Tuesday, February 08, 2005

*Cough, Cough*

All four of us have nagging coughs. It is pure torture. If you want to irritate someone into a murderous rage, cough all night. It makes for angry, hacking sex in the morning too.

"I'll give you something to cough about, bitch."

I'm trying to think of something interesting to write. I went out with two girlfriends Saturday night. It was pleasant, but mellow. Nothing exciting to note except that we got out of the house without our kids, and we all seem to make each other laugh. Oh, and one guy came up to us and asked to sit down. He was nervous as hell, possibly a little drunk and wearing a sweater vest. We put him on the spot immediately.

"Amuse us," one of us commanded.

"Tell us some pirate jokes."

"Do you like guys?" (Zelda the Wise)

The poor guy turned about 5 different colors and fondled his beer in a desperate sort of fashion. He was too shy to amuse us, he didn't know any pirate jokes, and he said, "Yeah, I like guys a lot. They're loads of fun."

He also had a great deal of trouble swearing. Every time he would try to say "fuck" or "fucking," he would glance around and lower his voice. Even then he mumbled it - "fckng" - no vowels. He was definitely awkward. I lost interest in him almost immediately.Unfortunately, he was the highlight of the evening as far as other people went. The real highlight was amusing conversation amongst the three of us.

New Topic:

Jethro and I just finished watching Super Nanny. It's the first time I've seen that show. I honestly have no idea how these parents let their kids get that out of hand. The one tonight was kind of sad, though. There were three kids in the family, one little boy about 6 or 7 and two extremely bratty 4 year old twin girls. The boy was a really sweet kid, but his mom was always yelling at him because the girls would do something bratty to him and he'd yell at them. The girls were nightmares. They would cry and scream if they didn't get their way, but they would also use insulting potty language to their parents and kick and bite and slap them. I was really shocked. If I had ever said "butt pie" to my parents, I shudder to think of the consequences. If I had slapped my mom across the face, I am very serious when I say that I would not be around blogging. If they hadn't killed me, I would at least be severely damaged.

As lax as Jethro and I are with our parenting, the girls have never struck us. Both girls bit me once each when they were breastfeeding and I slapped their little mouths as hard as I could. It wasn't out of anger though. Getting one's nipples chomped on when you're not expecting it can lead to temporary loss of even-temperedness. They never did it again, though. I remember reading some rubbishy parenting book and their tip was "try and work your finger between your nipple and their teeth, and stop breastfeeding them for awhile so they the "consequences." Fuck that. I dare anyone to smile and say "open up sweetie" when their nipple is being being severed by the sharp little incisors of an evil grinning infant.

But back to Super Nanny. I usually have no sympathy for the adults. I'm a fairly harsh judge of parents who spoil their kids. But this time, I couldn't help it. Their son was so good, so I knew they had it somewhere to raise their kids right. I guess the stress of twins just got to them and they lost control. Plus the girls were so so cute. But I can assure you that if my girls pulled even a fraction of the stuff they did, their tushies would be too red for the "naughty corner."

But everything the Super Nanny suggested seemed to work out pretty well, although not very swiftly. And the kids loved her including the bad little twins. The boy took her leaving especially hard. Anyway, it was a cute show, and I actually approve of it. I know some people think it's undignified to have someone come in and teach you how to raise your kids, but I think it's more undignified to have a four year old beat you up and call you a "butt pie."

I wonder why so many families have spoiled children. Zelda, the ever opinionated, has no clue. I mean, our parents did it and seemed to be at least mildly successful. Why are we having so much trouble? Is it that we are still immature and blame our parents for the mistakes they made, so we reject every parenting tool they gave us just to stick it to them? I don't know how many people cringe when they hear themselves say something their parents used to say to them. But was it really that bad? I'm not talking about abuse or alcoholism, just simple ways of instilling some respect in them. I mean Jethro and I work to feed and clothe and house them, I think they owe us a little respect and cooperation, and besides, how are you doing your kid any favors by letting them do and say whatever they want? If it's bad when they're four, think of what they'll be like when they can actually use real sentences. The horror. And I love them too much to let them make other people dislike them by bad behavior.

