Monday, August 15, 2011

Tricks of the Trade: Parenting Like My Mom

I had to tell Monkey to stop jumping on the couch one too many times the other day. And when he did finally listen, he decided what I meant was to take the cushions off the couch, lay them on the floor and jump on them there instead.

So I raised my voice.

And then this kid had the nerve to say to me, “Mommy, you talk too youd!”

Of all the…

I promised myself when I was younger that I wouldn’t turn into my mother. And for the most part, I haven’t (yeah, right). But days like that day, when I couldn’t be my usual, patient self, I resorted to using an old parenting ‘trick’ my mom used on me when I was growing up: using an inanimate object to scare my child into action.

I used the vacuum, people.

My kid is scared of the vacuum. If I start that sucker and Monkey hasn’t gone to his safe place on the couch, he is in a fit of hysterics. I usually have to stop the vacuum, wait for him to get into place, then begin again. So, when Sonny Boy didn’t listen to me with the jumping, I exclaimed, “I’M GOING TO VACUUM NOW!” and marched over to the vacuum cleaner that is oh-so-conveniently placed in plain view of the family room.

You never saw a kid put away couch cushions so fast. Woah.

At that moment, the teenager in me realized that my mom might have done some things right.

... But don't tell her you heard that from me...

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