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a proud moment, for sure

a proud moment, for sure

May 16, 2007

I am writing this story out so that one day when my children are all grown and come back to me enumerating the ways that I wronged them and damaged their precious little psyches, I’ll have my side of the story already written.

Tonight we were driving home and my younger children were misbehaving so terribly in the car that I contemplated just driving headlong into a tree to stop the screaming, bickering, and wailing that was coming from the back of the van. (My older children were not with me.)

I tried reasoning, “We will be home soon. Fighting with each other isn’t going to make the drive go by any faster!”

I tried bribing, “If you all knock it off when I stop to get gas I’ll buy everyone a loillipop.”

I tried threatening, “Don’t make me pull over!”

I tried shouting, “For the love of all things, KNOCK IT OFF and BEHAVE!”

But nothing worked. No one cared about anything other than the fact that someone was breathing on them, or looking at them, or thinking of looking at them. No matter how loud I turned up the music I could not drown them out.

I pulled into the gas station that is about 10 minutes from our house.

“Yay! LOLLIPOPS!!!” someone screamed from the back seat.

“Oh, I don’t think so. You did NOT behave on the drive here.” I retorted.

Oh the horror. Oh how they were wronged. They wailed and screamed and let me, and every other person within a five mile radius, know their displeasure with every fiber of their being. As I stood outside of the van and pumped the gas, they felt compelled to open the windows and shout how they were being good. Couldn’t I see that they were going to be good now, starting at this moment.

Or in the words of my daughter, “I am BEing HAVE!”

When I went into the gas station to pay I saw the lollipops sitting there, and I was tempted. Because then they would be quiet for the rest of the drive home. I could have ten minutes of quiet. But at what price.

But, mmmmm candy.

I reached into the display.

As I got into the van the kids noticed I had a lollipop in my mouth.

“Yay! She bought candy!” they rejoiced.

“Gimmee. Gimmee.” they shouted.

“Oh, I am sorry. I only bought lollipops for people who were ‘being have.’ And that would be just me.”

They were stunned into silence.

As for me, I enjoyed the lollipop more than I thought possible.

Posted by Chris @ 9:03 pm  

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Comments

  1. Kellie says:

    Brilliant….pure genius!! :)

  2. Ms McFearsome says:

    amazing ;)

  3. amy says:

    Best story I have heard in ages! Thanks for the idea…

  4. Anna says:

    Oh, you are EVIL! Go Chris!

  5. Jennifer says:

    That is perfeft!! I love it!! I will have to remember that when my four children are killing themselves in the car!!!

  6. Jennifer says:

    Of course I meant Perfect not perfeft!! I did complete college I just can’t seem to proof my spelling before I click Submit!! LOL

  7. Playdate Susan says:

    I love you EVEN MORE now than I did before I read this.

  8. Amy says:

    I have been known to do the same thing–only I ate a happy meal (which I have no fondness for whatsoever) and took the kiddos on home for a peanut butter sandwich.

  9. Carola says:

    That was by all means the right thing to do, I totally agree with you. They will understand someday that they were wrong…certainly not today.

  10. whoorl says:

    Chris, you ROCK.

  11. debby says:

    When my daughter was little she said she ‘being haved’, too.

    Consider having them sit next to the pool on a hot day while you swim, or watch you eat out while they have PB&J. My son is 20 and not only survived this torture, he turned into a wonderful man as well.

  12. Cheryl M. says:

    Wicked! Wicked! Wicked! I love it!!!

  13. Nicki says:

    Wonderful idea. It seems my two are in the same stage. A five minute car ride turns into a hellish trip!! I’m going to remember the lollipop next time!!!!

  14. Sunny says:

    What flavor was said delicious lollipop? They do say revenge is sweet. . . Nice. I applaud you.

  15. shaz says:

    ooooh, that’s so totally somthing I would do! lol!

  16. Jenn says:

    Cracked me up!
    I had to read it to my sister over the phone!
    She has a few little terrorists that don’t always be have.

  17. Tina says:

    You are my idol and a rock star. And you should think about writing a parenting book. Take that Dr. Spock.

  18. My So-Called Homeschool » Parenting tips says:

    [...] time the kids are giving me a hard time, I’m definitely going to pull this out! [...]

  19. Deputy's Wife says:

    Love it! LOVE IT!!!

  20. emilyhope says:

    Oh, wow, that was a good one. BRAVO!

  21. Yolanda says:

    Ha!!! I love it!!! I’m definitely taking notes on this one.

  22. Julia says:

    That is priceless. You are my hero!

  23. Kini says:

    That is AWESOME!!! You ROCK, and I am totally going to swipe the idea!! :)

  24. Kini says:

    That is so TOTALLY AWESOME!!! You ROCK, and I am totally going to swipe the idea!! :)

  25. Lori says:

    You are incredible! I’m so glad you enjoyed that lollipop!

  26. Jen says:

    You are my hero.

    (I once took a bag of Jelly Belly’s from my 3 year old when she was being a p.i.t.a. They were the best jelly beans I ever had)

  27. Cmommy says:

    I was going to say what Jen just said!!!

  28. Melissa says:

    Too funny! I had a good laugh- thanks!

  29. Victoria says:

    Must be something in the air. My granddaughter has been a total PITA the last few days. Here’s hoping they all get it out of their system soon.

