out of the kitchen.

"Jacob, come back here," Simon softly demanded, making no effort to retrieve the stolen paper.

Angelique looked at her husband with an incredulous expression on her face. She stood up, caught the tyke and wagged her finger in the air. "No, Jacob. That was very naughty," she told him as she sat him on the naughty step. "You do not take papers without permission."

Turning away from Jacob, Angelique walked over and sat in the dining chair opposite of her husband. She had one more person to lecture if there was ever going to be peace in the house again. "Simon," Angelique began, taking his hands in hers. "We can't keep going like this."

"Like what?" he asked, looking completely baffled.

"Do you not see that Jacob is intentionally testing your boundaries? You're letting him walk all over you. If you don't do anything about it, this negative attention-seeking behavior is only going to get worse," Angelique vented and took a deep breath before continuing in a softer tone. "I'm not always going to be around to act as the disciplinarian, and it's not fair for me to carry that burden. I don't want to always be the bad guy."

"I'm sorry. I didn't realize," Simon said, squeezing her hands. "I didn't mean to put you in that position."

"I know that, and I know you feel terribly guilty about Jacob almost drowning, but no one is blaming you for that. You have to move past that," she urged, looking over at the petulant child in timeout. "Right now, Jacob needs a father who will put his foot down and reign him in. Will do you that?"

"Yes," Simon whispered, his voice catching. He cleared his throat and tried again more emphatically, "Yes!'

"Excellent." Angelique slid over Simon's pile of papers closer to her. "Well, you're in charge of discipline for the rest of the day. I'm going to be a fly on the wall while I finish this paperwork."

"Alright," Simon agreed. He knew what he had to do, and he hoped it wouldn't be too difficult to make things right. He stood up and went over to Jacob.

As soon as he approached, Jacob held his arms out towards him, but Simon didn't take the bait.  "Buddy, you understand why mommy put you in timeout right?"

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