Those childhood phrases, the things I remember my parents saying that I didn’t believe/understand as a kid.
“This hurts me as more than it hurts you.” Muttered right before the ass whoopin’. To give mom credit, she never said that “hurt you worse” phrase. My Dad? He said it often, but he was never crying. As a child I was calling bullshit (silently, in my head and stuff) whenever the topic came up.
Now? Well now I think I may know what Dad meant–it had nothing to do with the physical pain part. You see, after really long morning of Zach behaving like the higher echelon of douchenozzle*, I made one of thosestatements to him.
Z: But the backyard is bo–rrriiinnnggg. I don’t know how to find bugs. PLAY WIiittttthhhh MMMEEeeee.
Me: “Listen. I need to find where the dog is getting out of the fence. Then I want to wash out the flower pots, so we can get started planting tomorrow. There is plenty of things for you to do. Seriously.”
He plays alone for 97 seconds. In case you were wondering, E has been pouring water in the sandbox–alone–for about 30 minutes.
Z: “Mommy, now. Can we play now?”
Me: “Dude, I swear to Jiminy Cricket** that if you don’t figure out how to entertain yourself the one day out of seven that I ask it of you, that I will cancel all further playdates. We will stay home–just us, no friends–every single day until you figure it out.”
This was at 11am, after I had dragged the myriad cardboard boxes from the house out into the yard. Coolest fort building thing ever, right?
Normally I’m not short-sighted enough to make thosestatements– because I’m not trying to screw myself. Like staying home, trapped in the house with some seriously pissed off Small People. But you know what? He ran off at a children’s museum yesterday. Again. Not enough time has passed from his bike adventure. To use some Covey, he hasn’t built up that emotional bank account balance yet. Staying home, playing with his toys and his brother is not child abuse. Despite what he might think.
So here we are. The Morning After The Threat. We were stuck here today anyway, as the plumber fixes the bathroom. But should he decide to match–or even exceed–yesterday’s douchenozzle-ry, I will ground him. Oh, and along with no out-of-home adventures, I might have accidentally mentioned taking away the TV. And replacing all of his toys with some paper and one crayon. Did I mention preschool is on Spring Break this week? See– his punishment, if he goes that route, will hurt me more than him.
* Yes I did call my kid a douchenozzle. It’s okay. I certainly don’t say it to his face, and I’m confident he doesn’t know how to navigate to my blog. I know there all kinds of positively turned child development phrases for it– acting out— but really, sometimes it’s just douchenozzle-ness. I’m assured that this all gets better at 5. Methinks it’s just that most kids start kindy at 5. November birthday? Yeah.
** E–with proper inflection– muttered Jee-zz–uss as we left Lowe’s yesterday. Z used the “I swear to gawd” at his churchy preschool. I suppose that they are technically curse words and I certainly wouldn’t allow them wander around hollering “shit” at people. That and it’s hard for href=”http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/kids/gamesandcontests/features/amelia/”>Amelia Bedelia…er, Zach…to understand why I say “I swear to god” when I don’t believe in god. But I’m a Southerner and I need those phrases (along with “bless her heart”); it’s part of my cultural identity. I had a boyfriend once who replaced goddamn with grandslam–which I always thought was dumber than hell. I swear to Jiminy Cricket, I hate that I’m doing the same thing now.