Never let it be said that all Monday's are created equal. Last Monday was an awesome day. This Monday, not so much. Sarah was up until midnight with a belly ache and I had to get her into her doctor this morning, bright and early. I came home, after dropping her off at school, because bellyaches only occur at night. I know this is true because I had the same thing last week.
Anyway, on my return I had a raging headache. I had to take a pill for it and spent the rest of the day in the recliner, checking the phone now and then for emails, which I then had to answer. Sometime after two or three I think the headache was better, but my neck and upper left back feel as if I've been beaten with a bat. I used my tennis ball, but the pain in the trap was so bad, the ball hurt. Using the ball on the right side of my back told the tale. It didn't hurt and it felt good to roll the tennis ball along the muscle.
Sarah came in from school and when I asked her if she got in trouble today she danced around the question for five minutes. She thought I had seen her Class Dojo (message system between parents and teachers). Joke was on her - I had not. She finally told me why she got in trouble. She had talked during class and lost a point. I grounded her for the rest of the week and took her tablet, which she may not get back for some time. This was the second time in a week she's felt the need to chat on the job. The last time she was grounded for a day. I informed her that since she felt it was crucial to talk when she should have been working, she could do her school work this week when she'd normally be talking to her friends or playing.
So, for the next week she will be doing math worksheets, extra ones instead of games, toys, and friends. To give her credit, she didn't complain after the first 20 minutes, during which time I had to endure whining, complaining. and bemoaning the fact that she didn't know how to do math. She's in the 3rd grade. She knows. She finally figured out that I was serious and nothing was going to change. Then she blew the subtraction. Badly. She'll have it down in a few weeks but at the moment it is her nemesis.
I wonder who actually gets punished when kids are grounded? I never believe in grounding. Never got grounded in my life. I got spanked but not a lot. The key to spankings is that you learn not to do the things that get you spanked. There were consequences. So, I followed the rules and as a result, my life was relatively simple and straightforward. Despite an alcoholic parent, I didn't starve, feel deprived, or suffer neglect. I had a large extended family and we had great times. I was clothed, housed, gifted, loved, and spanked. Amazing that well that turned out for me. I'm eternally grateful.
I didn't have to ground the boys much. On the rare occasions they got in trouble, they got spankings. Which, incidentally didn't kill them, crush their spirit, or make them impotent. They were just as sassy afterward as before. And we had great fun during their youth. They never got arrested for criminal behavior. Never attacked old ladies on the street. Never raped, murdered, or robbed anyone. Cause Mama was waiting home with a paddle and feared neither police, judge, or CPS. And if you wanted to come home, you better keep your nose clean and keep a civil tongue in your mouth. If you can't don't let the door hit in the butt you on the way out. The one time Mike threatened to call the police if I spanked him, he was 10 or 11, and I walked over, picked up the phone. I looked him dead in the face and said with no trace of a smile, "Would you like me to dial it for you?" He never did that again.
Sarah is a different child. She's fairly easy going. She does her things, I do mine. The trouble comes in when she is forced to remember that I'm the adult and she's the child. She's confused by that, I think. I'm Mawmaw. I'm fun. I'm silly. I'm kisses, hugs, and giggles. I'm not the stern old lady who has a paddle and isn't afraid to use it. I'm not the woman who glares at her when she gets sassy. I've rarely glared at the child more than half-dozen times in her life! That woman she doesn't get. Until she does. Then she is as good as gold. Has she fooled me? Sometimes she thinks she has, but not usually. As the sister of six, mother of two, and aunt to a few more there isn't much that fools me.
At the moment, she's got another stomachache. It is bedtime of course. And she didn't eat the supper I gave her at 6. So, of course, she's starving and that's why her belly hurts. And it probably does. I've fed her but I've given her a promise, something every child who has ever lived in this house knows I only do with the gravest of intentions, that at 6:30 a.m. she will get one wake up call. If she fails to answer that call promptly, there will be consequences. I hope she knows I mean it.
Now, it is my turn to go to bed. I've had enough. I have a long day tomorrow.
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