Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Okay, just as I get out of my "I am a bad mother funk", I get a phone call from Grant's principal. Grant apparently does not like that one of the lunch moms favors the girls. So in line to go back into class from lunch, he very loudly to all his he-man friends says she is the "B" word and he is going to try to get her fired. Nice. He is suspended for a day and definitely on my list. So, I ponder and ponder. I know that this is the "man hair" in him, trying, testing, wanting to be cool to his friends. Being a leader in the coolness department is very important to a twelve year old boy. Very important.
So, here we go. I pray, I call Scott, I do all these things and as I am driving home, it hits me. What did my mother do when I would mouth off to her? Eat some soap, get a big bite, chew it. "Every time you want to use those words, you think of how this tastes" Truer words were never spoken. All stuck up in my molars, in every crevice of my mouth was a big old taste of Ivory soap, I still hate the smell. Yuck. But very effective. I have never sworn in front of my mother until the day I was in labor with the twins. That is a whole other blog.
Back to Grant. There is new stuff in soap, all that anti-bacterial stuff, that is not good for kids to eat. It can actually cause them to go into convulsions and stuff like that. So I go to my friendly neighborhood Target to look for Ivory soap, it is 100% pure. No Ivory soap. Not one bar. You have to have a bar of soap for the full effect of eating soap to work. So I have to buy the vegetable base natural soap with rosemary and mint, to the tune of four bucks a bar. But I am determined. Off I go out of Target with just my hundred dollar bar of soap. I have never left Target with just one thing, but I was on a mission.
Grant gets off the bus, I tell him to get in the bathroom. I explain that we don't use those words in our house. I know his friends might, but if I ever hear that he is using those words again, he will have to eat half a bar. Today, you have to take two big bites and swallow the soap. I wish I had video taped it. The whole gagging, tears streaming episode. He was laughing at first, until I made him chew it. Did I mention that Grant now has braces and every little bit was getting stuck. He could not swallow without barfing, so I let him spit it out. Every minute he was picking that stuff out of his teeth, I was telling him that when he wants to use those words, remember this moment.
Some people will call that child abuse. I actually had a co-worker say I was torturing my children when we would discuss discipline. I think not. I do not beat my children, but a well aimed spank on the butt never hurt anyone's anything but their pride. I don't want to make my children eat soap. I don't want to ground them, spank them, talk to them incessantly about right and wrong, no one does. That being said, it's my job and one I take very seriously. I will drug test them if need be, search their rooms if I suspect drug or alcohol use, anything I have to get them to adulthood making wise decisions and being decent people. That is all anyone of us wants for our children. We want them to be decent human beings.
What form of discipline works for you? What do you remember from your youth that still puts that taste in your mouth?
God bless you and yours.