Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A new family

UPDATE 10/24: Here is a paragraph with a whole bunch of "ifs". If you clicked over to this post looking for the controversial comments from a unsolicited social-worker and my fiery sister, you aren't going to find it here. Seeing as this isn't a parenting blog, I deleted them. This may be a public blog, but it is still my blog and I can decide what I want put on it. If you are looking for my sister Megan's post on this and you are one of my regular readers, you know where to find her. Her's is a blog specializing in controversy so go read up about this over there. If you are here from some random parenting message board, I hope you like to cook because this is a food blog. If you are here to put in your two cents, don't worry about it. Comments are closed. And if I get any e-mails regarding this post, me poking my eyes out of my head will be your fault.

Whilst I was away on my weekend getaway sans children and spouse, I got a phone call from Ethan. He sounded frantic.

"We have some parenting to do right now. Jack was smothering Van on the couch and so we are now in the car on our way to the police station so he can get a new family because he obviously doesn't want to be in ours. I even packed his bags." (He really did. Full effect is important.)

(Wailing of the Jack brand is commencing in the background)

Ethan explained to me all of Jack's sins. They were pretty bad. And did merit a big scare that only Ethan and I can concoct. And Ethan didn't disappoint.

I asked Ethan if I could talk to Jack. Jack was put on the phone and we chatted. We talked about what it means to be a big brother and what is acceptable and what's not.

"Do you want to be in our family? Do you need a new one? Because if you can't be nice to our family, you will have to go to jail until the police can find you a new one. You will be in jail and you will miss out on Primary (church), preschool and Halloween. So you need to decide if you want to be kind and be in our family."

(Wailing) "I do! I do! I am sorry!! I love my brother!"

And then comes the part where I get nice.

"Jack, we love you and we think you are fun and smart. We like having you in our family. I need you to try harder to be nicer to your brother. He is a baby and you are a big boy. Please try harder because I want you to be in our family forever."

"Okay Mom, I will be nice. I love you."

And it seemed to do the trick. Ethan said he was a sweet, kind little boy from then on. The question is, how long will it last? And at what point will I need to actually convince a cop to play along? And at what point will I get an e-mail from some enraged reader telling me that Ethan and I are crappy parents? Hey, sometimes you need some comedy when it comes to parenting, even if it is at your child's expense.

28 comments:

Jelli Bean said...

This is hilarious! You and your husband are quite clever. Remember this story to embarrass Jack when he's a teenager. He'll love it. hahah.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

Did I ever tell you the story about L and getting a new family? She actually wanted me to call them so they could come and get her. She made up her mind to go--even though (through tears) she told me she would really miss me. But first she asked if they were going to give her cake on her birthday and if her brother could come, too, so she wouldn't get lonely. (I started crying, I'm not gonna lie.)

marciemo said...

That's great! I once took a drive with my 5 year old, with bags packed, up to the canyon. It was going to be his new home, until he decided it would be nicer to live at home and start acting better.

Hey, do whatcha gotta do, right?

Jaime Stephens said...

That is awesome and the best idea ever! I sure hope it works... and doesn't backfire..Thanks!

rabidrunner said...

I'm an enraged reader.

(Mostly because I'm sad I didn't think of that.)

the binghams. said...

you are quite delightful (and i read the whole: leave a comment section)

i LOVE this. i think it is awesome and if i ever have a second child which would make daphne a big sister i will use this if the need arises. brilliant!

meg said...

You're such a crummy mom. I can't believe you treat your kids like crap. You wanted to get rid of him, didn't you?

I'm calling CPS.

Sarah said...

Remind me to use this in a few years when it will have effect on Lou ... and when she has siblings.
Bravo Whit and Ethan!

[Morgan] said...

i once told ellie that i was going to sell her in a yard sale. i even made a sign.

do you watch arrested development? because if you do will laugh when i say that my first thought after reading this was about the lesson that involved a man tragically losing his arm, "and this is why you never yell." if you don't watch a.d. then i will have to explain why this is funny next time i see you.

Amy B. said...

I love it...I guess you know you've gone too far when your kids are on the street with signs saying "Help, we've been kidnapped!"...but what do I know about that...heehee

Erin, Nick and Merrick said...

Sounds like my parents brand of parenting!
We are already using the "Santa is watching" method ourselves these days.
Merrick thinks Santa has installed invisiable cameras in our house that are only actiivated during his fits.

Katie said...

hmmmm... i just think it's sad when people use the police as if they are bad! I really hate when people say "if you are not good the police will come take you away"! The police are here to help us & our kids need to understand that & respect that & then maybe our society will actually learn to respect cops again... including the younger generation!! (i have family & friends that are cops & they hear this all the time & they said it is really frustrating!)

Hen Pecks said...

There had to be one.

meg said...

What Mom--you didn't include me in the "one?" Bummer. I tried.

Lars said...

Ha Ha that is amazing. My guess is that it will hold through the holidays and then it is back to game on. That or he graduates primary, but then again that is years off and only one could hope on an angel for that long.

Ingrid said...

Hmmm, you've given me an idea! I have two out of three that occasionally think somewhere else would be better than here! THANKS!
~ingrid

Gina Lee said...

Wow! Did I miss the parenting 101 class that taught these amazing skills? That's a good one. Although I will never have to use it becauase my children are perfect angels. haha

AzĂșcar said...

I once called the doctor to find out if my son needed to have his stomach cut open after eating my birth control or needed another spank. Turns out it was another spank!

Beth said...

Wow- if my brothers had been caught trying to smother me, they just would have experienced the beating of their young lives. Nice to see an innovative approach.

Jessica said...

morgan, "and that's why we always leave a note."

whitney: if you don't watch arrested development, please start now. it's all on hulu. you won't regret it.

Vitality Spa said...

I have never made a post on your blog, but read it alllllllll the time! Does that make me a stalker? because that confession really makes me feel like one! haha. Let me know your schedule and I can get you booked for a facial!!

Oh and love this story because I used to threaten my mom that I was going to run away when I was little and she would usually just shrug her shoulders and tell me that was fine with her. haha... ya

Brit said...

see, i knew i stalked you for a reason! my sons not quite old enough to get it yet so...ill have to wait a year but he's smothered, smashed, wrestled and clobbered the heck outta his little sister and IM DONE. so...maybe ill give it a try...except he loves police and firemen so i think he'd help me pack his bags...hm...how about i set him out on the curb on trash day with a sign to pick him up? crap he likes those big trucks too.

Danielle Mahoney said...

It sounds like you guys are doing a great job. Good luck parenting is tough no matter what.

lizzy said...

My grandpa used to take his children to the zoo whenever my grandma gave birth (they had 10 children) and tell the kids to pick out their favorite monkey so the zookeepers could shave it and they could take it home - their new sibling! Moral of the story: lesson learned...comedic enjoyment for generations.

Mindika said...

That's too funny! Glad he decided to stay. My mom once did something similar to me and I was so stubborn that I called her bluff. I just sat there, arms crossed and said, "Go ahead, send me to another family." I was a tough child...and yes, I'm scared to death that mine will be the same.

Land Family said...

I love it! That is the best thing I have ever heard!

Laura said...

I will start doing the same thing with my oldest. Thanks for sharing this one with all of us :) Do you do Parenting with Love and Logic approach?

Nan said...

I tell my children I am going to ship them away in a box to a new mother when they say they hate me. Have your children watch "Coriline" then you can ask them if they want to go to the "other mother".