It may take us days, weeks, months, or even YEARS as parents to find our children’s achilles heel. The one thing that will get their asses in line faster than saying “cookies for dinner!” or “we’re going to the toy store!”
The one thing that takes the shitbricked behavior and tosses it out the window because they fear it so much that they would do just about ANYTHING to avoid it- including obeying you.
It is the Holy Grail of parenting. The one thing we strive to find and may spend our entire lives looking for it- because we know that once we have found this mystical magical end-gamer… life as we know it will change. We imagine finding this thing will be like flipping a switch. No longer will days be full of whine and tiny little violins and seas of crocodile tears- because we hold the Golden Ticket. We are Willy-fucking-Wonka and we’ll let you inside the chocolate factory because we HAVE THAT POWER!
Finding this thing, this one wonderfully amazingly magical thing, is hard though. Really hard. Like nearly IMPOSSIBLY hard.
Why? Because kids are assholes. Confusing loophole finding butt-faced monkey brats. Yeah, that makes sense.
No but really, they are. They are incredibly stubborn, what works one day might not work the next, and even some of what you may consider to be the harshest punishment might make them giggle. GIGGLE! Yes, they giggle. Or taunt you. Or test your very last boundary while dangling on your singular dangling nerve. It can be downright infuriating, and a lot of days it is- but you keep on trying because you know the answer must be out there somewhere if you can just find the correct mixture of punishment and terrification (that’s not a word, but work with me).
In some households, what might be the solution is a perpetual time out. You know, the ones where they are upstairs in their room for so long that you begin to forget you even HAVE a child until you hear their little boogery throat-sniffle. The kind of time out where they’ve been staring at the wall for SO long that you feel bad for there not being a little picture of them to stare at. Maybe a picture of them staring at the wall would suffice- so then it really would be like a perpetual time out. Maybe a mirror so they can see just how wretched they’re being and how most people ugly-cry and then perhaps they won’t want to cry like that anymore.
For others- it’s the lean-in-and-whisper method. Yelling is one thing; you can scream your head off and there are times where the kids are so far off in screamy butt-brain-land that they either can’t hear you or just don’t care… and that’s when you do it. You lean in as close as you can to their contorted little face without eskimo-kissing them and thereby confusing them as to your intentions, and whisper exactly what they are doing wrong, and that their ass is in so much trouble that they have never experienced or imagined the level of trouble they are in.
As wonderfully evil as all of that sounds (and you know how I love evil… but only when it’s coming from me and not the crotchfruit)- none of that wonderful shizz works for me. I mean, OCCASIONALLY the lean in and whisper- but time outs are more work and migraine inducing than they are worth. Plus I get inundated with perpetual “When is this time out gonna be OOVVEERRRRR?”s, even though I remind the child he is not to speak until it’s over or he gets more time added on..
Yeah, that shit is a fail.
No, what works for me… because most of the fights in this house are over some STUPID f’ing toy (yes, even if there are two of them)… is TAKING THOSE MOTHER-BADWORDS AWAY!
That’s right, I take that shit. I take it and I hide it, and I call that hiding place “The Land of Forgotten Toys”… only it’s not hidden at all, you see. And that’s the point. This place, this fantastical place… is on top of the fridge. High enough to NEVER be reached by grubby little fingers no matter what acrobatics they attempt to pull off (but inevitably fail), but not high enough to where they can’t see them, be reminded that they were taken away for being shitbricks, and thereby reminded NOT TO DO THAT SHIT AGAIN.
Of course… They rarely learn from toy-mistakes, and as soon as they earn the toy out of the “Land of Forgotten Toys”- it gets put right back there, and eventually it gets pushed back SO far into the teensy little cubby above the fridge that it becomes forgotten about. Not just by them, but by me.
This is fabulous in two ways.
One: I can re-gift those bitches. That’s right- i’ve been known to find toys hidden all the way at the back of the fridge collecting dust, and give them back as birthday presents. Even if the kids have not completely forgotten about them- they are SO happy to see them, it doesn’t even matter.
Two: This makes me the best mommy EVER. “WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT??” (followed by unintelligible fit of glee)
Ahh yeah, they may not have forgotten it existed, but they forgot how it got “lost” in the first place.
This is what I consider a win/win in the parenting world, and those are hard to come by… so I will cling on with ALL THAT I HAVE; this means remembering to constantly add to the Land of Forgotten Toys… and making sure the batteries are NEVER found.
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