A Suitable Punishment for a Child

While triple-knotting my soon-to-be ten-year-old son's soccer cleats, he casually announced that he had an assembly skit at school tomorrow and needed to bring a stuffed bumble bee as a prop.

As with most weekdays, part of our clan was leaving for his game that started at 6 pm in a neighboring town.  The rest of the family was scheduled to be elsewhere during soccer, and then the little twins bedtime is 8 pm. 

In sum, no one really had time to scour the house or conduct intensive reconnoitering of local store shelves (focusing on retailers still open at 8:30 pm) for this elusive furry bee.

After several cell phone discussions and me searching our home from attic to crawl space, with the assistance of a destructive fun-loving 4-year-old boy, I was able to locate a bee prop to use.

The stuffed bug was smaller than he wanted, but it did the job.

Why do kids do this to us parents?  Is it for entertainment purposes only?

In any event, I was thinking about a suitable punishment for our forgetful kiddo. 

Perhaps:
(A) Make him hold-hands with his little sister and walk her to preschool this week--taking a route that passes his own school in sight of friends and classmates;

(B) Announce that the theme for his next birthday party is Dora the Explorer and show him the Dora and Boots invitations ready to be mailed;

(C) Wait several years and when he introduces a new girlfriend to his loving parents, we quickly cue select home videos showing him naked as an infant and eating cookies crumbs off the floor; or

(D) Serve lima beans as a side at dinner for the next two weeks and insist that he eat large portions.  We emphasize that this delicious vegetable contains antioxidants essential to preventing memory loss--hoping that he does not Google our contention and discover the truth.
So, what do you think?  Are any of these suitable punishments for unnecessarily stressing mom and dad out?

We are also open to suggestions that are not included in the list.
________________________

*Note: In reality, I had a discussion with older son about valuing mom and dad's time and how we need to know about school props and other life requirements well in advance.  We will see how my talk is received. 

51 comments:

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Giggle! Love your stories and can relate.

Punishment could be sending him on a timed scavenger hunt for something you want/need and he can't go anywhere or do anything else until he finds it!

LL said...

D. for sure.

carma said...

My son still does this. Last week it was about 10:30 pm and he "just remembered" he needed posterboard for school the next day. Luckily I had a piece in the storage closet.

Halloween is coming up - I'd say you could work that into Option E :D

Stephanie Faris said...

Hmmm... Option D) sounds pretty darn suitable!

ladyfi said...

Oh my - those 'punishments' are hilarious! You did more than I would.. at that late notice, a bee would not be forthcoming from this parent... ;-)

SuziCate said...

I find it ironic that we (parents) are the ones who must provide said object and are the very lst one to know, and the one left stumbling looking for it and feeling guilty if we can't find one!

Herding Cats said...

I'm all about punishment D. I kind of think I would do something similar to my own future children!

Hilary said...

Oh how I remember those days. Fondly, actually. But in answer to the question, I'd choose C. By then, there will be so much more for which you'll want your revenge. ;)

tha malcontent said...

I relate to this! My ten year old becomes the equivalent to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at times also..

Carry through with whatever you decide to do. It's in your Son's best interest to learn discipline NOW, while there is still time to turn him into a respectful, charming young man.
Good luck and let's hope that whatever you do woks out.

Emilee said...

I like C. You sound like you have your hands full.

Creepy Query Girl said...

I'm lucky in that my first grader's teacher writes things like that in a take-home notebook. I check it as soon as she gets home and sign so the teacher knows I got the message.

Diane said...

Kids have the best of intentions but often just can't remember in time. I think a scavenger hunt for any lost items you may have hiding around the house would be fun.... :O)

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

My vote is A! At least you have two willing helpers!!! Not sure that we have a stuffed bee at our house...good thing Emma and Shadow don't need props like that.

Suzanne said...

I love all of those, maybe you can work them all in, hehe.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunks:
ROFL...got some great "punishments" there...!
Love the comments!

You could always sign him up to the procrastinator's club, too.

Very good post.

Meadowlark said...

No punishment since there was no transgression. From his eyes, since the end result was favorable and there were no rules in place beforehand, this isn't an issue.

Now, I know of some mean parents (stop looking at me that way) who had a list of "basic rules" that hung on the wall next to the fridge. One of them said that 4) All necessary items for school projects must be brought up 3 days in advance. If a teacher gives less notice than that, a parent will "assist" the teacher in understanding the inappropriateness of their request. Assistance with short notice items are at sole discretion of parent, but failure to produce will not be grounds for whining.

I think their fear of me talking to their teacher was enough to keep them remembering ;)

Krista said...

I vote A, B and C, but not D. Food should never be a weapon! LOL!

Too funny though. I *may* have done this to my parents once or twice. They probably wanted to throttle me but they always came through for me!

LisaF said...

A: May backfire with the girls.
B: Has possibilities!
C: You'll probably do this anyway.
D: Only if everyone else in the family is prepared to choke them down as well (with a smile on your face of course).

Sorry to tell you, it's only going to get worse!

obladi oblada said...

Ugh..I hate when my kids let me in on something like that when its almost too late. Their school isnt much better. Sometimes they only give us a week notice on things that can take longer to prepare for.

I like the option of showing his future girlfriend videos. I have used that threat myself!

Matthew Rush said...

