Wednesday, November 17, 2004

If You Were Me

Say there’s this kid who lives with you.

Say he’s cute and clever and really good at t-ball but not so good about acting rationally when you tell him he can’t have candy for breakfast and he can’t play with his penis in front of company and he can’t bash his little sister in the head with his Rescue Heroes action figures.

And say when you try to establish these boundaries with him he falls to the ground like a rag doll, starts to cry hysterically and won’t stop even if you pretend to have your finger stuck in your nose, then his nose, then your nose AND his nose, and then the dog’s.

And say he won’t stop crying until you offer him a piece of Halloween candy – the very candy that he wants for breakfast and can’t have.

And say you don’t want to bribe him out of hysterics with candy anymore because it’s bad for his teeth and it’s bad for his belly and it’s bad for you when you want him to go to bed before Letterman comes on.

So say you decide that the next time he has one of his freakouts you’re just going to let him cry because all of the experts say you shouldn’t acknowledge that kind of behavior, you shouldn’t reward insubordination and you shouldn’t encourage him to do it again because he will and you’ll eventually run out of Halloween candy and then you’ll be totally fucked.

So say you tell the child that the street lights have come on and it’s time to come inside, he cries and cries and cries and begins to melt down and you decide this is the one, this is the time you’re going to take a stand and not give in to his bullshit, which is all well and good and nice until the fit starts to drag into its third fucking hour and you really want him to shut his piehole so you can watch the Laker game in peace.

Then what? What do you do?

Do you give in and give the boy his Almond Joy and congratulate him for his persistence?

Or do you say screw the Lakers because your son has a gift and you want to see if he can break the world record with a six-hour temper tantrum, which would most likely get his pictures in all of the papers and put you in the slammer for child neglect which would be fine because you’d have a kid in the Guinness Book of World Records and spending a few weeks sharing a 12 x 6 cell with Willie the Drunk Midget Flasher is a small price to pay to have a kid who’s good – I mean really fucking John Coltrane awesome – at something he loves to do, which is freak out?

Or do you just grab your car keys and peel the Honda CRV out of the driveway and go to see a movie by yourself because you just can’t stand the sound of the kid wailing anymore and even the tastes of torched popcorn and flat Sprite are better than listening to that dude for one more second and you hope he’s done when you get home so you don’t have to sell him to the scrap yard for parts?

Yeah, that’s what I did, too.


At 8:08 PM, Blogger honestyrain said...

if i had millions of dollars i would give some of them to you by way of appreciation for how well you write. that is what i would do.

At 8:35 PM, Blogger Lexagirl said...

*sigh - I SO hear you. I find that lime margaritas help. *ahem - I mean being consistent and timely in executing the appropriate punishment to correct the behavior helps.

At 12:44 AM, Blogger Kelly Hanson said...

Mine are teenagers. The temper tantrums don't get any better. I find after an entire bottle of wine, they are much easier to deal with. When you escaped to the movies, did you leave screaming beast with Hot Wife?

At 9:27 AM, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

A really solid door to his bedroom, and just pick him up, throw him on the bed, close door and say 'come out when you are done'. But, as above, teenagers are much more difficult to handle. First, they squirm too much to pick up, and second they usually come out immediately still screaming.
But thanks for the writing.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Lala said...

Have you introduced him to the joys of white wine spritzers? A little bubble, a little burp and it's all over.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger bethany said...

What movie did you see? Was it any good?

When he throws tantrums take his shit away and keep taking it away until he has no more shit to take away and then tell him when he can behave properly he will get some shit back.

It totally worked on my mom.

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait. I'm confused.

Is Willie a Drunk Midget that likes to Flash or does Willie like to Flash Drunk Midgets?

At 10:50 AM, Blogger HDawg said...

Danny if you don't try to get this published i'm gonna scream! i mean it! wwaaaaahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did it work?? :)

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Shiz said...

You have my empathy on the tantrum kid. Does it work to punish him for throwing a tantrum? Then he might think twice next time? Or are you laughing your head off at me right now?


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