Disciple of Discipline
Lately it seems that our sweet little angelic daughter is starting to look to the dark side for inspiration. Rare are the days of snuggling on the sofa while we enjoy the timeless stylings of Dora The Explorer. These sweet moments have only come to be replaced by endless battles over what we think M should wear to school versus what she thinks she needs to wear. Pour thing obviously got her fashion sense from her dad.
We still battle at the dinner table each night trying to get Mrs. Thang to eat something besides tater tots. Although, we have experienced a little progress with her palate as she has expanded into the realm of beef in the form of hamburgers and most recently, tacos. Of course, the hamburger must be dry and may ONLY have one slice of american cheese. The taco must be just ground beef with no taco seasoning and ONLY one slice of american cheese. I realize that we did this to M somehow, but we sure as hell cannot figure out how to un-do the damage. Hopefully, by the time M is dating (Age 30 if I have a say) her palate will have blossomed so that she might be able to enjoy mac-n-cheese, or a nice hotdog, or slice of pizza. At least she will be a cheap date, right?
To go along with the wardrobe and diet battles, Mrs. Thang has taken a liking to talking back to us and she has the uncanny ability to tune us out when we are telling her to do something that she obviously does not think she needs to do. Of course, this has resulted in M becoming very familiar with the timeout area in our dining room. I recently walked by the timeout area and caught a glimpse of some markings on the wall. Awww, my baby’s first graffiti. This timeout area is starting to look like a well-used prison cell. There are hash marks that track the minutes spent in timeout prison, there are crude drawings of the things from the outside that M does not get to experience while on the inside, such as the park and TV. I almost lulled myself into thinking that maybe we have been to hard on our little princess…until the last couple of weeks at school.
Mrs. Thang has now taken her undisciplined show on the road. Apparently she has been sent to timeout at school on at least three occasions that we know about. (in the past week and a half!) I am fairly certain that there are more times that were conveniently left out of the daily “what did you do at school today” report. As a result of Mrs. Thang’s willingness to take her bad behavior out into public, we are quickly coming to the realization that timeouts are just not cutting it. We need to step up the consequences for crossing over to the dark side. How do you do this, you ask. I imagine each child is different, but what works for M, is to take away things most dear to her, such as Barbie. (On a sad side note, some of you may recall Stripper Barbie (https://genericdad.com/2010/02/07/is-barbie-a-stripper/). Well, she recently met her untimely demise due to a severe hip problem which prevented her from being able to close her legs…ironic, to say the least…a moment of silence please.)
With Stripper Barbie out of the picture, M now has a new favorite Barbie that has similar hooker boots and skanky skirt, PLUS she lights up when you depress her necklace. This is M’s crack right now, and this is what I took from her when she got in trouble (again) at school yesterday. For a brief couple of hours I had my princess back. She snuggled with me while we watched Glee (her favorite show next to Idol) and she was on her best behavior! We have also taken TV and bedtime story privileges and these seem to work, but only for the short-term. Before we know it, she’s in trouble again at school and I am running out of things to take and I can’t bring myself to spank her. Where does this leave us for discipline options? Perhaps this should have been a Dear Abby letter…
Are My Babies Already Grown Up???
I fear that my baby girl may be growing up too fast. I first began to notice this a few months ago and the evidence continues to accumulate. I can trace this all back to the beginning of summer when we pulled M out of her regular daycare facility and enrolled her in private “insert religion here” school. Lower your eyebrows and wipe that sarcastic “Ooh La La” look off of your face and let me explain.
M changed schools for a couple of reasons really. We were becoming more and more irritated that her original daycare kept putting her with the younger kids each afternoon in an effort to combine children. They do this so that they can release teachers as the parents trickle in throughout the day to pick up their spawn. M is also now in her Pre K years and we feel that she should be getting a head start on her education. These things considered, it was also less costly to send M to the private school with an actual educational curriculum than it was to keep her at the daycare where she played with two-year-olds and hand-me-down toys. So, you could say that we were motivated by finances as much as the desire for our daughter to get edumacated. If she’s not educated, how is she going to support me in my golden years?
Back to my theory on M’s recent maturity spurt. Since she started the private school, I have noticed my three-year-old daughter having in-depth conversations with her new friends about fashion, of all things. We sat at her recent open house and witnessed our toddler daughter having a conversation with her 4-year-old friend. Their conversation ranged from shoes; to what accessories each had on; to sharing a delicious snack. This is nuts…I have seen high school girls have this same conversation! Gone are the days of Dora and Wonder Pets. She is almost exclusive to DVD’s such as Toy Story and her crazy-ass Barbie movies. (Have you seen any of these? They are creepy)At this rate she will be animation free by Christmas! Her choice in bedtime stories had transitioned out of Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Fancy Nancy into all the Judy Blume she can get her grubby little paws on. I think I even caught her looking at the stock tickers in the Wall Street Journal the other day. To say the least, my baby is growing up, and way too fast…and I don’t like it one bit.