The only thing I can think of is that we are over analyzing the situation. I think a bunch of crackpot psychiatrists, no psychologists, decide that the market was ripe for capitalizing on the insecurities of new parents. People (usually bewildered fathers) always say that kids should come with instructions. They freakin' do. Just go to a Barnes and Noble and you will find every instruction you think you need. It's insane. But in relying on these impersonal books, we may suppress our natural parenting instincts which may be perfect for our individual kid.It's a complicated subject, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't read up on ideas for raising your kids, but I think we should come to a point where we start using the books as door stops. My moment came when the Eldest bit me for the first time. I just realized that they didn't know what they were talking about.Anyway, this is what the comments are for, so have at.


Trashman said...

1. Blame the liberals.
2. Bewildered fathers? I'm surprised at your male bashing.
3. When it comes to children, no matter what you do, it's the wrong thing to do. LOL
4. Blame the liberals.

Zelda said...

Tblue - You really shouldn't play favorites. I was the oldest and I got it way worse than my sisters. It really wasn't fair.

Anonymous said...

On : 2/8/2005 7:34:11 AM Fleece (www) said:

I caught an episode of that show too and thought the nanny was a great idea for these families -- even if it is for reality television. While I have no children, I would imagine that being one can make you feel so immersed (especially if you have unruly ones) that you can't see the forest for the trees!

(Did I use that saying correctly? ) Anyhow, I like that someone goes in (Nanny Jo) and observes and then identifies the few things that are the biggest and correctable issues -- which makes the problem less of a problem. And I can only imagine that from that point on, parenting becomes less of a "flying by the seat of your pants, with no seatbelt" mongo-humongous thrill ride and more of a manageable roller coaster with fewer twists and turns.

Ahh, metaphors. How I love thee. I digress now, and I suspect it's my right shoulder again. I slept wrong last night. Owie.


On : 2/8/2005 7:35:21 AM Fleece (www) said:

While I have no children, I would imagine that being one (A PARENT, not a kid) can make....



On : 2/8/2005 9:17:27 AM angi (www) said:

I had the same initial reaction as you, '"how in the world did those kids get so out of hand in the first place?" I have only seen bits and peices of the show, and Nanny seems to really know her stuff.

I think the problems came when the shrinks started telling parents to "reason" with their kids, not to bust their tails when they need it. I'm not talking about beating, I'm talking about smacking thier little tushy's and letting them no their behavior will not be tolerated.

My tushy stayed red, and I turned out ok. lol.

Oh, and the biting, OMG, I have had the blood brought more times than one, don't tell me to smile and gently get him to release. NO STINKING WAY that is happening with those little jaws are clamping down and blood is oozing from the wound.


On : 2/8/2005 10:26:48 AM Jen (www) said:

I have not seen the show yet, but I can only imagine. If you let your kids cross the line when they are 2 or 3 years old, then they are only going to push the line further and further each year. People want to know why their 7 yr old screams at them and gets whatever they want? Well, what did they do when their cute little adorable 2yr old threw fits in the grocery store or refused to clean up their toys? If you do not teach them who the boss is early on, you have no way to control the insanity later. I am pretty strict with little girl, and she knows I will send her to her room if she crosses the line. The second time, she does get a quick swat on the butt. Now that we have set those parameters set, it rarely ever escalates past the room stage. But for about 3 months (right after she turned 2), it was almost daily that we were setting the ground rules and having to enforce them. I am happy to report that she is a well-behaved little girl about 95% of the time now. She really only starts to cross the line when she is not in bed at a reasonable time.

Here is the key - she knows that when I tell her I am going to spank her butt, that I really well. I don't beat my child, I do not injure my child, but I will pop her rear to make her understand she has crossed the line with me. This is even more important when she is doing something that is dangerous to herself or others.


On : 2/8/2005 10:56:08 AM Gooch (www) said:

I can't even imagine the scenario in which it would have ever occurred to me to lay a finger on my parents.


On : 2/8/2005 11:02:56 AM Inanna (www) said:

Amen Gooch. When it comes down to parenting books you can read all you want but no child is a textbook and the only thing you can really get from them is ideas... and then you have to modify it for each child. Boundaries, reinforcement, consequences and love... oh please help me continue on this path so I'm never on the Nanny.


On : 2/8/2005 1:27:57 PM Jeanette (www) said:

I don't have kids but my girlfriends do. My girlfriend in TX was just herself with the kids. They are smart as a whip at 14 :& 13. They got their butts spanked, she was all manner of sarcastic with them but they always knew they were loved. Those kids have more maturity than any of their classmates. Plus they're damn funny and can hold their own in any argument.

