Random Observations On Life, #83 in a series…

Posted: January 23, 2007 in Parenting, Random Observations, Random Thoughts, Rants, Utter Inshanity!

– You know what I hate?  You know what chafes me worse than a wool jock-strap on a hot summer’s day?  You know what gets under my skin worse than the alien implant I received during my last abduction? 

** Happy Meal Toys **.  Some amorphous blob of injection molded plastic, uncannily and unerringly tied to whatever current DisneyPixareamworksony animated wonder is the latest pablum de jour.  Oooh, and look!  If I stick these two poorly-mated parts together, and pull his arm…his leg twitches!  Or maybe if I press a flipper, his beak moves….an eighth of an inch.  Ah, the pure, cleansing joy of a child at play.

Tell me again how this is a “toy?”  My kids play with it about as long as it takes to cross the parking lot, and then it will lie, undiscovered and unmissed beneath one of the back seats of the minivan, keeping forlorn company with the other useless trinkets, baubles, and marketing misfires destined only to further clog America’s landfills with more tons of non-biodegradable crap.  Why why WHY!?  Newsflash!  These aren’t toys, because they AREN’T FUN.  Every few months I have to go through the toy bins and cull out the meaningless clumps of misguided and misbegotten sputum from the bowels of some industrial Cloning Den For Ill-Considered Marketing Tie-Ins.  Useless!

IMHO:  One of the greatest social innovations of the modern age:  Camisoles as outer wear.  I don’t know who first thunk that one up, but my hat is off to you, whoever you are.  Ranks right up there with those pastel-colored nylon running shorts the girls wore in gym class.  And angora sweaters.  And 80’s hair.  Okay, okay, yeah, I’m emotionally trapped in High School.  But you knew that.

– On the California Legislature’s current initiative to ban spanking:  How come those who oppose laws against sodomy or other forms of sexual kinkiness adopted the rallying cry of “keep your laws out of my bedroom!”  But, now apparently some think it’s just fine and dandy to legislate how I discipline/raise my child?

The question I have is this:  What do you do when asking nicely doesn’t work?  When threats and time-outs are met with screaming defiance?  When begging and pleading and cajoling and bribing (and other such solid parenting methods) have all failed to bring your little terror to heel?  What do you do when time after time after time, your child flagrantly disobey you, often looking you straight in the eye as he or she pours her Hawaiian Punch on your new suede throw pillows?

Do you cluck, and waggle a finger, and scold mercilessly, “Now Deyton, that wasn’t nice.  Mommy is awful upset about that.  Here let me get you some more juice.”

I guess if you’re a good, socially-advanced Progressive, you calmly explain your reasonings, the potential long-term impacts of disobedience within the social milieu, and encourage your young 4-year old to respect mommy’s boundaries.  Then you reward him with a cookie for being a good listener and only ruining ONE of the pillows, instead of both, like last time.

Or, you could give the little cuss a couple of good swats on the rump and dump him in the crib for a bit.  And you do it consistently, firmly but fairly, until the young blank slate comes to understand that there are sudden and painful consequences to using the Sharpie on mommy’s new drapes, after you were told repeatedly not to.  But I guess I’m just old-fashioned that way.

  1. lynnthehappytraveler says:

    THANK YOU for saying something about California! I’m from a county in Alabama that still allows corporal punishment in schools, not to mention the home, and the schools that actually administer spankings tend to have a lower rate of misbehavior than other schools. Say what you will, but a good swat on the butt is good for a kid now and then, and government really shouldn’t be allowed to intervene.

    Besides, if CA outlaws spanking, that’s going to ruin a lot of people’s sex lives.

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