Where is my little snuggler? Where is the girl who wants Daddy to help her do everything? It used to be, “Daddy, will you snuggle me?” Now it’s more like, “Bio-Father, would you mind so much as to pass me the Grey Poupon? And while you are out running my errands, pick up my dry cleaning. I have an event with the girls from the club and I need my Minnie Mouse skort.”
Is My Daughter A Nudist??
A disturbing trend has begun in our household. My 3 year-old daughter is becoming a nudist. The first symptoms began as rare instances when M would somehow end up clothes-less on a random weekend day. Soon, like the spread of AIDS in an African village, the instances became more and more frequent. Now, it seems that M somehow ends up stripped down to her panties almost every day after we get her home from school. The reasons for shedding her clothes range from understandable to complete nonsensical. For instance, she sometimes spills her drink on her shirt or dress. Naturally, she doesn’t want to sit around in wet clothes, so she takes them off. The problem is that the wet clothes never seem to get replaced with dry clothes…or any clothes. Instead, she would rather lounge around in Dora the Explorer panties munching goldfish. If she were a balding, unshaven, beer-bellied man, you would only need to replace those goldfish with a Pabst Blue Ribbon and you would have yourself a textbook example of trailer trash. I suppose you might need to replace the Dora panties as well…maybe not.
Lately, it’s gotten so bad that if so much as a drop of juice or a smidgen of ketchup hit her clothes, they are off and she is free…I fear that, at the rate we are going, she will have dreadlocks and be living in a tent in the back yard by the end of summer. Her name will change from Merrit to Moonbeam and she will craft the finest hemp products that she will trade for organic food and non-animal tested-products. I can still be a proud daddy…
So, I ask you fellow parents, Is this a phase, or is this just the inner hippie in my daughter coming out? Is this something that all toddlers go through? Embarrassed parents just toss this tidbit into the pile of bones in the closet to save face during those “look-what-my-toddler-can-do” conversations they have with other parents. You know those conversations with those annoying parents? Mine would go something like this: “Little Jimmy can write his own name and he’s only 6 months old”, says one proud (but lying) parent. I rebut, “Well, my little Moonbeam just fashioned this blanket from the grass clippings in our yard.”
I suppose in either case, it’s not the worst thing a little girl could do…thank GOD she finally got through her cocaine phase…
Children’s Programming: Disturbing or Hilarious
First, let me apologize for my long absence. There is no excuse other than the fact that I am lazy, which most of you already know anyway. I am trying to get back on the blog horse and I would like to announce my return with this small tidbit on today’s programming for children.
As you know, I have a 3 year-old at home who is allowed to watch some children’s programming channels each afternoon. The main channel that M watches is Nick Jr. (formerly Noggin). On the whole this is a great little network for kids and parents alike. Programs like Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues, Yo Gabba Gabba,etc. do actually provide somewhat educational information for the kiddies. For us adults they provide an endless supply of gay songs that stick in your head to help you through your otherwise dull work day.
One of these normally educational programs that my daughter likes to watch is called Ni Hao Kai-Lan. This is a show about a little girl from China and her little random animal-like friends. The show teaches common words and phrases in Mandarin Chinese as well as Chinese culture and values. Typically the show will select one word or phrase to focus on and that word or phrase will be repeated many times throughout the show. If you have toddlers I am sure you have seen this program. Well check this out…
I am home with M yesterday because she has Scarlet Fever…that’s right, I said Scarlet Fever. You would think that I had just taken M for a ride in my hot tub time machine back in time to europe or the old west, but this disease bacteria still flourishes today if you can believe that. More on Scarlet Fever in a future blog. Back to my story…SO, M and I are home and I am letting her watch all of the television that she can handle because she doesn’t feel good, and I am trying to do a little work from home. I hear the familiar opening theme song to Ni Hao Kai-Lan come on and I do a little asian-themed dance in my head. I am sitting on the sofa about 1/2 listening to the television when I hear something that immediately grabs my attention. It’s the word of the day, SNOW, or in Mandarin Chinese, xue.
What grabbed my attention was not that I was excited to learn a new word in Mandarin, but that this word when spoken in the language, sounds a lot like the word, “SHIT” in English. So I am working away when I hear Ni Hao say, “blah, blah, blah, SHIT, blah, blah”. Naturally, my head whips up and my eyes narrow in on the television. It’s the same double take we do when we hear what sounds like sex noises on television, or actually see nudity. Whatever you are doing you stop in your tracks and watch…don’t say you don’t, because I know I am not the only pervert here (at least I tell myself that)…ANYWAY, Ni Hao now has my full attention. As I watch the show they continue to say “SNOW”, but in Mandarin. This word sounds so much like “SHIT” that I start laughing uncontrollably at the television because of the context in which they are using the word. “Lulu has a basket full of “SHIT” and so on…I may have peed my pants a little…
And now…for your viewing pleasure…I proudly present, Ni Hao Kai-Lan and “SNOW”. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Is this Disturbing or hilarious?