Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Modern day moral instruction

My children both have great future career opportunities in the Criminal Arts. Recession be damned.

I may be going against the grain again. I know the popular thought is to sort of ignore lying. Whatever the lie was, stop it in its tracks and redirect it with a quick moral review. Then, move on. I choose otherwise. I do this from fear. Fear of the day my children lie to me and I can't tell. So this is what I do instead. I encourage them to step thigh high in their own pile of shit. That's right, I encourage the lying. I lead them with questions all over town until they finally realize they are locked in the corner and start to panic. The whole time I am watching for their little "tells". Like in poker, they say everyone has a quirk no matter how hard they try to cover it up, there is always something. Maybe a single tic on the upper eyelid under dark sunglasses. Or the right elbow jerks convulsively. So I take the opportunity to study their little lying eyes and body language. Right. I take my parenting direction from gambling.

Genea is fairly easy. Although she is a prolific liar, the extra practice has not helped her build up skills. She tilts her head to the right and makes DEAD steady eye contact. Unblinking. She is so serious your pupils will blister from the intensity. And she takes on great creative detail in her lies. She has an answer for everything and can go on and on without wavering. She will be a great lawyer. But oh my unholy hell this child will do anything another child tells her. Anything! Genea was invited to a birthday party from school that her buttheaded friend The Twit was not invited to, and the friend told her not to go. So, she handed me the invitation when she got home and said, but I can't go. The Twit said so. Aghhhuuah, is the sound I made as I enclosed my throat with a used dishrag, choking myself into blissful unconsciousness (not really).

Teena, now Teena is a concern. She will make a great investment banker someday. Or maybe an adoption case worker (JK- no money in that lol). She just looks.... uncomfortable. Good eye contact but it wobbles. Tells her story, but is unsure of it. You really have to know her to see it. And she again will not budge. Over Christmas she had eaten some sort of non-food thing. Vomiting over and over for days, even had to be hospitalized overnight. Needles are being shoved through her skin. X-rays taken, visual proof she had eaten something that looked like little white balls. The doctor showed her the x-rays even. Pointed at the little dots and told her we can SEE INSIDE OF YOU and KNOW you ATE something. Nothing. Nope. Did not confess for about 3 weeks.

The other day she had a broken toy in her hand. I had heard a crunch, and I asked her what happened. She said, I don't know, maybe it broke ITs OWN SELF.

Anyway, I expect this admission I am about to make could get me banished to the crappy parent hall of fame. Dr. Laura would be appalled and would make me say things like "I am not my child's parent". Rightfully so. The Supermom patrol is going to hunt me down and set all my sippy cups on fire. Cuz this one is pretty bad. Yet I do it anyway. And then I speak of it publicly. For shame.

I let my kids watch Cops. Well, actually I encourage it by putting it on and holding the remote control out of their reach. They even sing the promo song. And as each episode unfolds, I like to emphasize that those people flopping around on the ground like fish out of water, with their scabby faces smashed into the dirt, did not listen to their mommys the first time. That's right, those shining examples of human bone- headedness, would have grown up to be fine adults if only they had done what they were told by their mothers. And like all children, mine are great little imitators.

The above picture is from the latest trip to my parents house. The girls had gone to stay for a few days without us. They were playing "Cops", running all over the house arresting each other, slamming each other to the floor and pretend- handcuffing each other. My sister's son is the boy. Horrible as this is, the picture sends me into hysterical laughing fits. It is just so dang funny. Hee hee, I am giggling just writing it. However.

There is an authenticity here that I find troubling. Teena's bangs are all sweaty, like she had been running. Genea's hair is all foofed up and flipped over and she totally looks like the one who was waiting in the getaway car for everyone. I am not going to assign a crime to my adorable nephew and Godson, who was just going along with his girlie cousins. Whatever his crime was, I am sure they made him do it.

Oh yeah, lying. I am sure, positive even, that it all starts with lying.


  1. So impressed! I'm still trying to figure out when they're lying. Going to be paying extra attention now.

  2. Ok, I'm practically on the floor laughing. You are my kind of Mom! I have told my kids regularly, "If you do this kind of thing (lying, hitting, stealing, etc.) when you are older, you will be arrested and put in jail. So you had better learn your lesson now!" I haven't gone so far as to let them watch Cops yet, but my dad watches it all the time, and we're headin' up north again soon, so maybe I'll let them hang with Grandpa!

  3. I am seriously GUFFAWING over here! That's right, GUFFAWING!

    "Bad boys bad boys, whatcha gonna do?..."

    I love COPS but I'm always afraid if I let my kids watch it with me they'll get a glimpse of their bio parents making their television deut...

  4. Oh my Lord that is funny! I have never admitted this one out loud, but I let Dustin watch "Lock up" on MSNBC and we talk about why these men are in jail and it usually involves some sort of Lying or Disobedience too.

    Too funny!

  5. I like that you are swearing more. Makes me feel less alone.

    I grew up watching Cops. I turned out okay (don't laugh).

    Your picture is PRICELESS. So, one day after my daughter had masturbated in public school for the millionth time and had to be sent out of the classroom cause, you know, that is against the rules and stuff, we sat her down. We explained to her for the millionth time that she could only do her private things in her private places. We also added for the first time that if she didn't start doing her private things in her private places, when she was a grown-up she would have to go to jail. Then we took her out to Subway cause we are cool like that and after one million conversations about public masturbation, you kind of forget about it.

    At Subway, we got our sandwiches and then had our daughter go wash her hands to get her self-love junk off. While she was in the bathroom, taking her sweet time, the place FILLED up with cops. I am not kidding. There was a dozen or more of them having tuna sandwiches. So she comes out (after spending a good ten minutes -probably literally- screwing off) and finds cops waiting in line and sitting at tables and the parking lot is FULL of squads. Her eyes immediately welled up with tears. She could hardly eat. It was THE BEST. I couldn't have planned it better myself. She RAN to our table and started sobbing "Are they going to arrest me for masturbating in public?" I just shrugged and kept on eating. I would like to say that she never did it again but she has FASD and forgot about it the next day. HOWEVER, she did not publicly masturbate again that night. Score.

  6. God bless COPS for keeping naughty tykes in line.
    My kids, too, were fascinated with COPS. My husband and I are both lawyers and we had to resist pointing out all the violations of suspects' rights that go on right and left on that show, but we had a blast watching the kids mull over the pros and cons (Ha! Cons! Good one!) of the outlaw life.
    Seeing hapless petty criminals getting slammed face-first into the gravel parking lot of some bleak apartment building that could have come directly out of Hogarth made the kids decide to walk the straight and narrow.
    It's the best show ever!

  7. Craig used to have that on...I didn't really watch it because it was on in the other room, while I was cleaning up dinner, but Craig and the kids would watch. Anyway, the theme song did stick with me. I'm sure you'll enjoy this like I do - put their name to it: Zhenya, Zhenya watcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Gets them thinking.

    That photo is priceless. The nephew is clearly contrite; he can't imagine how he got caught up in this.

  8. hehe, so funny, taking parenting tips from poker games..nice!
    As for cops, i can guess what happens in that! i'm sure that the girls love it.

  9. Ha! I love it. Hubby and I have Law Enforcement background and we use it with our kids ALL the time. Our son got in trouble at school for something fairly serious, that if he keeps it up, he WILL be arrested, so all during the two weeks restriction, whenever he'd ask to do something it was: "Nope, in prison, we dont get those kind of privledges, isnt prison fun?". Oh..the lying is the WORSE.

  10. I think I am going to have to try that one! My four year old sounds just like Teena!

  11. lol, no, there are no Teddy Grahams in jail. HA HA!


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