Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hair Dryer: Parenting Fail

When Happy was just about old enough to walk, he developed a strange affinity for the vacuum cleaner. Every time I'd get it out, he'd sit on it, wrap his arms around the handle and go for a ride.

It wasn't as wrong as that sentence makes it sound.

The point is...very loud vacuum cleaner? No problem. My hair dryer? Potential torture device.

I'll be getting ready and within about 14 seconds of turning it on, he's protesting equally as loudly from the opposite side of my bed. "No hair dryer. Turn it off! IT'SSSSSSSSSSSSSS TOOOOOOOOO LOOOOOOUUUUUUUUDDDDDDDD!"

And then I turn it off and we negotiate.

Me: Dude, I have to dry my hair. Ten minutes.
Happy: It's so loud
Me: How about the low setting? It'll take longer.
Happy: How about no?
Me: Then my hair will look like this. [point at quickly frizzing hair and *awesome* cowlicks]
Happy: You can drop me off at school.

Even when I close my door and the door to the upstairs AND Happy's bedroom door is shut, I can still hear him on the baby monitor. "I. Don't Like. Your. Hair. Dry. ER!" and stomp on the floor.

The other day, the children and I were, well -- at war. We had about 9 minutes to get through breakfast, teeth brushing and shoes on before the timer went off to leave for school. Happy had decided to use that morning to indocrinate us all in what may be called Toothbrush Baptism. He'd get his toothbrush wet, very carefully carry it into wherever we were and *fwip!* it at us. Lefty lost his mind. There were threats of side kicks and axe chops and spitting. I marched upstairs with my hair dryer.

Me: [to Happy] HEY! [holds up Senor Conair] Recognize this?
Happy: [drops toothbrush]
Me: You will stop right now, or I'm gonna turn this thing on.
Happy: [nods slowly]
Me:  [still holding it, like it's high noon or something] Toothbrush away. Shoes on. Get your backpack. Slowly and quietly walk to the car.

That night, while they were brushing their teeth, Happy re-commenced with the baptisms. My hair dryer was still sitting in McGee's room where I had dropped it when we left for school. I picked it up, plugged it in and - for about a half a second - turned it on.

I'm pretty sure we don't ever have to worry about baptisms again. At least, not the toothbrush kind.





(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

39 comments:

  1. That. Is. Awesome. Totally NOT a parenting fail. I am sure no one could prove a hairdryer is cruel and unusual punishment. I need to find an equivalent (meaning, effective) threat at my house. Hm, going to pay close attention to my kids for a few days. (See the "fail" here?)

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  2. AWESOME!! Negotiating compliance with something as benign as a hairdryer=parenting WIN!!

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  3. I think that's pretty ingenious, mom! And I wish my kids could be reasoned with like that...no wait! I do have my own special weapon...the full-up-the-face lick! I threaten "Do I need to lick your face??!" and they scream NOOOOOO and peace ensues...for about 10 seconds ;)

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  4. so NOT a parenting fail, in my line of work, that would almost fit in as a 'natural' consequence. as in, if you insist on irritating others, others who have been irritated will not hesitate to irritate you. Ah, behavioural modification techniques hard at work!

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  5. Perhaps the feel of the vacuum that Happy likes - the hairdryer is just a boring tool and doesn't do anything exciting really!!

    Great post.

    CJ xx

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  6. Once again, you start my morning with a laugh! You guys tell it like it is, which in my book is a parenting win!

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  7. Bonus - he'll also never become a hairdresser to the "stars."

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  8. Total Parenting WIN!! My 4 year old hates the hairdryer, but I think it is mainly because it drowns out Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

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  9. You.are.brilliant!

    When I grow up I want to be able to use my hair dryer to silence my children!

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  10. @Jenny, I think you might be my hero.

    I don't think that you can say it's a Parenting fail. No child was harmed and you're getting them out the door..Parenting WIN in my book!!

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  11. My friend could not get her daughter to stop biting and she tried everything. Then one day, while doing laundry and trying to be silly, she plopped her into one of those tall, plastic laundry hampers--you know,the ones with the pretty designs so it looks nice and keeps the clothes from getting too funky too fast? Anyway, she sticks the kid in there and she lost.her.mind. So from then on, anytime she bit, she got put in the hamper. It was over in two days. Do what you got to do, as long as its not leaving bruises.

