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Monday, March 07, 2005

I'm so full of it

I was just watching "Super Nanny" on TV - every week, they bring this lady into a different household, and she teaches the parents how to deal with their rotten kids. It reminded me of my own little adventures in parenting.

My aunt&uncle have four kids: Eric is 13, loves books and video games, and has always been a total space cadet - he's in his own world (my family tells me he's just the way I was at his age); Hannah, at 12, is the second mother of the household, taking care of everyone (including her big brother); Ariel is a sweet, rambunctious 8-year-old who shares her brother's love of books while retaining the ability to communicate with terrestrials; finally, Marina, at age 4, is the cutest little pain in the ass on the face of the earth.

A few months ago, my aunt&uncle took a weekend to get away while I stayed with the kids. Everything was going smoothly until bedtime. Marina decided that she wasn't having any of it - walking about the house crying seemed preferable to bed, and everytime I put her in bed, she came right back out. A few rounds in, I was walking out of her room and saw her getting out of bed to follow me out the door.

Now, I'm generally pretty easygoing with the kids - they're not mine, so I get to spoil them rotten and leave the discipline to their real parents - but I've got no patience for screaming and unnecessary crying. I turned around, and with as much authority as I could muster in my voice, said, "You don't have to stay in bed; sleep on the floor if you want to, but I'd better not see you out of this room again." I walked away and, safely out of earshot, broke down laughing at myself. What the hell did that mean? "I'd better not see you..." or what? There weren't any toys or candy involved that I could take away as punishment, and I've certainly never hit one of the kids. I was completely bluffing - I had nothing - but it worked; Marina went back to bed, and with a few plaintive whimpers, fell asleep.

It's a good thing kids don't know how little control we actually have. Raising kids is like being a sheepdog; if they stray too far, you can bark at them and hope it nudges them back in the right direction, but if they all started running in their own directions, you wouldn't have a prayer. The only saving grace is that they don't realize this ...at least, I hope they don't.


Tuesday, March 08, 2005 9:08:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

congratulations, dumbass. giving away the biggest secret that we've got.

don't apply for the CIA. next thing we know, you'll be posting national secrets on this blog.

what kind of monster have i created?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005 9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Karlos said...

That reminds me: why is the root password for the CIA mainframe "spook?" It seems so obvious... aw, crap. There goes my double-O status.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005 3:21:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

speaking of which... dude... why is this blog hosted on blogspot? why don't you just have it publish to your server?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005 4:03:00 PM  
Blogger Karlos said...

That was just the default setting. Changed it. Happy now?

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