Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Holding Out and Pickin' Switches

SkippyJon Jones
 we heart SkippyJon at our house

  • Isaiah had a "good listening" day. Yaaay!
  • Zachary had a "not-so-good listening" day. Booo!
  • Isaiah earned a special treat today for staying on task and getting a good report.
  • Zachary lost privileges like: "playing on your i-Patch" or "watching 'lectric company."
  • They live in the same house.
 (child using an i-Patch: quite the coveted pre-school activity these days)

  • The exact opposite of that took place.
  • Privileges for Zachary, loss of privileges for Isaiah.
  • Ugggh
  • My dad, who put the "old" in "old school", is reading this saying, "I got yo' LOSS of PRIVILEGES ALRIGHT!" 
  • (If you are interpreting this to mean that Pa Pa believes in a good ol' fashioned "butt-whoopin'" you are 100% accurate in that assumption.)
  • Dad and I recently concluded that "butt-whoopins" are only effective when one fully commits to the activity. (Canoodling or falling onto the floor giggling and playing tickle-torture mid-spanking do not count. Nor is this approach recommended.)
  • I do not commit well to the aforementioned because of the canoodling/tickle-torture reason, so must resort to other forms of punishment.
  • This just in: Pa Pa now has eyebrows raised and is saying, "Since when does a KID get any privileges? Yo' privilege is to do what I say." (Love that my kids have an old school granddad.)

Questions (to which I do welcome answers):
  • How do you allow a five-year old to have fun in the same house/room/space as a 3-year-and-363-day old who is supposed to have lost privileges?
  • Why does it feel like I'm being punished when I have to restrict either of them from the kinds of fun activities that give me two minutes to breathe? Uggghh.
What ended up happening:
  • Nobody watched any TV either night. (Too hard to allow one and not the other.)
  • Nobody played on the i-Patch. (They had run the battery down anyway.)
  • I needed to figure out a consequence.
  • Ah hah! I pulled out the heavy artillery:
    • "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein. Yeah baby. Zachy went to bed while we read poems of Isaiah's choice. OMG. Mayhem, I tell you.
    • The night before: Isaiah had to go to bed and missed out on Zachary and I reading two "SkippyJon Jones" books.  Two.
  • Okay. I'm slightly ashamed that I have resorted to holding out on books as a punishment. But.
  • I do think (if she just allowed me the chance to explain it) that Oprah would be proud, that I have created such book lovers that witholding books could invoke ear-piercing shrieks heard all over the bible belt. (Even worse than pulling a switch off of the tree in your grandmama's backyard. If you know nothing about "pickin' switches" then you are likely a.) not from the south b.) not black,  c.) not related to anyone who is a. or b., or c.) all of the above.)
  • FYI for city-dwellers: Growing up with urban parents who know how to remove a belt in one fell swoop is equivalent to "pickin' switches."
  • If you were unlucky, you had grandparents who had you "pick a switch" and parents who could do the Zorro belt removal. (No problems committing to either back in the day, it seems.)
  • That said, I've decided that book withholding, when fully committed to, can be a solid consequence for naughty behavior. Solid.*
  • *But only if your kids dig books.

Yes. This is what I go through when I leave Grady Hospital.

Oh. And if you don't have any SkippyJon Jones books in your house and you have a child under the age of 5. You need to be on Amazon. Now. Because SkippyJon Jones = good times.

And if you don't have any Shel Silverstein books in your house then. . . .well. . . I. . uhh. . .wait.  I refuse to finish that statement. Surely you have Shel Silverstein in your house. Surely.

 from Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends."
(Dude, read this to your kids and everyone wins, man.)

1 comment:

  1. Just spent the weekend with my god-daughters... 6, 4 and 2 years old and all I have to say is good Lord in heaven it is so painful to discipline one and not the other sometimes... but I'll bet the bedtime story would be a hook-line-sinker to set them straight. Those are coveted in that house!

    And Shel Silverstein is the best!


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