Monday, December 24, 2007

Makin' Staples Proud

I love their Easy Button concept.

So much so, that a few months back, I had Charlie Brown buy me one. It is the conversation piece of my desk.

And, because things are rarely easy at work, it often gets used in two distinct forms:

1. The Wistful - this is the pushing of the button prior to a meeting, sort of a superstitious/getting my game face on rite that I use to tell myself, it will be what you expect it to be.

2. The [more frequently used] Sarcastic Vent - this is the pushing of the button post facto, because it makes me laugh. And if I didn't laugh, I'd cry.

Now....moving right along....

Punkinhead could actually be interchangeable with Shithead (I do really love my son, but these things can't be ignored, they happen) these non-structured, holidazey, crazy past few weeks. This is as much attributable to crappy parenting as it is to his stubborn nature, because in all the hustle and bustle, if Mommy and Daddy are too tired to put the kabash on bad behavior, well, we just don't.

We are due to return back to our regularly scheduled regime next week.

Today, he was in top form again, having been spoiled and kept up late and waking up early for 3 days in a row now. After church he was a brat at lunch. At home, he was testing all the limits.

MIL and I left to do some shopping. And then came back.

Loveable, aggreable Punkinhead, (snort!) fussed about the cartoon on the channel. He pouted and pouted, "I don't wike dis show! Grunt, grunt, grunt."

FIL tried to tell him how it was. Now....FIL is very old school. He and I come from similar backgrounds, but let's just say that his two faced coin is much more inclined to the temper side than the peacemaker side. I do have very strong sides on either face of the same coin, but I strive for a more balanced approach.

So...when he got in Punkinhead's face and tried to reprimand him, Punkinhead retaliated and kicked at him.

FIL's eyes narrowed and his face got red as he raised his voice and his arm came out. Now, at the time, it looked like he swatted at Punkinhead's mouth as Punkinhead said "No."

I am not against physical punishment - but I have never understood a swat for a physical outburst - seems to me a mixed message, and I have NEVER thought it acceptable to strike in anger as opposed to structured rules, warnings and then follow-thru as needed in order to create a negative association with the behavior in question.

Am I perfect at implementing my values?

No.

But my kids know that it is exceptional to the rule when I lose my temper in such a fashion. And that is important to me. I never want it to be the rule that Mom is over the top with physical punishment. Or any adult in their lives for that matter.

I about lost it. I have before, on my brother. I would not remain quiet on the issue. Could not - especially since my brother had taunted me, "If your IL's had done what I did, you would never have gotten upset." Bull crap, I'd said then. Bull effin' shit, I said tonight.

But, before I knew it, Punkinhead was retaliating more, and I intervened, swooping him off to time out. Punkinhead was noncooperative little snit while I tried to talk about how both had been wrong but he still needed to think about what he had done that was wrong.

It didn't help that I had the worst gas ever, and Punkinhead would refuse to talk to me on the grounds that I was too stanky. It was hard to keep a straight face at that, too, which only made it worse.

By the time Punkinhead had been thoroughly lectured by me (during which time, he got soap in his mouth for telling me no repeatedly, and a swat for repeatedly trying to run away - both despite abundant warnings) Charlie Brown and FIL had gone to a store.

Which gave me time to think. And fret. You see, FIL is also a defensive sort. Nothing is ever his fault. How would this go over? Would I be the Grinch who stole the Meyer Christmas?

I was still thinking on it when they got back.

It was when Punkinhead got a little attitude again and FIL said, "Punkinhead, you keep doing that and I'm gonna wop you."

I said, "You will not, with me sitting right here. And, because you just said that, we DO need to go have a chat, because I need to talk with you about tonight."

MIL warned, "Not in front of the kids." Which I understand, but give me a bit of credit, please?

We went into the back room. Mentally, I did The Wistful. I calmly stated my stance, framing it with the context of my earlier problem with my brother, and basically said that I have no problem with reasonable discipline, but threats in front of me, before I have had a chance to address the issue does not work, nor does taking matters into his own hands, especially when it is anger, rather than true teaching discipline.

He was cool. He apologized. He did try to rationalize a little bit - and soften some of his history (he RARELY spanked Charlie Brown? I have been a part of this family for 12 years - I know better than that) but really? Truly?

That was easy.

I have a new move for the button - The Legitimately Easy.

Thank God for Christmas miracles.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you!!!! You totally rock as Mama Bear!

    ReplyDelete