“That’s it! You’re not going to your sleepover at your friend’s house tonight!”
It’s those few, short, simple words that have a tendency to come flying out of my mouth before registering in my brain. Because, if it had registered, I would have quickly thought to myself “Take away his Legos, but for shit-sake man don’t cock-block yourself by pissing away a night alone with no kids!”
But when your little bastards push your buttons all day, your anger boils over, drowning your common sense leaving you incapable of making anything even closely resembling a good decision.
You stand there red-faced with heart palpitations as you scramble for a punishment that’ll reach deep into the soul of your kid. And that’s when it happens. You sternly command some of the dumbest shit you could ever come up with.
“No TV for a week!!”
“You’re spending the afternoon watching The Sound of Music in Spanish…in slowmotion…twice!”
“You’re making dinner tonight for everyone!!”
“You’re in your room for the entire weekend!”
And the worst part about it, you have to stay true to one of the top 10 parenting rules of all time:
“Follow through with your punishments.”
It only takes 0.008th of a second before you realize the hell you just created for yourself.
You now have to entertain the kid who just lost TV privileges while every ten minutes hearing him say, “daddy!!! I’m booooooored.”
You now have to listen to the Sound of Music in Spanish…in slow motion…TWICE!!. You have to supervise his cluster-fuck of an effort at making dinner, or be stuck at the house for the entire weekend with nothing to do because your son was too much of an asshole to stop kicking his sister’s blanket with his shoe that has dog crap on it.
The worst is when you have to watch your loving spouse fall victim to the punishment trap.
It’s like a slow motion train wreck as she slowly mouths the angry words, “ffffiiiiiinnnneeee….nnnooo…..slleeeepppp oooovvveeerrr fooooorrrrr….yyyyyooooouuuuuu!!!”
Meanwhile you’re pointing a laser pointer at the wall near your kid’s head hoping he’ll catch a glimpse of this wonderful distraction outside his peripherals and begin rabidly chasing it while you tackle the wife preventing what clearly would have been the second biggest mistake of her life.
“What the hell are you thinking woman?!! Just make him hug his sister and let’s call it even!”
It takes a real friend to tell you when you’re screwing up.
This is precisely why the wife and I have a game plan. We try to gang-punish.
We both walk over to the situation so when one of us screams, “that’s it! You’re painting the living room for the rest of the day!!”…the other one can chime in and say, “is what we’re going to punish you with if you do that to your sister one more time!!”
Which works most times…except when you’re both pissed beyond your limits. Then it backfires big-time.
That’s when I yell, “I’ve had it! No sleep over for you tonight!”
And the wife yells, “Or ever again!! You’re never having a sleep over ever! For the rest of your life!!
And then we all cry.