Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, January 15, 2003 4:35 pm

The lord of discipline

Filed under: Why, yes, I AM a bad parent. Why do you ask? — Lex @ 4:35 pm

Sweetie, let’s talk.

OK.

Now, Hooper put his finger in your mouth, right?

Yeah.

And then you bit him, right?

(…)

Sweetie?

Yeah.

You bit him, right?

Yeah. But it was an accident!

No, it wasn’t an accident, was it?

No.

So you not only bit your brother, you also lied to Daddy and Memie, didn’t you?

Yes.

OK. Now let’s think about this. Let’s rewind. When Hooper put his finger into your mouth, what could you have done differently?

I don’t know.

Could you have moved his finger out of your mouth?

Yeah …

Could you have asked him not to put his finger in your mouth?

Yeah …

Is there anything else you could’ve done?

(shrug)

OK, so the next time he sticks his finger in your mouth, you have two choices. What are they?

I can move his finger.

Yes.

Or I can tell him not to put his finger in my mouth.

Yes. Or you can do both.

Yes.

Now, do you understand what you did wrong?

I shouldn’t have bited him.

That’s right. You hurt him. But you know what’s even worse, sweetie? You scared him. You’re one of the three people he loves more than anyone else in the world. He adores you. And you hurt him on purpose. Can you imagine how scared he must’ve been? That’s why he was crying for so long — it wasn’t just because of the bite. It probably never occurred to him before that one of us could hurt him on purpose. How do you think he felt?

( … lower lip trembles … )

So, sweetie, promise you’ll never do that again?

I promise.

Shake on it?

OK.

Now, you also lied to Daddy, didn’t you?

Yes.

Sweetie, lying is very bad. If you lie, that means we can’t trust you.

So?

Well, let me tell you a story about what happens when you don’t tell the truth. (Daddy embarks on the story of the boy who cried wolf, but as he approaches the end of the tale he realizes that saying the wolf ate the boy up might induce nightmares, and so he concludes … )
… and the wolf really was there, but everybody figured he was lying again so no one came to help him.

Did the wolf bite him?

Uh, yeah.

Did he die?

(In for a penny, in for a pound.) Yep. The wolf ate him right up and he died.

Was that real or just pretend?

(Sigh. Busted.) Just pretend. But, sweetie, you see my point. If you don’t tell the truth, people won’t believe you. OK?

OK.

So. What do you think should happen because you told a lie?

Lose TV for … um, nine days.

OK.

No, seven days.

Uh, no, nine it is.

DADDY!

OK, seven.

Thank you, Daddy.

You’re welcome, sweetie.

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