I don't blame the children. I blame the teachers. It is ridiculous sometimes the amount of time and money they expect us parents to put into some of the most inane projects they come up with to assign to our children.

However, those punishments all sound appropriate.

Mommy Lisa said...

I like Donna's idea - the best. The lima beans are good too.

Ugh. I am working on trying to get my four-year old to remember more of this stuff.

WomanHonorThyself said...

be firm dude!..heh and then lotta hugs after they listen~!

Elena said...

Don't be too hard on him...there's something to be said for proscratinaiton, at least according to my kids. Yesterday's blog post was about how they've determined that AP doesn't mean Advancement Placement but Advanced Proscratination. It's worked for them ;)

SoccerMom said...

In my honest opinion, they dont do it to be a pain in the ass, it is done because they believe in you.
They think you are so awesome that you can pull anything off, at any hour, at any cost.

You should take it as a compliment, of how awesome your kid thinks you are.

secret agent woman said...

All kids do these things. Foresight isn't their strong suit until their brains are fully developed. (Which, I'm sorry to tell you, isn't until their early 20's.) I've done last-minute costume design, too. I think you just sign on for it when you become a parent.

suz said...

All good punishments, but they probably won't change much of anything. My suggestion is to ask about upcoming projects every Monday evening. (And e-mail the teacher for back-up) It may help him get into the habit of planning for the rest of the week. The good news for you is that lots of kids that age can't afford to have their heads in the clouds, because they can't take their parents for granted. Yours can. They are the lucky ones.

brittac said...

Oh i feel your son - i still lose everything ALWAYS. I have even named the disorder, and one day western medicine will give me the credit for coining the term LEA syndrom - lose everything always.

Anyway I am voting for the girl friend punishment.

J. J. in Phila said...

Little sister. He will think it is a waste of time and understand.

jodeeluna said...

I wish I could tell you that it will stop when your son gets older but I'm afraid it probably won't.

While helping my 26 year old son pack before he left to work and travel around the world for nine months, he announced, "Oh ya Mom, I forgot to register my car. Could you please do that for me? And one more thing, it needs a smog check."

Like you, I gave in.

lbeeeze said...

LOLOLOLOLOL....I'm voting for Dora!!

notesfromrumbleycottage said...

I hope after the discussion you and the missus had copious amounts of chocolate to consume. Research shows nothing works better to relieve stress than chocolate. However it must be high in fat and low in nutritional value (none of that dark chocolate.)

benzbaby said...

I kinda like B & C!

Those are priceless!

I can just see his face when the vid starts playin'!

I think he might run away from home over that Dora theme...

slowvelder said...

Oh dear - one of my great bug-bears as well. At 17 my daughter still does this! Now I just make her solve the problem - or go without. I have given up stressing about these things(kinda).

Just love you funny posts!

Anonymous said...

Superb study, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he really bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

Vodka and Ground Beef said...

Go with the DORA party for sure. That'll teach him.

Elana Johnson said...

Absolutely!! I especially liked B.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

Slam, have you ever seen the movie Best in Show? In it, there is a hilarious search for a stuffed bumble bee. You might find it especially entertaining after your recent experience.

James (SeattleDad) said...

I'd go with D. Poor kid.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

ROFL. Love the punishments. The Dora Explorer definitely wouldn't go down well with my 8 yo.

I'll have to keep that one in mind. :D

Melanie said...

Dora Explorer wins my vote!

BTW, thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog.

AB HOME Interiors said...

Hahaa. I love it. Don't know if you watch the Middle, but Brick, the main characters son always waits till the night before to divulge that he needs a civil war costume, special book, or that rare one-of-a-kind item that can only be found with time, to parents that are beyond exhausted and worn out from parenthood.
very funny
xo
amanda

Brian Miller said...

haha...love it...and i go C as well!

Lourie said...

Oh why DO they do that!? I like punishment C. There is always the mother's curse. It works great.

He & Me + 3 said...

my kids do that to me all the time. Never a dull moment...or a moment to rest. :)

Diana said...

I had many moments like these when my boys were your son's age.

Now they are getting it from their own kids/stepkids.

LOL!

imbeingheldhostage said...

I'm sorry, I'm giggling here-- you had "the discussion". Kids don't listen to discussions ;-) All of my kids do this regularly despite my rants, I meant gentle counseling of respecting my hectic schedule.
Whichever punishment you pick, if it works, will you please post it again?

Kristin said...

Lima beans would not work on my lil' dude. He ASKED for them for dinner the other night. Ah ha ha

Momma Fargo said...

LMAO. I think lima beans is the worst punishment. Poor guy.

Entre Nous said...

My kids are still trying to kill me, and they are grown...

I say an ice cream cone for the kid, laughing re-starts the heart yah know, and you'll need these stories later to keep the ticker going.... :}

Candice said...

I vote Dora. That way you have the pictures and memories to laugh about for years!

kathryn said...

Oh, pulease. Son needs a taste of his own medicine!

Wait till he's about to:
- watch his favorite program...or
- play a favorite video/computer game
and innocently announce that you've just remembered that the tv/computer/game system can't be used again until you attach a red rubber band that's black on the inside to the left cable. Tell him it's a new FCC regulation or something. When he finds the rubber band and finishes using the markers, you can ask him how it feels.

Too mean?