Saturday, January 10, 2009

Public Humiliation = Great Discipline

One day we were walking through the grocery store when, as usual, Momo and Mango began bickering like an old married couple who were forced into marriage and are only together because they see no fathomable way out...

(oh, god, wait a second...that is exactly what thy are...they didn't choose to get married and live happily ever after...HWMNBN and I did, and we brought Momo and Mango along for the ride...poor kids, no wonder that they fight so much...they have been mismatched- it's an arranged sibling-hood gone bad!),

Actually, I don't think they are that mismatched, they have fun together but I do wonder if my kids are they living their lives constantly anticipating what they can do to cause the other one to meltdown and attack? could they possibly be doing all of this on purpose? Purposely trying to annoy one another just to see what happens? I mean, REALLY?

But I digress... We were walking through the grocery store, Momo and Mango are bickering over something really stupid and mundane, like maybe Mango touched a bag of chips that Momo wanted touch but nevertheless WWIII erupted and then I began to sing.

Yep, you heard right folks, I began to sing.

I think it was a Disney princess song (or something of that sort) belted out in near full volume and hopefully decent pitch... but whatever it was, Momo and Mango looked at me completely mortified and shouted "Mom! STOP IT! You are so embarrassing!"

At this, I felt that evil little "Muahahaha" laugh reverberate through my body and I realized that I was on to something!

So I responded, "Oh, but I like to sing...and I especially like to sing when you guys are driving me kinda takes the edge off, you know? But, let's make a deal, you guys stop acting up and I won't sing, m'kay?"

And, I'll admit that I was being a little snarky, but one can only take so much in a day, and I was DONE with the annoying bickering. Without a second to spare, the kids flanked me on either side, Momo holding my had in hers and Mango grasping on to the cart and saying things like "Okay, mama we won't fight anymore, I love you, please don't sing" and "Yeah, mom, we'll stop, please don't sing... would you like me to push the cart for you? I promise I won't run in to anything"

It was as if the ceiling opened and some heavenly light shone down on Momo and Mango, causing them to wince and be reborn (if only for the remainder of the grocery shopping) into obedient and helpful kids...I tell you, it was a miracle and from this day on I whole-heartedly believe in "public humiliation" as a discipline tool.

The kids have come to expect it, and it adds light to a situation that could easily become really bad. Nowadays the kids anticipate it...Mango will say something like "Momo, we better cut it out, mom looks like she's gonna start dancing" and then we all crack up and they stop doing whatever it was that they know they shouldn't.


  1. Oooh, that's a good one. I'm gonna have to keep that little tidbit on file for future use. Brilliant.

  2. OMG, that is wonderful!!!! I believe, my friend, that you are a *true genius*!!

    One note FYI .... siblings behave like that. Blood relationship or not, that's what siblings do!! So don't worry about the choice-not-given. It simply wouldn't matter!

  3. That is too funny! I think if I tried that stunt it wouldn't phase my monkeys. Well, they'd probably laugh at me. But if it got them to stop the bickering...that oh, so annoying bickering...then the plan would have worked. I'll have to keep that one in my back pocket for future reference.

  4. I love it and I've never seen it on Super Nanny! I think you're on to something.

  5. I know this works! It always worked on me! My mother had this awful pair of bell bottoms and would threaten to make up some excuse (pretending I had forgotten my lunch... that sort of thing), which would give her the opportunity to wear the awful bell bottoms inside my junior high school (late 80's-early 90's) in front of EVERYONE. GASP! This was often a threat when I refused to clean up my room.

    I don't have any kids, but when I do... I have a lovely velour leisure suit from goodwill that is just waiting to be put into action.

    I love this post. Thanks for letting me reminisce!


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