Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The waning days of summer

Summer is winding down fast now, the sun sets noticibly earlier, the air is chilled in the early morning, the geese are sequestering for their move to Disney World and The Tribe is getting antsy for change. We've had a good summer, and I think the greatest thing for me is to watch The Tribe develope in their relationship towards each other. They get along fairly well, and we've crossed what seemed like the impossible bridge; the two boys are playing together. I think until recently they just assumed the only way to communicate was by fighting. Now, they seem to have their pecking order arranged, and they just play. On most days. They still all have their moments, and sometimes those moments last for hours. Last week we had one of those days. I was running out of discipline options, and was tired of refereeing, so, I decided they could just fend for themselves. One hour, on the couch. No talking, no drinks, no food, just sit. I set the timer and continued cleaning. At first Hyphen Girl sat in a harumph by herself on the ottoman with arms folded. She couldn't imagine why she had to endure an hour "time out" when she had been working all morning on chores. I advised her to check her attitude, it's what got her there in the first place. Soap and Buck Naked crashed in a tangle of arms and legs on the big chair, completely unfazed by the discipline. Life is a game to them and I probably should have separated them, but my goal was to get them back in harmony with each other, and I figured the two otters could help things along. At one point I asked BNB what they were doing and he informed me they were playing "Statue". No games, this is a time out. Standing Long Jump, being the 8 year old boy that he is, and tired from his chores, decided to make the most of it and stretched out full length on the couch. He, of course, had to register his complaint by throwing all the pillows on the ground, but he seemed too tired to make a real protest, and the next I knew he was reclining peacefully on the couch.

"How much time is left?"

Oh, about one minute less then the last time you asked. And so it went as I washed the floors (having them trapped on furniture was actually pretty handy- the floors dried with no foot prints.)

Unbeknowst to me, the worse punishment truly fell upon HG, a music afficianado with her dad's tastes. I have a "cleaning" file in itunes with samples of The Eagles, Gillian Welch, Simon and Garfunkel, Trishia Yearwood etc and

OH MY GOSH....JOHN DENVER! (I tend to sing JD songs out loud on the bike-so be warned IMFL friends)

I can't help it, I grew up in rural Colorado. I love John Denver. By default, so does the younger 3/4 ths of The Tribe. They were happily belting out "I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane" during their captivity- a little ironic, no?

HG bemoaned her fate to Trihubby when he got home. He took her out for ice cream.

You might think different, but I'm fairly certain John Denver meets the criteria of the Geneva Convention and doesn't rise to the level of undue torture, but I'm open to contemplation. To think, I could have played Patsy Cline.

For now, the extended time out is a weighty punishment, and the threat, and occasional sentencing seems to be working. There are only three days of summer remaining, I think we are going to make it just fine.

Happy final summer days to all-enjoy!


The Spandex-King said...

The days are really getting shorter. I love fall but hate winter. Good luck with the tribe. Your a great mom and they will thank you for it some day. The values and lessons yout teach them will be used for the rest of there life and passed on to there children. Good luck training!! Oh and with the tribe also.

Flatman said...

john denver...say it ain't so. No kid deserves that kind of punishment!

TriSaraTops said...

So funny. My bro and I are great friends now, but when I was 14 and he was 12, we used to have some battles. I had recently broken my nose in softball (a few months before), and Mike and I were arguing and (this was when he was still smaller than me--ha ha, now he's 6'1) we started pushing, and his elbow hit my nose. Well, being a 14 year old I immediately started drama and cried saying "he broke my nose again." My mom said she'd take me to the Doctor, but Mike and I had to pay the "doctor's fee" of $40. We split it, 20/20.

I went to the doctor. Nothing was wrong. We paid Mom the "fee."

Turns out, it was covered by insurance. There was no "fee."

She took the money that was from our allowances and used it.

I still laugh at this. Good for her. :) What brats!!!!

BTW: Country Road is one of my favorite songs to sing after I've had a few brewskis. :)

greyhound said...

OH, the HUMANITY! My racer diva subjected to John Denver? Say it ain't so. What's next? The Carpenters? Donny and Marie?

Ser'sly, reading your blog is sometimes like watching an episod of "The Dog Whisperer." You are Ceasar Milan teaching all of us wimpy, one kid households how to become a proper "pack leader."

Iron Pol said...

And to think B-Boy, on his 2 minute time outs, will get off his appointed roost after 60 seconds and proclaim, "My timeout is done."

At this point, getting him to remain still for anything more than say 15-20 minutes would involve ropes. Lots of ropes.

My parents would have to have thought twice (okay, 10 or 12 times) about putting more than one of us kids in the same area for a "time out."

Chris said...

Haha. The dynamics of my childhood were strange enough with just my sister and I. I can't imagine how it is with as many lil' ones as you have! It sounds like it all worked out in the end, though.

I'm getting sad that summer is coming to a rapid end. I wore a jacket around for half the day because I was cold. I'm wearing a fleece vest today. It's just not right and entirely too soon to think that we're going to have a blanket of white snow on the ground before too long. :(

Mama B said...

Great parenting tri~mama! You are my hero, I can barely handle the one.

I had to swing by and tell you how awesome it is that you actually put aerobars on your mountain bike. Hey, it's worth a try, right?

My comment on Kahuna's blog was an attempt at humor, I'm glad I got at least one laugh... ;-)

christine said...

I concur with greyhound....being the proud parent of one...