The Spank of Love

I’ve been doing some reading of other ‘mommy blogs’ on the internet and I realize I am dangerously unqualified to be a mother. I should have looked into this 7 years ago. What the hell is wrong with me? This is so like me, biting off more than I can chew, and struggling at it the whole time.

Why am I saying this? Let me fill you in on the areas I lack according to what I’ve been reading:

I don’t like the word poop. And I don’t like discussing it. We have 2 dogs and 3 cats. I also have a son that took forever to potty train. I wasn’t too worried about it as I thought he probably wouldn’t being graduating high school with a loaded diaper. I just assumed there would be a girl he was interested in who would tell him she couldn’t go out with him until he stopped shitting his pants. He did get used to the toilet, yet the little twerp refused to wipe his own butt because he “didn’t want to get germs on his hands.” I kid you not. So, while I am averse to feces on the whole, in the past 10 years, I have been forced into the role of amateur scatologist. Not particularly entertaining, save one time the dog and child ate a bunch of Crayons, but that lost its allure after, oh, 3 seconds.

Basic safety information here went something like ‘don’t run with scissors’. I believe that childhood is meant to be filled with bumps, bruises and scrapes. It’s the time in your life when you learn that if you do something stupid it’ll probably hurt afterward. (Sadly, stupid never hurts before you are about to do something stupid. It should. Wouldn’t that be helpful?) Now, since he could talk, I’ve had the Why child. Why, why, why, why,why,why… And he’s not one of those kids that will accept “Just because” or “Because I damn well said so”. He would give us this look like “You expect me to believe that? You guys are assholes.” So as his mother, I racked my brain on how to get this kid to pay attention to what I was telling him. I couldn’t wrap him in bubble wrap and he refused to wear the helmet I bought for him so I decided I’d get him where guys fear most. I started telling him that if he did certain things his penis would fall off. It actually worked for a couple of years until around age 4, he looked me dead in the eye and in a manly, serious tone said “You’re lying. My penis will never fall off. Now quit saying that!”. I changed tactics after that. The new rule of thumb regarding safety is you get one brain, two eyes and one penis. Wreck those and there is nothing you can do. I think he’s listened. ( And yeah, I keep throwing in the penis thing. I’m hoping it’ll make him keep it in his pants until, oh let’s say thirty. I know I am bullshitting myself. But let me hope,okay?)

I love him but I don’t find everything he does darling or precious. He’s human. He makes mistakes and steps out of line. Discipline is required. We have tried most everything the parenting manuals say. Time outs, consequences. What have you. Much of it to no avail. I don’t believe in beating kids and I think spanking doesn’t work. But we did come up with something. Oft times, this kid will push my buttons til I’m about ready to rampage. My mother said something one day that made much sense. “He needs to know you love him. Then he’ll behave.” I came up with the ‘Spank of Love’. In the midst of a yell fest, I will bellow “DO YOU NEED TO KNOW I LOVE YOU?” to which he will he will sweetly reply, at the top of his lungs”YES! I DO!” “OKAY!!!! SPANK OF LOVE IT IS!!!” We then proceed to fly shrieking around the house ‘spanking’ each other, him as hard as he can (I deserve it) and me, well, I pull my punches. It seem to defuse the situation and then we can talk. Weird, yeah, but whatever works. I hope child welfare never shows up during one of these sessions.

So, yeah. I guess according to some mommies I’m doing everything wrong. But I’ll tell you something. He is smart. Polite. Can talk to adults. Caring with his friends. Good to animals. Loves his family. Believes that trees can talk to him and refers to earth as “the mother” and thinks you are a shithead if you don’t recycle. And he is funny as hell. You’d like him.

I may be doing this parenting thing differently but he’s turning out well. And I don’t think he’ll get your daughter pregnant before marriage. Because I’ve warned him, well, you know.

10 thoughts on “The Spank of Love

  1. Whatever works, my friend! Sounds like you’re doing a brilliant job. He’s a lucky kid. I’m a generation ahead of you, but been exactly where you are. One lovely boy (and one long suffering sister) with a stubborn, stubborn streak who was born believing we were in an eternal struggle of wills. That lovely boy is about to become a father himself (married, employed, old enough – no need for anything to fall off). Can’t wait to see if his child will sleep on the floor for EIGHT YEARS rather than make his bed. You pick your battles. I know we turned heads in the market or wherever our little confabs occurred, but he’s a wonderful man and I haven’t been jailed. By the way, car keys are an AMAZING incentive when the day comes. And I love your blog.

  2. Why thank you! I am sure the car key thing will work, as right now we live in the country and he may a have a pretty limited social life if not. and congrats on the new one coming up. Your time to enjoy, and snigger behind your hand. Because you know whats coming-payback!

  3. The Spank of Love seems a very interesting technique indeed. I may file that one away for use with Little Danger, it seems much safer than duct tape and a ceiling fan.

  4. the mommy blog territory is a treacherous one to traverse. I might be more popular if I were more smiles and sprinkles. Meh–whatevs. Hey, I did a post on poop, and I hate poop, but the basic idea is that motherhood has forced me to be obsessed with it, and that just blows.

    Love that your guy is INTO recycling.

Go on. Talk to Mama Duck.

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