Today my son received his third write-up on the bus, for not sitting down while it was moving. This, in turn, led to a suspension of the bus for one day. Well, I know my son and I know that the behavior that I was told about over the phone sounded like him exactly. So, I regretfully accepted the punishment of taking a day off of work to drive him to and from school tomorrow. (Honestly though, I can use the homework time.)
I knew I was going to have to punish him, and I knew it was going to have to be severe. I understand that he did not commit the worst crime a six year old can, but if things are happening repeatedly I certainly need to nip them in the butt.
I decided to seek punishing advice from my parenting guru sister,Rachel, who is a mother of four. I called her up, like I do everyday so we can trade kid stories, and told her my predicament. I conveyed that I wanted to appear scary and tough to my son. I really think I never do. Rachel, however, scares me when she hollers at her children.
Take him to the edge of town, force him to get out of the car and tell him you are going to leave him there until he decides to be a good boy. She told me he would be begging for mercy as I pretended to drive away. (She actually did this with her kids one time-though PLEASE don’t call child protection services, she did not actually leave them there)
Well. Rachel lives in a small town where there actually is an edge to it. I live in a metropolitan area with four million people. So, I needed something different. And I told her that a no TV night would not work as I really needed to get some homework done and the TV is indeed a babysitter on nights like tonight.
Her next suggestion? Feed him supper right away and then straight to bed. She asked if I was up for it, being that he could pout for a good hour or two while in his room. Yes, I was up for it, but I still needed to scare him.
Finally we came to a mutual/evil plan. I googled “school bus crash” and found an image of a bus that had been mutilated. I decided to show it to Max when I brought him home and told him that the kids on that bus that were not sitting down in their seats did not survive.
Then there was still the issue of getting him to go to bed right after supper. I (JOKINGLY, ONCE AGAIN, DO NOT CALL CPS ON ME) suggested the unused bottle of vicodin that I was prescribed after a dentist visit a couple years ago and had been collecting dust on my shelf ever since. Rachel quickly protested, “NO DON’T! That’s just wasting it!” Man, my sister is classy.
Of course, the vicodin still sits on the top shelf of my cupboard, where it will remain until the pills disinigrate like they did on that weird freezing bodies movie from the 1990’s (Two points if you can remember the name) And I drove him nowhere, as I wanted to get home and kicking him out of the car in the middle of St. Paul would have been awful. I settled on showing him the picture, giving him an early supper and bath, and sending him straight to bed. He actually fell asleep at five pm and now it is nearly midnight, so he should be up in an hour or two.