Monday, August 23, 2010

The People v. IHPs

I'm done punishing them. They're evil all the time and they do things to deliberately be mean to each other. And what do I get for my involvement, my intervention, my concern and my - ultimately - form of punishment? Scorn, resentment and, most shockingly, a group-therapy session between my kids that now I'm the enemy.

Lefty would do something evil to his big sister McGee, make her cry or whatever. I'd punish him and then she'd go to him when he was crying in his room from my total freak out fest about not hitting or something and be like, "I know. Mommy is soooooooo mean sometimes, isn't she?" WHUCK?! How did I become the bad guy here?

So, I retired. And told them so. And made it clear that, from now on, they. will. be. punishing. each. other. And, they are way more creative than I could ever dream to be.

"In the Indoor Homeless People justice system, the mothers are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the children, who commit the crime, and their siblings, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories." [DUN-DUN]

Crime: McGee refused to share a crayon with Lefty during the part in church when they get to do their little kid workbook. Each kid gets two crayons. She didn't want to share red. Even though she had used both Lefty's and Happy's crayons. Then smacked Lefty when he tried to swipe it. Punishment: No communion. Actually, Lefty said "She doesn't get the crackers and juice that we pass around." I said something about his willingness to deny his sister the Host. At church. "Mom, God was a dad. He would have sent her to bed without dinner."

Crime: Lefty ate the last orange popsicle, which are Happy's favorite, after Happy had called it. Happy doesn't like the red ones; Lefty does. Rather than hand it over with one bite taken out of it, Lefty squished it and put it in the trash. Punishment: Sit inside the kitchen cabinet for "two-five-six" minutes. That's actually his favorite TV channel. TwoFiveSix dominates our life. We even call it TwoFiveSix. Feeling rather confident that Lefty couldn't actually spend four hours and sixteen minutes in a cabinet, we opted for two minutes and fifty-six seconds. He banged pots. The. Whole. Time.

Crime: The boys were jumping on McGee's freshly made bed. With shoes on. She told them to get down. Lefty stuck his tongue out at her. Happy took off his shoe and threw it at her head. She forgot to dodge. Punishment: Lefty had to bite his own tongue. [Editor's Note: You stick it out, and someone upsmacks your chin. -Kate] Happy was the unhappy walking target of the Nerf Machine Gun. It holds 40 sponge bullets. She made it last a really long time.

Crime: Lefty was reading a book, and kept asking McGee how to pronounce this word and that word. She was really done helping, but opted -- rather than getting up and leaving the room -- to sigh loudly when he asked her how to pronounce "nervously" and said "Maybe you're just too stupid to read that book." And of all the S words in the world, this one is the Avada Kedavra.

Punishment: Lefty considered duct tape, tobasco sauce and taking her door off the hinges [Editor's Note: One of my finer moments: I had had enough of the pre-teen angst foot stomp followed by door slam...hard to slam a door when it's not there...and it's pretty satisfying to walk down the hallway toting said door and saying, "what is the sound of *nothing* slamming....ahhhh" -Kate] but decided that she wasn't allowed to speak for the rest of the day. It was about 11:30am when this happened. McGee is eleven. She. Talks. All. Day. Long. She gestured at us for a while and then got tired of us making absurd suggestions to what she was trying to say. Like, she was clearly trying to tell us she wanted something to eat, but we were all, "what? Timmy's stuck in the well at Ol' Farmer Joe's?" and would crack up. Then she started writing me notes on post-its. Lefty said that was "talking on paper" and said he should get to read them. And then he'd take the paper that said "Can I go ride my bike?" and clear his throat and say, "McGee says, 'I think a snake is in my shorts'" and hold up the paper like "see?" and she pretty much hated us all for the rest of the day.

The next day she made sure she told us just how horrible we all are. Of course, now it's our favorite punishment. Three days ago, all three of them put each other in it. Lefty for smacking Happy, McGee for laughing at Lefty, and Happy for yelling "shut up! You're in Quiet now!" and making an X with his hands over his mouth, then punching both of them.

They gestured at each other for 10 minutes before I left the room. There was a lot of stomping going on, and a lot of air slamming (two doors are missing...) but no one ever said a word.

It was the best 45 minutes in the history of ever. I celebrated by watching Law & Order. You know...research.


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