Time Out At My House

There’s very a strict boys-don’t-hit-girls rule at our house. The girls know that if they egg #5 on just to try and make him hit so that he violates the rule, they’ll get punished too.

We were in the kitchen talking about which girls at school like #5 and which girls he likes back. Apparently we picked the right one (psst… it’s Iris), because he suddenly overreacted and kicked #3 in the back of the knee, hard. I sent him to his room.

Here’s the thing about sending this kid to his room. I always forget he’s in there.

Every. Damn. Time.

I’ll send him to his room and go along about my business and start feeling really smug and productive, entirely forgetting that the productivity is solely due to not getting interrupted every ten seconds- because I sent #5 to his room. I get so productive that I lose track of time. At some point, but usually not until at least forty minutes into it, I wonder where he is.

So last week when he kicked his sister, I sent him to his room, laughed with #3 about how he actually does like Iris no matter what he says, finished making dinner, got dressed, even put on makeup (which really should have been my first clue that something was amiss because there’s never time for that), packed my bag for work and went out to the car to work on my late Easter present for the kids. More about the gift in a minute.

I had something for #5 and went to get him. He was not in the music room. Not playing video games or watching TV. Not reading on my bed.

Me: Where did he go?

#2: You sent him to his room.

Me: Oh crap! I totally forgot.

#2: Wasn’t that like, an hour ago?

Me: Ummm. . .

#2 and #4, in unison: Parenting Fail!

So I went in to #5’s room and we talked about why he got sent there in the first place. We don’t want him to ever be a man who hits a woman, hence the rule. He gets it, and knows why it’s important. He still doesn’t believe that one day he’s going to be bigger than all his sisters.

I did not own up to the fact that I had forgotten him. He can work that out in therapy later when he figures it out. Then I showed him why I was looking for him, what I had saved. And I took him outside and let him put the last one on the car.

One what, you ask?

In Kristin Lamb’s excellent book Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer she talks a bit about privacy and mentions that she doesn’t like the little stick people that you put on the minivan because it tells robbers exactly how many people they’re going to have to subdue when they break in, plus a hamburger full of sleeping pills for the dog. She’s totally right. There’s even an episode of Dexter where the predator gets his prey that way.

My message to robbers here is clear:

We are an entire army of the goddamn undead. Don’t even try it.

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Is this going to hurt my chances at becoming class mom? What parenting or other fails have you had recently?

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42 thoughts on “Time Out At My House

  1. I live to read your parenting adventures!

    If we could all be just a tiny bit as honest as you are about this whole ‘trial & error’ adventure called PARENTING, we might be able to survive and have some real fun along the way.

    Thanks for the mental image of those (former) stick people; I will think of your post every single time I see those pseudo families adhered to a van window.

    1. There’s a five-dollar-store called Five Below and they were in their sticker section. They were two bucks each, which is why I didn’t buy them at Easter. But then I obsessed about them. I went back once before this but they were sold out. Yes, you read that correctly, I made more than one trip on purpose just to get zombie family stickers.

  2. hahaha Fantastic!!! I hate those stick figure, too. And I think I’m afraid to read that “Are you there, Blog? It’s Me, Writer” post (great title, though). Last week at work -bear in mind that I work in a fairly conservative place- I saw someone pull out of the parking garage with over TWENTY of those fake bullet hole stickers on the back of their (otherwise nice-looking) SUV. …Um… okay. It had to be a joke. But somehow it just doesn’t register with me. Are bullet holes funny?

    1. Bullet holes aren’t nearly as funny as zombies. Nor are chrome nutsacks. Have you seen those? Dangling under the rear bumper of compensating-for-something pickup trucks? Ah, Jersey.

      1. Oh yeah, seen the balls. Bestill my heart. Some things (like zombies) I can get to – this one sweet woman at work has hundreds of bumper stickers on her very old car and she says “they hold it together.” That’s awesome. But fake bullet holes on a brand new SUV just seems inappropriate. (And you know if *I’m* saying that…)

  3. Love the Zombie stickers, hate the stick figures. Also my children hated that I never wanted to promote that they were honor students. Like when they actually were. I think if we didn’t have parenting fails our kids would really turn out messed up. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

    1. I’m with you. I tell myself that too. Not much fails to inspire more road rage in me than honor student bumper stickers AND cutesy stick figures on the same car. Our school doesn’t hand those stickers out. At least that’s what the kids tell me.

  4. Well if you are gonna get a fail, I am in deep crap, my window sticker says Tatooed White trash, and yes the spelling is wrong on the sticker, and it’s only kinky the first time. Good thing my kid is well behaved and I hardly ever have to go to the school 🙂

  5. When they become part of Miami’s drug infested world it is not a matter of parent success or parent failure. It is a matter of hoping they survive(despite anything you try to do which after a while you realize there is nothing you can do). I know. It continues in this latter part of the third decade. I hope only the very best in life embraces your children.

  6. He still doesn’t believe that one day he’s going to be bigger than all his sisters.
    My mom warned my sisters and me that our brother would someday be larger than us. None of us believed it, but when it started looking like it might happen . . . we thought a little harder about how much we wanted to kick/hit/throw things at him.

    As for the zombie figures? WIN! I’m mostly bemused by the stick figure stickers that grace some cars, but there’s nothing bemusing or confusing about these zombie stickers. I do believe Ba.D.’ll be jealous!

  7. Another advantage to the zombie stickers: in the event of a real zombie attack, the stickers may fool the zombies into thinking you’re already on their side, thereby protecting you and your family. Your attention to emergency preparedness should only help your chances of becoming class mom.

  8. JM — you really are MY hero! I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read all your posts, but 1) as the stepmother of three — now 29, 24 and 20 — I’m in awe of you taking on 5! And they are so adorable!! I know this is the biggest cliche of all time, but enjoy them while they’re there … seriously, you will blink and they’ll all be like #1 and fleeing off to college, and then you won’t have any cute cut-outs to slap on your minivan! 2) you are seriously hilarious, and 3) you’re beautiful, which is such a refreshing combo with funny! So … I’m never missing another one of your posts or tweets!! xoxoxo b

Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

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