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That Last Nerve

December 14, 2009

My children are grounded from the t.v. for a whole, entire week. The crime? They ate in the playroom. On my new carpet.

Gasp.

After they’d been told not to do so at least three times.

I could see, after I caught them red-handed with a box of Cookie Crisp, a plate of bacon, a cup of milk, a box of Nilla Wafers, a bowl of oatmeal, several candy wrappers, and two very sheepish expressions (what a balanced breakfast), that I was going to have to set a very firm example.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

(Insert Dumb Looks. All children know there is no safe answer for questions of this nature.)

“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”

(Insert Dumber Looks. Definitely no safe answer. I remember wanting desperately to answer “Duh!” when I was coming up, and knowing how retarded that would be since I was obviously already in trouble.)

“DIDN’T I TELL YOU NO FOOD AND DRINK IN THE PLAYROOM?”

(Here Lawson decided to be brave and speak up instead of just delivering the Dumb Look.) “Well, it was Autumn’s idea.” (Autumn delivers the “I-would-like-to-scoop-your-brains-out-with-a-spoon-Moron” Look.)

“I DON’T CARE WHOSE IDEA IT WAS! DIDN”T I TELL BOTH OF YOU NO FOOD OR DRINK IN THE PLAYROOM?!”

(Dumb Look, this time at each other.) Then: “That’s Autumn’s bacon.”

“Well, that’s YOUR Cookie Crisp!”

“Well, I just brought it in because you brought bacon in!” To me: “That’s Autumn’s bacon.”

To me: lots of eye rolling. I-would-like-to-scoop-my-brother’s-brains-out-with-a-spoon. You-know-this-look-because-you-have-brothers. More eye rolling.

“THAT’S IT. YOU’RE GROUNDED. NO T.V. FOR A WEEK.”

That was yesterday morning. I have noticed over the course of the last twenty-four hours that a week is a really long time? I haven’t just grounded my kids; I’ve grounded myself. Autumn’s not too bad, but Lawson is something else.

He doesn’t watch an excessive amount of t.v., I don’t think–just a few minutes in the morning after breakfast before we leave for school and then an hour after homework in the afternoon if there’s any time between that, running to pick up Autumn from tumbling, and supper–but he is pretty much refusing to do anything else. I’m beginning to think it’s a devious attempt to get me to abandon my disciplinary efforts. He would rather be up my butt (literally–he even attempts to follow me to the bathroom) than play the DS, the Wii, Hot Wheels, Legos, action figures, Nerf war, puzzles, or any other number of exciting activities. He will read though, for a short while, so that’s something.

It might not be so bad if he wasn’t chattering incessantly. He’s a magpie. It doesn’t seem to matter if I reply or not…a noncommittal grunt every now and then is sufficient to keep him going. Every so often he’ll lapse into spontaneous song, as  though he’d been singing to himself all along and he just had to share: “…in his underwear!” That, of course, will be punctuated by giggles.

The thought of another five days of this is almost enough to make me cave. He’s plucking that last mommy nerve–the one that twangs discordantly with too much noise, sugar, and snow days. (And new carpet, as it turns out.)

Maybe we can cut a deal involving dishes and alone time with bubbles, hot water, and Norah Jones in exchange for return of hostage t.v. privileges–sounds like a win/win for Mommy.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2009 10:22 pm

    DON’T DO IT! Never give in, Lori…NEVER.

    Okay, just thinking of kids in general (my class) who really need to have follow-through. It’ll show them that you’re serious…after all, a mom who’s willing to punish herself as well as them means serious business and next time just might do anything. They’ll think twice before eating on the new carpet again.

    I say, stick to your guns, girl!

  2. Anaise permalink
    December 17, 2009 7:53 am

    Ooooh! I feel your pain!

    I have a talker. She’s the one most likely to wake up an hour before the other kids (when I’m having that quiet time I wrote about) and then stand over my shoulder while I’m nursing/reading/writing and TALK. Just talk and talk and talk.

    She’s doing it now.

  3. Super Sarah permalink
    December 23, 2009 11:55 pm

    I have done that EXACT thing. I promise. (we don’t have tv, but we have DVD’s)

    At the time, it’s seemed like the Perfect idea. And then tomorrow came. With my kid, I figured away around what I had said by remembering what he was watching when I grounded him and saying that I had grounded him from *that particular show* for a week. Sooooo, he could choose something else to watch and it was ok.

    So I could take a shower. And call my mom to plan Christmas dinner. And have a conversation with my husband after he got home from work.

    Not really caving, just curving a little…

  4. Lori permalink*
    December 25, 2009 8:01 pm

    I was good…I held my ground. Of course, it helped considerably that the kids were at my in-laws on Tues and Fri… and I really like that “curving,” not “caving” thing, Sarah!

  5. December 30, 2009 1:01 am

    Oh Lori this just plain sucks big time because you’re are absolutely correct. You just put you and your kids in time out.

    This post cracked me up. So funny and so relateable. Oh how I have wished disciplining my kids didn’t involve grounding myself…

  6. Lori permalink*
    December 30, 2009 10:16 am

    Seriously, Rachel! We made it through, though. And they have not taken any food or drink onto that new carpet since then, so I guess it was a lesson learned, however painful…

    It’s a hard truth that discipline is not fun. If it was, perhaps more parents would do it.

  7. December 30, 2009 12:09 pm

    You just hit it right on the head Lori. If it were easier……..more parents would do it. That and a lot of things they should be doing with their kids.

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