The top of my refrigerator: where we keep our cereal, bulk food/paper towel storage, and a penal colony for the toys of misbehaving children. Do you have a place like that at your house? Please tell me I’m not alone.
Let’s face it. Little kids can be difficult to reach sometimes. All the gentle, firm lip service only does so much. Time outs can often feel like a time for quiet meditation, or more likely a strategy session for the next wave of jackassery. Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, such as the sight of a favorite toy looking forlornly at you from atop the fridge.
I give warnings. Do I ever! At the onset of pretty much any activity, I caution my darling children that there shall be “no _______ drama.” I don’t want crayon drama, or cup colors drama, or popsicle drama. I don’t want kinetic sand drama, play-doh drama, bubble drama. But do y’all want to know something? Almost invariably they give me drama. I don’t understand this. I even make them repeat after me: “mom doesn’t want any ______ drama.” It’s no use.
I’m generally not for corporal punishment. Like at all. So when that’s not typically part of your arsenal and all the usual stuff you’re supposed to do as a disciplinarian falls short, what’s left?
For me, it’s absurd threats. I don’t even mean for that to happen, but this weekend alone I’ve threatened to pop every balloon in the whole world and break all the crayons in the house. No. Not my finest parenting moments to be sure. I think that sometimes subconsciously I say that stuff to make sure anyone at all is listening. Maybe I’m forgetting to say shit out loud? Maybe I’ve gotten so good at fussing about people under my breath that I’ve adopted that method of speech? But most of the time the little creeps don’t hear me. So top of the fridge it is. Until I can come up with some other method of mom-intimidation.