Okay, it was funny when my nine-year-old nicknamed her dad “Baldilocks.” I don’t care who you are, that’s comedy gold. It was only slightly less funny when she kept telling her older sister to shave her underarms because “You got peach pits.” Well, she did need to shave and the truth hurts. My youngest has learned the fine art of the well-timed jab and she uses it constantly, mostly to my delight.
But then she started calling me a geek because I had to start wearing my glasses again. Not so funny. Yes, I totally see the double standard here and I fully admit that the other stuff was funny because it wasn’t dragging me down in flames with it. But I don’t care. Something must be done about this.
All the parenting books have advice for how to handle these discipline situations with love and compassion. Fortunately, I never read any parenting books, as you can tell by the fact that school picture day sneaks up on me every year and my children are immortalized in the yearbook wearing stretched out faded T-shirts from Joe’s Crab Shack.
I’m of the mommy school of thought that says if your child is a biter, there’s a sure fire way to make sure he never bites anyone else ever again. No, biting him back one time without actually breaking the skin is for sissies. I would remove his teeth. Don’t be a monster, start with a tooth that’s already loose and then tell him that’s the first one to go. If he ever bites again, the rest are coming out next. He’ll quit that shit right away, mostly because he now thinks you’re unstable. Oh c’mon, it was already loose.
But even I, vicious tiger lady that I am, can’t bring myself to call my autistic child names to teach her that name calling is wrong, even funny ones and even if it’s just to teach her a lesson about pointing out other people’s uncontrollable flaws. So I took the high ground. I stopped feeding her.
Oh c’mon, that was a joke too! (Like I would ever actually rip teeth out of a child’s head. Sheesh.)
No, I stopped wearing my glasses and pointedly told her I didn’t want to look like a geek. That made her laugh. She even said, “Now you’re not a geek because you have no glasses.” Good. The plan is unfolding, my dear.
Then she had broccoli for breakfast. Things got ugly. Vegetables were thrown. And the whole time that she was crying I kept explaining, “No, that’s not broccoli. That’s cereal. I’m looking at it.” She was mad. But I would squint my eyes and wrinkle up my nose as I got really close, trying hard with my deranged underground mole eyes to see her breakfast plate.
“I’m sure it’s cereal. I don’t know why you’re mad. I’m looking at it and it looks like cereal.” Giggle.
“Mommy has to wear her glasses! I can’t eat broccoli!”
“Is it broccoli? Really? No, I’m sure it’s cereal.”
“NOOOO! It’s broccoli! Mommy has to have her glasses!”
“Mommy can’t wear her glasses, she would look like a geek.”
“Mommy isn’t a geek! I need cereal!”
Lesson learned and no teeth were harmed in the writing of this blog post.