Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Sprinkler Speech

“Sometimes in the morning I get pushed into the sprinkler.” Tommy said this casually, as he ate his breakfast. (Dry cereal, no milk as he detests milk.)

My Mommy radar went up. Well, partially up. It was early and I was still half asleep.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

Tommy munched on some cereal like it was no big deal. Chew, chew, chew. Get on with it, son.

“Well, the people who live in front of the bus stop have their sprinkler on. And sometimes the other kids push me into it,” Tommy finally admitted.

“Those little shits,” I said without thinking.

Tommy’s eyes went wide. “Mommy. You said a bad word.”

Right. Oops.

“What I meant to say,” I corrected. “Is that you shouldn’t be pushed into a sprinkler. It’s rude.”

“I don’t get that wet,” Tommy said. “Just a little.”

“Still. It’s rude. Have these kids learned no manners? I’m going over there and talking to them.”

Tommy looked stricken.

“I’m not going to embarrass you, I’m just going to remind them that it’s impolite to push other children in the sprinkler. That’s all,” I promised.

(And I feel I ought to point out that I used to walk to the bus stop with Tommy until he hit second grade and thought it wasn’t cool anymore. I was the only parent there.)

When it came time to head to the bus stop, I walked over with Tommy. I could hear whispers amongst the other kids.

Why is Tommy’s Mom here? Is he in trouble? How long is she staying?

“Right, you monsters,” I began. “There will be no more pushing my son into the sprinkler and if you do it again, I’m writing to Santa and telling him not to stop by your house. Am I understood?” And then I grabbed them by their ears, marched them to their homes and demanded to speak to who was responsible for raising such a brat.

I’m kidding.

That’s just what I imagined happening.

(And for a brief time, I played around with giving them a moving speech like they do in those sports movies where the team sucks in the beginning but then becomes champions in the end. I was going to say while pacing back and forth in front of them, “Listen up, children. You are being granted a privilege of being here without an adult. It’s because we trust you all to do the right thing. I know you all have it in you,” and then I’d pause meaningfully, “to do the right thing. So will I hear anymore stories of kids being pushed in the sprinkler?” [the kids would be so moved that they’d all chant at once, “Nooooooo!] And then I’d say, “I knew you all had it in you to behave. Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!” Um, oops. Was getting my sports movies mixed up with my rousing speech. Which is why I decided NOT go to with a rousing speech.)

Anyhow.

What really happened was this:

I said, “Are people being pushed into the sprinkler?” I purposely used the word people so as not to single out Tommy.

No one would look at me. They were treating me like I was a scary mom with unbrushed hair and mismatched clothes on.

Well.

I sort of did look like that. I hadn’t brushed my hair yet and I had green sweats on with an orange t-shirt.

But still. Have they not learned to respect their elders even if they aren’t coordinating?

This meant that I had to turn scary.

“No one will be pushed into the sprinkler again, okay?”

No reaction. Well, there was a bit of reaction due to Natalie, who had to come with me. She started racing through the sprinkler.

*Sighs*

She wasn’t supposed to make it look FUN! She was supposed to stand beside me and glare at the kids.

And why did someone have their sprinkler on at 8 in the morning?

“If I hear that someone has been pushed into the sprinkler again I’m—” I started. I’m what? I’m WHAT? Think, Amber, think. But my brain was still snoozing away. What is scary to kids?

Then it hit me.

“I’m going to grab my lawn chair and sit with you all. Every day. Even when it starts to snow.” (Oh God, please let them not push another kid in the sprinkler again. I didn’t WANT to sit there in the snow. It’s too COLD.)

Now came the reaction. Eyes went wide, mouths fell open, and a little girl said solemnly, “No one will be pushed again.”

So bottom line?

Want to scare kids?

Threaten to sit with them.

Every day.

(But don’t worry, I’m going to totally spy on them from the window.)