    PS-I wonder if the pitch is higher on the hair dryer? Maybe it hurts his ears a little.

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  12. That's NOT a parenting fail! It's a parenting WIN!!! Kids use these tactics on us, i.e., boogers, wiping their noses on everything, puking on us, even they use their screams of bloody murder when no one is even close to them...This may just be my boys... :-/

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  13. my daughter is willing to stand outside in a blinding snow storm without a jacket on to avoid being near the vacuum... but loves the hair dryer... i have many times barely gestured to the closet where the vacu-monster is stored to gain her compliance at times....

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  14. O.M.G. You are so awesome. My kids freakishly love the hair dryer, so that wouldn't work here. However, when they bicker I run the vacuum so that no one can hear anyone else.

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  15. Hahaha...love this!!! How odd the hair dryer bothered him but not the vacuum? My dogs are weird like that, one is ok with our upright vacuum but the other hates the cheap old school version of the pull along vacuum....they are both GSD's so you can imagine the teeth marks we have on them...this adverse reaction may have something to do with the time our oldest got his tongue sucked up the hose? His fault but still funny as heck....it's a long story, yeah so anyway this has nothing to do with your post so moving on! This was yet another brilliant chuckle for the day and so NOT a parenting fail!

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  16. LOVE IT!!!!! My son hated the vaccuum cleaner, wouldn't go near it so after the eleventy millionth time he got out of his room the vaccuum cleaner found it's way just outside his door. We didn't hear from him again after that one scream of terror!
    Waiting on the therapy bills...

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  17. That, in no way, can be considered a fail. It should be used as a prime example of how to get your kids to do what they need to do in every available parenting class. It's called leverage and it's worth it's weight in gold.

    Creative parenting at its finest. Well done.

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  18. AWESOME! My son and my dog are terrified of the hair dryer, I've had to use a straitening iron for the last 3.5 years... Bonus, its much faster... but, obviously, makes my hair kinda flat...

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  19. HAHAHA This is hilarious, my sons hate the hair dryer too, although they also hate the vaccume. The funniest thing though is when they accidently turn the vaccume on, and then they go running screaming like I did something. I crack up everytime.

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  20. That is NOT a Fail! That's brilliant! ;)

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  21. HAHA!! My son hates my hair dryer!!
    I may want to reconsider using it against him when he's not behaving properly. LOL

    Thanks for the advice!

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  22. AT our house its the shower! knock it off or your going to get a shower!

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  23. ROFL!

    My 3 year old is TERRIFIED of Santa Clause, so I have (on but the rarest and most desperate of occasions this season) threatened that if she doesn't behave right then that Santa WILL come to our house.

    Up on the house top reindeer pause.....

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  24. Oh my god, i totally want that six gun hairdryer.

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  25. Great, so much power you have with your hairdryer!!

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  26. That is awesome. Victory! It's like using a spray bottle on a dog's face--totally humane! And I love how kids are so inconsistent...like mine has no problem with the vacuum or hair dryer but is terrified of the immersion blender. Whuck?!

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  27. When it comes to getting out of the house in the morning, you gotta use whatever works. What a great story! (My Little One dislikes the hairdryer noise as well...hmmmm...)

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  28. That is freaking AWESOME! I love it!

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  29. That. Was. Awesome. You are my hero.

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  30. complete WIN!

    and @guru louise - i have friends who use spray bottles on their kids. tried IT on mine, but 2 of 3 were all "DO IT AGAIN!"

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  31. That's awesome and so UN-fail. You do what you have to. I once made two small boys behave by threatening to serve fish for dinner instead of pizza.

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  32. Ohhh Emmm Geee!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! I totally have to try this next time... I come from a house where my brother (now 32) is still afraid of wooden spoons... My mom was yelling at him to clean his room and whacked the desk with the wooden spoon and it SHATTERED!!! Never before had his room been so clean in so little time... I still laugh thinking about it...

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  33. It was taking too long to get the kids out the door in the morning, so I told the girls that the car was going to leave without them (after turning on the automatic starter.) I've never seen kids get their shoes on and out the door SO quickly! They were screaming and crying, "Don't leave us car!" Not a proud moment, but we've been on time ever since.

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