Saturday, November 21, 2009
Kids, Flick Em
In the past 1.33 years of homeschooling Prince C-Nut, I can't tell you how many hours I've sat next to him at the kitchen table with his Kumon workbooks; and I can't tell you how many times he's sneezed all over my arm, face, or other parts of my person! It was frustrating enough when the four year-old couldn't remember to carry, borrow, of what 13x29 was - and it was usually at these very low points that he would fire nasal poop on me.
He soon enough conquered the basics of arithmetic, but remembering to cover his mouth BEFORE a 100 mph sneeze....that remained problematic for quite some time.
Exasperated, I decided that whenever he forgot to cover his mouth, I'd FLICK him but good on the head, with my middle finger. I'd slap him around like Biff did with George McFly!
Guess what, it worked fabulously!
But you have to be on top of it. Even if he was across the room, or outside by his lonesome, every time I witnessed an uncovered cough or sneeze I'd go barreling over there to deliver his reminder. I've got him so on his toes now that when he does cover his mouth, just for kicks, I lunge in his direction - and he puts his arm over his head and yells back, "I COVERED. I COVERED. I COVERED"
That's not cruel because he needs the *blocking* practice for karate anyway.
So it's on to the next lesson.
I am so sick and tired of telling my kids to say *please*...
...That I've decided to henceforth flick them whenever they forget.
I admit I am a bit of a Nazi with *please* and *thank you*. I make ALL KIDS, of strangers, of friends, et al, use proper manners when asking me for something. I don't well care if their parents are right there, if their parents have a religious aversion to manners, or what. The fact is, I'm not getting anything for anyone, or doing anything for anyone without being asked politely. Recently at my son's birthday party, some 5 year old snot told me, "Get me a juice box."
Can you imagine? How hard would that kid have gotten smacked 50 or 100 years ago? What right-minded parent would raise children like that?
Mr. Manners did go overboard once, at a restaurant in Boston this summer.
My wife asked the waitress for another Kettle One and tonic and forgot the magic word.
"HOW DO YOU ASK?", I scolded her at a dinner table seating 25 acquaintances.
In hindsight, I most probably shouldn't have corrected Mrs. C-Nut in that manner.
From now on, she'll get flicked in the head like everyone else!
For more on *flicking* - click here.
And for you young'uns and future readers, George McFly is from an epic 80s flick - Back To The Future.
And for West Coast Tom, I'll link to Huey Lewis singing the theme.
I admit, I just watched that video clip three times. The Eighties were by no means a crazy decade but I submit that most who didn't live through them will have a very hard time comprehending the cheesy entertainment and fashion which prevailed.
And it was so much easier to live under the ominous threats of nuclear armageddon and acid rain that it is today to suffer through *climate change*, fully nationalized healthcare, and the collapse of our currency.
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I would have loved to hear the thoughts of the other women at the table. With over 18 years of marriage, I've found the public correction thing has high risk and very little return. I’m sure you did it without much thought. However, if I demonstrate some thought and I am creative enough to make it subtle or humorous, I score big. This would have worked for me. If my wife forgot her please or thank you, I could simply start saying it twice every time. For instance, “Please, please pass the butter.” “Thank you, thank you.” Then, when she caught on and asked me why I kept doing that, I would profusely apologize and confess that I had been holding her please and thank you and failed to give it back. Of course she knows the short story about the please that left one little boy that never used him to go live with the one that was always polite.
Wow, I hope I get to use this someday. Maybe I should take her out sometime and I might get the chance.
My correction was purely a reflex. I would never consciously do that to her.
Nobody really heard it, save the most combustible person there....HER!
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