Spoiled Rotten

My kids are, I have to say, very well-behaved.

Temper tantrums do not happen in this house. They are not acceptable.

Kicking and screaming and acting up, especially in public, but frankly, ANYWHERE, do not happen.

Yelling at your parents? Hell no.

Most of the shitty behavior you see kids on TV directing towards their parents? The rudeness, the smart-ass comments, the rolled eyes and stomping off and slamming off doors?

Not in the house.

I have not beaten my children into fear and submission. They just know, somehow, that this behavior is not acceptable, the same way I knew, growing up, that there was no way in hell that that shit would fly in my house. I don’t even know what I thought would happen. All I know is, my cousins and I knew that there was SOME SHIT YOU DID NOT DO. Not only did you not do it, you didn’t even CONTEMPLATE it. Really, it never crossed our minds. It just…wasn’t an option.

Which is what makes Pudding running through the house screaming and crying right now, really unsettling behavior.

Granted, he is not screaming AT me. He is, however, annoyed about something going on in a game he is playing on my computer, and every 30 seconds – literally – he is asking his sister for help. She is doing other things and is beginning to resent the intrusion, which I WELL understand. So finally, I suggested to him that if the game required so much help, that maybe he needed to play another game.

This, apparently, was not the right suggestion.

Eyes began watering. Nose began watering. Mouth began trembling and pretty soon, he was running around the house in circles screaming that no one understands him – which was just about right, since it was pretty hard to understand what the fuck he was saying with snot coming out of his nose and him babbling while bawling.

I was pretty nonplussed by this behavior. I’m not trained in how to deal with this, since IT DOES NOT HAPPEN.

So I let him run a bit.

Then I tried to calm him down by saying that it was not the end of the world, we just needed to find another game.

Wrong answer. More screaming.

Then I told him that if he would just STOP crying and running around like Richard Pryor in flames, that maybe we COULD understand him and help him out of whatever misery he was experiencing.

Also wrong answer. More crying, faster circles, more exclamations of “no one understands me”, to which he then added “no one wants me.”

Give that kid points for drama.

Finally, I just calmly told him on one of his pass-bys that since he was clearly out of control, it was time for him to get off of the computer.

Heightened screaming and yelling.

Then we went to Time Out.

The very fact that Time Out exists in this house should give you some sense of how progressive we are as a family. Rare was the time-out that we got. Long before this whole screaming and crying session had gotten this far, we would have been sent to retrieve the belt with which we were going to have our asses turned into red pulp.

Pudding went to Time Out on the piano bench.

3 minutes later he came to me and said he was not sad anymore. And he skipped away.

I am so glad that Time Out worked because…I really don’t know what would have happened next. I have answers for some of the things my children may do in the future. If either of them slams a door to their room, for instance, the door will be removed altogether. Problem solved. You can’t slam what isn’t there, right? But this running amok thing…WTF?

Thank you, Time Out Fairy. I don’t know what you whispered in his ear, but it worked. Keep it up. I don’t have too much left in my arsenal.

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