62 comments:

  1. hahaha I LOVE this! I would have totally gone the Santa route though ;)

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  2. Works everytime! After kindergarten, threaten a kids independence or to embarrass them and they turn to Jello. Way to go! (Hugs)Indigo

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  3. Hahaha, this was great, good advice, thanks!

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  4. LOL! You're a genius! How uncool would that be?! I love this little tip! My oldest is only 3, but I'm sure I'll have to use that one sooner than I know it!

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  5. Brilliant! Just brilliant. Dude, no one wants a MOM out there at the bus stop.

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  6. I admit, the start of this story made me nervous because there is so much focus on bullying right now. But you handled this so brilliantly. Wonderful writing aside, you are truly an amazing mom.

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  7. LOL! That is an awesome punishment.

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  8. The little brats! Um, I mean, what unruly tykes they are. :P

    I had to stop standing out there too. Now I watch from the window. :)

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  9. Those little monsters! You should totally spy on them everyday. How dare they pick on Tommy.

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  10. I'm pretty sure they won't be pushing anybody into the sprinkler anymore!

    http://ammorgan.scentsy.us

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  11. Tough love, gotta like that! Now hopefully the little shits don't plot revenge on your son away from the bus stop. Then you'll be dragging your lawn chair across town. ;)

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  12. Hmmm... I think I would have gone with the baseball bat smacking in my palm approach....

    "Who wants to piss me off huh?" *smack* *smack* "I didn't think so.... so no more pushing and shoving... you hear me?" *smack* *smack*

    Of course I'd probably get arrested..

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  13. One time my mom got a call from a neighbor telling us that my brother (who is developmentally disabled) was being picked on by some neighborhood kids. As soon as my mom told me what was happening I grabbed my sister and other brother and ran down to the end of the street to settle the score with those jerks who I knew would likely beat my brother up if no one was looking. We gave the kids mean looks and got my brother. I think that's when I knew that even though my brother and I didn't always get along, I loved him and would do anything for him. Even risk my own reputation at school. A few minutes after we got their to protect my brother, my parents rolled up in our family minivan and told us to get in. Classy.

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  14. Hopefully the little shits learned not to push... If not, talking to Santa just might be the way to get your point across lol.

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  15. lol.. kudos to you!!
    you are an awesome mom.. i think!!

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  16. Oh. I wish I had read this years ago. Instead of teaching my own kids to hurl scathing sarcasm at their abusers.
    It didn't help. The abusers didn't usually understand the jokes. And now my kids have really smart mouths.
    I like the Santa Solution and the Mom Solution.

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  17. I'm very bad with situations like that. I forget there are laws against terrorizing rotten children.

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  18. That is so funny. I'm so happy you stuck up for all the littler kids. Why do the big kids have to be such brats? Geez.
    I really hope you don't have to sit in the snow. LOL

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  19. I would absolutly do it! Little shits. That isn't cool.

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  20. haha lucky for you they agreed. I wouldn't want to sit out in the snow either!

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  21. Way to think on your feet! I'm glad your threat worked. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't have been sitting out in the snow, whether it worked or not. Haha.

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  22. Glad Natalie was there to help.

    Good work. You've got to stop the bullying early. Just hope Tommy doesn't stop telling you things because you embarrass him like that.

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  23. I'd go out there, just to make a point.

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  24. oh lordy, pulling ole' Santa card out on them....LOVE IT(you should have used it instead)

    But if you dond have to end up sitting with them , we want pictures...mkay!

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  25. Why are kids such brats? And why do they have to pick on the kid who struggles more in life? Ugh- I want to kick them in the shins.

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  26. You are the best mom! EVER!

    I always have to scold little brats at the play place. I typicaly try and find their parents.. but if they are busy talking and NOT WATCHING their kids. I look at them and say. NO YOU MAY NOT HIT MY SON! loud enough for their parents to hear, and call them over for a scolding.

    I hate mean kids!

