Friday, February 29, 2008

Again, With the Minor Parenting Snafu

Yesterday, Caleb came home from school and The Worst Day Ever. Apparently there was some bad behavior while standing in line and he had to write half a page on the topic of Respect in Line.

I’m realizing more and more that part of my job as his mother is to provide him with a little perspective. The little perfectionist takes on any punishment with some serious drama, so I try to instill the attitude of Okay You Messed Up and You Need to Take Your Lumps but For God’s Sake, It’s Not Like You Masterminded Some Really Horrible Plot.

So he started his half page on Respect in Line, and it turns out, there’s not a whole lot to say on the subject. “Don’t talk in line,” he wrote. “Don’t play around in line.” He paused then wrote, “Don’t get out of line.”

“What else?” I prompted.

He was still in high drama mode, and so he said, “Don’t die in line.”

“I don’t think anyone could help it if they died in line,” I said. And then I said the thing that I wished I could snatch back as soon as it came from my mouth. I said, “But you shouldn’t kill anybody in line.”

He started writing and I said, “Stop! Stop!” with visions of social services and guidance counselling darting around in my head. “I’m not writing that,” he said. “I put, ‘Don’t hurt anyone in line.’ ”

Thank God he has common sense. I toned it down and asked him what he thought about safety and repecting others’ personal space. I didn’t share the things that would take up at least half half a page.

Don’t strip down to your underwear in line.

Don’t throw your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care in line.

Don’t line dance in line.

And so on.


amywb said...

This made me laugh! I am a huge fan of Brain, Child and am so happy to have stumbled onto your blog.

BabelBabe said...

wahahaaaaaa! don't give anyone the hairy eyeball in line. don't THINK in line. don't dance the conga in line.

ChrEliz said...

Don't pee in line. Don't give the teacher the finger in line. Don't read anarchist 'zines out loud in line. Don't do handstands in line. Don't lie down and assume the fetal position in line.

BarbaraCA said...

From The College years:
Don't do lines in line.
Don't use (pick up) lines in line. Don't Cross The Line.

Jennifer said...

You? awesome. We should have a pamphlet.

jessica said...

Don't lie in line. Don't bring lions in line. Don't lean in line. Don't put liens in line. Don't loan in line?

Caleb is now the sixth individual I've heard about who had an inutterably sucky day on the 29th. According to the hippie tea shop proprietress in whose shop I was having tea on the 29th, and the astrologer who came in and joined our conversation (I was meeting someone, y'all, I'm not THAT stuck in the 60s) the problem was Leap Year Day.

Leap Year Day just doesn't work right. (Oh, and something I didn't follow about Neptune.) I'll stick with the Leap Year theory.

Ha! Don't leap in line!

Attiton said...

You all are hilarious.

I'm going to sound like a big wet blanket here, but this post has given me the opportunity to say something in Internet-public that has been bothering me for a while.

Don't cut in frickin' line.

(You, yes, you, oblivious person on your cellphone when I have a baby in my arms and am just trying to get out of the supermarket without throwing anything at anyone? I know this is California, but that doesn't mean we don't believe in lines...of all types, shapes and sizes.)

I feel better. Thank you.

Tracy said...

Don't get in line in the first place.

Heh. Feeling a tad anarchy tonight...