Last night Billy got into trouble for putting the feather duster in the dog water. Daddy has stepped up his punishment for playing in the dog water to encourage him to stop. He got a bum smack and a time out (10 sec).
So this morning when he got up and went into the kitchen to feed Buddy he went straight to the bowls. He looked sternly at the water bowl. "No! no!" he scolded, wagging his finger. Then he looked at the empty food bowl. "No! no!" he continued wagging his finger. He then got to scolding both of them at the same time, finger furiously waving. I had to drag him over to the food container to get Buddy's breakfast going.
Later, every time we walked through the kitchen he would stop briefly to scold the bowls. "No! no!"
This evening when Billy fed Buddy he missed getting all of the food in the bowl, as usual. Except this time many of the pieces went for a swim in the dog water. "Uh, oh!" Billy quickly reached to fetch them out, but I stopped him. Just then Daddy got between me and Billy so he could talk to me. Billy was suddenly out of my view and right by the bowls. I knew immediately what would happen.
"Daddy, please get your son out of the dog water."
"Huh, what?" Sometimes Daddy is oblivious to these little things. But when he turned around there Billy was trying to fish dog food out of the bowl. To be fair, he was trying to be nice to Buddy. But I had asked Billy to leave it alone twice by this point and he knows not to touch the dog water. So Daddy repeated the punishment of the previous night.
After a quick time out and a few minutes of tears while I held him (out of frustration for not getting his way) I took him back into the kitchen for dinner. He went straight over to the bowls and gave them a thorough punishing and finger wagging. Then he looked up at me.
If he had had the vocabulary to say what his eyes were expressing, he would have said, "but Mommy, the dog bowls made me do it!"