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  27. I love your style of writing -- it totally cracks me up!!
    AND I would be PISSED if my kid was being pushed in the sprinkler - ugh means kids suck!

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  28. You are a hero! I love that you thought of that on the fly! Poor Tommy...

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  29. lmao! Hilarious!

    Its funny how spending time with a grown up can be seen as a punishment. But whatever works, right?

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  30. That was great! Though I probably would have been tempted to grab them by their ears and talk to their parents about what little brats they're raising. God, kids can be so awful.

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  31. You handled that situation perfectly. Me? Well.....it probably wouldn't have ended so well as I tend to be a hot head. Can't stand bratty kids.

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  32. LOL too funny! I think you handled this great! I couldn't have said it better myself! HA! However, I feel your pain - my daughter was actually hit in the back by a very mean girl at school today. Needless to say, the girl got suspended for 3 days! UGH! I hate hateful and mean kids. Hopefully Tommy doesn't get pushed into the sprinkler anymore.

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  33. Oh, I SO wanted the "right, monsters" scenario to be the real one. You are a much kinder, gentler mommy than I am. I think for the price of them causing you to leave the house in that outfit, somebody should've at least been pushed or something, LOL.

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  34. Too funny! I love the "threat". Very nice!

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  35. Awesome, you rock, Amber! You outsmarted them, and I bet Tommy was completely okay with this! Good solution!

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  36. NICE! Funny, when my kids are being brats and won't go to bed, I take my laptop downstairs and just sit quietly on their floor. No one dares say a word when Mom's right there. They're usually out within 10 minutes. -J

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  37. That was the best. Best threat ever. Love it!

    Ally

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  38. what bastards.
    I'd have brought a hose and dosed them all.

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  39. Okay, aside from those kids being mean little brats pushing your son in the sprinkler this post was hilarious! Your daughter playing in the sprinkler while you are trying to be serious and you scaring the bejesus out of these kids by threatening to stay with them at the bus stop every day!

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  40. Excellent advice that I hope I don't ever need!!!

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  41. Excellent advice that I hope I don't ever need!!!

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  42. That's so funny! It really is the best way to ruin their fun. I need to be able to think of more excellent punishements/threats on the fly like that.

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  43. ROTFL! Although I am now a great grandma, I can see it all clearly as you describe it...I never get too old to enjoy the classic Mother Hero of her kids. One day they will look back on this and maybe even duplicate your protection of them. Love it! Ruby

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  44. I love it and will keep it in mind. Was Tommy mortified?

    LisaDay

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  45. Good for you Mama Bear!! Also I find threatening to hold their hand works wonders. ;)

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  46. Awesome!!!! Love the way you handled it!

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  47. Love it! Not the whole pushing kids part but the I will sit with you everyday no matter the weather. Way to handle it Mom. Oh and the green sweatpants with and orange tshirt, would have been fine here in Florida, just tell 'em you like the Miami Hurricanes ;)

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  48. I absolutely love your style of parenting ... and threatening! You are good!!! And, excuse me, but aren't orange and green fall colors? Seems to me you're in style to the max.

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  49. LMAO!!!! Note taken! I will definitely be threating this way from now on!

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  50. Yep thats the way to get them! Sit their with curlers in your hair and in your pjs!

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  51. I'd arm Tommy with a squirt gun so if those little shits do it again, he can whip out his squirt gun and hose them down! Course is a squirt gun taken to school considered a "gun" gun? I wonder!

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  52. Oh, my gosh. That is hilarious. Awesome! I love the little girl's reaction. :) I hope you don't have to sit in the snow, with them, anyway!

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  53. Great fun write! And a creative way to bust the bullying at the bus stop!

    Stopped by via your link in iWrite-iBlog-iWin.

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  54. Haha!! Love this .... there's nothing worse than adult supervision :)

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  55. I love it! I have used myself as a threat before too. Nothing is scarier than a mom :-)

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