BTW, they would never think of touching their momma. They know if they did they'd be flying across the room. :)


On : 2/8/2005 1:55:21 PM Trashman (www) said:

1. Blame the liberals.
2. Bewildered fathers? I'm surprised at your male bashing.
3. When it comes to children, no matter what you do, it's the wrong thing to do. LOL
4. Blame the liberals.


On : 2/8/2005 2:04:07 PM Fleece (www) said:

Just wanted to add -- when I was a kid and being naughty/misbehaving, I got warned, then I got spanked (if I continued to disobey). But after the punishment and a couple of buckets of tears in the comfort of my room, the punishing parent would come in and make sure I knew that they loved me and remembered the reason I had been punished in the first place.

And I never would have voluntarily hit my parents! I did, however, kick out my legs in sleepy protest in the mornings. Man, I was a brat in the wee hours. Now I'm too old and creaky to make that much of a fuss.


On : 2/8/2005 10:37:40 PM Zelda (www) said:

Fleece - Sorry about your shoulder. Get thee to a chiropracter. And I've always liked making up with the kid after the punishment. That way they know it isn't personal against them. And I'm still a brat in the wee hours.

Angi - yeah the biting sucks.

Jen - You're right. Consistent discipline is good.

Gooch - I know, right?

Inanna - I think you are a great parent. I know it would be very hard to raise a kid on your own, and I admire your efforts. Nate is a lucky little boy.

Jeanette - There is just something so wrong about a kid who smacks their parents. If I see it, my palm immediately starts itching to pop them one.

Trashman -
1. I do blame the liberals. Or at least the "progressives" who honestly think they're so much smarter.

2. - no male bashing intended. It's just something I hear more from new dads. New moms tend to not want to admit their confusion. I know I didn't.

3. Eventually, but I guess that's evolution.

4. I do.


On : 2/9/2005 10:38:22 AM Ciggy (www) said:

Any parents who would let a four year-old hit them and call them "butt pie", deserve any amount of humiliation a Super Nanny can give them, and then some.

I only had to spank my daughter once. That about did it from that time on, for respect. She was a great kid the whole rest of her childhood.


On : 2/9/2005 10:38:57 AM jp (www) said:

So,is everyone feeling better?


On : 2/11/2005 4:51:02 AM Danny (www) said:

I'll tell you why these kids are out of control, after watching one episode of this show, me and my friends all agreed that it's because they're all white. (no offense)

Look, if your parents are immigrants, or coloured in anyway, they beat their kids. Simple as that, you curse at your parents, you get fucking whacked by a shoe across the face.

You break a semi-expensive vase?! You're doing military-style wall sits with your hands outstreched in front of you for 1 hour, and if you fall down, you get beaten by a wooden spoon.

You kick the shit out of your brother? You AND your brother both get punished by holding onto your ears and kneeling in the most uncomfortable position for 2 hours. If that doesn't teach you to love your brother, I don't know what the fuck does. If your arms drop, beats. If you speak, beats. The most effective endurance/guilt punishment I've ever recieved. Man my parents were smart :p

Seriously, whenever I got out of line, the belt came out. When I did something stupid to myself, my parents would laugh at me, then mend my wounds. If you believe all that lovey-dovey crap and sending your kids to their rooms and taking away their tv does anything, then please, you're just a wishful thinker.

In conclusion, if we all beat our kids, the world would be a hell of a lot better.

Am I traumatized? No. Do I have scars? No. My parents knew when they lay the whooping and knew when to stop. In fact, I grew up faster when I got beat. By the time I was 10, I was flying straight in my house.

What I think the most important thing is, kids get taught they're freedom of speech before they can fully comprehend the concept. Insubordination, cursing, backtalk and all of that exists in a lot of homes, but that never really existed in my home, until I got to the age of 16, when I was all angsty and rebellious, and by then, I knew what to say and what not say and plus I was too old and big to get beaten anymore :p


On : 2/11/2005 12:35:40 PM Zelda (www) said:

Danny - It is not a race issue. It's one of tradition. Traditionally, it was not a problem to give your kids a pop when they were behaving unacceptably. My parents were both white and had no qualms at all about whacking us when we did something wrong. Many of my friends were raised the same way. But we have an intellectual class that insists that it is wrong to ever hit your children, forgetting traditions, ignoring the gravity of the drug situation, and removing any parental authority. It is maddening.