Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dose of Reality

"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.  Does he speak and then not act?  Does he promise and not fulfill?"  Numbers 23:19

Today I delivered a dose of reality to my children. I’m usually one to threaten spankings, or taking away money, or toys, or whatever, but here lately I’m losing my edge. As the summer wears on, my usual tactics lose their immediate luster.

About a month or so ago, I started telling them, “Do you want me to write it down?”

I’d started a Good List and a Bad List. I told them that whichever one outweighed the other at the end of the day would determine whether or not they got their money, or playing video games, or whatever else it was that they immediately wanted. It had a weird effect. Seeing their transgressions in black and white became a deterrent in and of itself. It worked for a few weeks.

So today, I was forced to change tactics.

After a particularly embarrassing trip to the Post Office, where we set off the doorbell thingy with the electronic eye 999 times and I banished them to the outside of the building where they claimed they were dying from the heat and came back in the building twice, all in a five minute period, I decided to make them a promise that I could keep.

I sat them on their beds and delivered their most horrifying sentence thus far in their young lives.

I told them that if they continued to misbehave and embarrass me in public that I, their one and only mother, would embarrass them in Junior High.

I told them I would tell them “I love you” in front of all their friends.

I told them I would walk with them hand-in-hand to their first day of classes.

I told them that when they take a girl on their first date that I will go with them.

I told them I will kiss their faces in front of the whole school.

Both of their sets of eyeballs nearly fell out of their heads and they sat there half-believing me with mouths agape. The prospects are already horrifying and we aren’t even close to Junior High!

Truth be known, I will probably do much more than just these things to embarrass them during adolescence, both knowingly and unknowingly. But for now, I have laid the foundation. Now whenever they find me particularly embarrassing at any time in the future, I can pull out an “I told you so!”

Heh heh heh.


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