Spare the rod and spoil the child? I think the Bible should've stated the density of the rod - like is it iron or a Nerf rod? I'm not promoting child abuse here, but I noticed that action most definitely speaks louder than words. Like singing Stop, Look and Listen to the tune of "Shave and a Haircut" works better than screaming QUIET!!
When it comes to establishing order and instilling discipline, I'm no Joan Crawford. But I ain't no June Cleaver, neither! Now, don't get all hysterical - I don't "beat" on my boys. At least not senseless, anyway. I kid, I kid.
I do, however, smack the back of their hand when they excessively grab, pull or destroy and steal (oh yeah, both boys have "helped" themselves to candy on the store shelf once...whole other story).
I have whacked them upside the head when they fooled around on the edge of the subway platform.
And the other morning, the four-year old received a spank on his cheek when he thrust his finger in my face and screamed, "I am NOT listening to you because I. AM. NOT. YOUR. MOMMY. ANY...MORE!"
Well, initially I laughed - the slap came after he spat at me.
They can call me a "cocky-poo-poo" all they want but I won't tolerate being spat at.
Sometimes I wish I could be as ruthless as Eddie Murphy's mother - you know, the one who would whack her kids with a shoe from across the room? Growing up, I knew kids with parents like that. Of course, they didn't have the precision to accurately hit their kids with a shoe, so they'd use something bigger like a dustpan or an alarm clock - whatever was handy with the possibility of being aerodynamic including the cat.
Having visited many a violent households, I can honestly say - it was quite entertaining. If anything, it taught me the art of not over-staying a welcome and at the same time not leaving too early that I missed all the action. I'm not justifying being the dispassionate bystander but it was the times - it was the norm.
As removed as parenting was when I was a kid, it's almost overprotective now. I just can't get into this over-sanitizing craze. If Cholera or Ebola were going around, then I could possibly get into the habit of squirting sanitizer gel all over my kids every ten minutes. But the truth is, I simply forget.
It's not like I've had my hands up a cow's tushie all day - why would I think to sanitize them? I had never even heard of the custom of washing hands before dinner until I was twenty-four and my roommate from Georgia insisted I had clean hands before dining on instant ramen noodles.
Eating re-hydrated noodles packed with sodium in a styrofoam cup isn't going to kill me - it's those germs!
One thing that works in making me appear like a caring mother is that I've climbed on the "organic" milk bandwagon. At first, I resisted buying "organic" anything because I'm a skeptic. How do I know this stuff - which costs almost twice the amount of non-organic stuff - is really organic? And if it is better and healthier for you like they say, then why isn't all food produced that way?
I tried to boycott the organic market for as long as I could because I think it's discriminatory. Perhaps I could tweak my family's budget to purchase only organic products but can everybody? I purchased our organic milk at the local grocery and the cashier, who is a working mom with three boys - one who has asthma - commented that she couldn't afford to buy it regularly for her kids. Really, why does the average family have to eat Soylent Green?
Anyhow, I bought into the organic milk. The reason was, it didn't seem right that I should consume premium beer while my kids drank milk devoid of nutrition. I do realize my motive is questionable but at least the boys have milk. As a kid, I once contemplated eating breakfast cereal with water because milk was a commodity in our household.
Compared to my childhood, my two boys have nothing to complain about...but they do and it really irks me. Why can't they appreciate what they have whether it's chocolate Cheerios or some piece of crap from the 99 Cent shop? Do I have to copy Princess Di and cart the boys off to some Third World country for summer camp? It's cheap and maybe they'll learn something, like how to weave a basket.
Or how about boot camp in Israel - never mind Nerf rods or wire hangers, those guys practice with live ammo!
Some parents may think I'm over thinking this. I know my boys are good but they're still little. Judging from their daddy - let's just say I know there's plenty of time for behavior to go awry. So, I will use the rod - sparingly - and certainly not literally. All to avoid my boys growing up to be like Charlie Sheen.