    I love the lollipop story. That’s one of the best ways to drive home your point. Reward yourself for “being have” and let them stew in their misbehavior juices ;)

  30. becky says:

    Hahahaha! Love it.

    BTW, when my dad would tell me to behave, I would tell him, “I am being have.” That’s the first time I’ve seen someone else use that. Hee!

  31. Carolynn from Western Australia says:

    WELL DONE CHRIS,I’m delighted you stuck to your guns, Maybe, just Maybe they might think twice before they act up again, or is that asking for too much?

    CJ

  32. Southern Girl says:

    Bravo! Although now I’m craving a lollipop…

  33. mel says:

    Coming out of lurking to say…I used to say “being-have” too!

    I have thought about doing the exact same thing you did before, but never had the guts. Oh the screaming, the wailing, and the gnashing of teeth that would ensue! Ugh. You are awesome.

  34. Kai says:

    GENIUS! Good for you!

  35. Melanie says:

    Awesome. I love “being have”, my son says it too and it rocks.

  36. Pastormac's Ann says:

    Oh yes, yes, yes! Mom 1, Kids 0!

    Outstanding!

  37. Kris says:

    I did this just yesterday with ice cream!

    I swear there’s something in the water. I was the only one being have, too!

  38. Kris says:

    I did this just yesterday with ice cream! Must be a Chris/Kris thing.

    I swear there’s something in the water. I was the only one being have, too!

  39. katieo says:

    LOL! I needed to read that today!

  40. dawn says:

    You my friend are…THE BOMB!!! hhahahahaha Good for you!!!
    dawn

  41. Brigitte says:

    Excellent, excellent . . . Mwahahahaaa! Pure, evil genius.

  42. Holli Smith says:

    Oh you ROCK!!! You get the Mom Idol of the year award!!

  43. Amy says:

    I think I love you a little bit more today! I had to have a rental last week because my van needed new brakes. My rental was not a van or any other vehicles with 3 rows of seats, so my 2 youngest (who PS hate each other) were able to be touching. I was ready to murder by the time I turned that car back in. A 3 and 5 year old should NEVER be in the same rows of seats or be close enough to touch, look at, or breathe at each other. I SO feel your pain.

  44. Jennifer says:

    That is just brilliant! I never thought of rewarding myself for being the only one to behave but next time I will.

  45. kate says:

    that’s awesome!

  46. Katie says:

    Oh good, I’m not the only one who has considered driving off the road to get a little piece and quiet. Although the hassle with the body shop and rental car place afterwards might be worse than the noise.

  47. Jean says:

    Good job, Chis! This sounds like a ‘Parenting With Love and Logic’ technique — a great parenting book if you’re shopping around for one. Much more effective than threats or yelling (oops, I’m guilty there), let them experience the natural consequences of their behavior.

    Good parenting will make the world a better place, I’m convinced of it.

  48. Wendy says:

    Yeah, for the mommy!!!

  49. Laura K. says:

    Oh how I wish I had your balls.. I would have died of GUILT! I know what you did was the right thing but I’m too weak to have done it. Do you give lessons?

  50. April says:

    Awesome, hilarious and brilliant all in one sweet, lollipop flavored story.

  51. meritt says:

    Good Job! Sounds just like something I would have done when the children were younger… and then I would have made the point I *always* bring up… (and still do to this day) by saying the magic words;

    “Now… let this be a learning experience!”

    LOL.

    Seriously - strong parents with good disciple raise healthy, happy, good kids. I bet when you “remind” them about the lollypop next time they will listen and behave! I bet I bet!!!!

  52. Heather says:

    Your honesty delights me.

  53. Robyn says:

    Excellent! :0)

  54. katiebod says:

    Believe me, I have done that before. It sure got my son’s attention! :-)

  55. Kelly says:

    now THAT’S good parenting. I love it.

  56. Marci says:

    Chris, that was a brilliant idea. I will tuck that one in the back of my mind for my future use!

  57. liz says:

    You are such a smarty pants! I love it!

  58. Woman with Kids says:

    That is pure genius… I’m being have, can I have one?

  59. Alisa says:

    Bravo! Your kids can join my kids in counseling one day and we can split the costs.

  60. Tammy H. says:

    My oldest always says “That’s not fair!” What’s not fair is always something like… her sister had a cookie w/ more chips, her sister is breathing too loud, her sister got the seat she wanted in the car. One day I had had enough!!! I told her that I didn’t think she realized what “fair” was. I stopped the car at the gas station - went in and bought 2 suckers. I gave one to each of her sisters but none for her. I said “I bought your sisters candy, but I didn’t get you anything today. THIS is not fair. I want you to know what not fair feels like.” I felt like a heel and there were tears, BUT very seldom do I hear ‘that’s not fair’ anymore!

  61. sandra says:

    A few weeks ago, we picked up Boss Girl from daycare (25 min away) and she asked to go to her friend’s (daycare buddy who’s in kindergarten) school program that night. We said yes. Then on the way to ballet (an additional 25 minutes away) she was an absolute pill. We decided she would not go to the program. We finally told her almost halfway home and had to listen to her screeching for 40 freakin’ minutes. It was torture. She hasn’t forgotten it though. Good for you. I would have loved to be so evil!

  62. Susan says:

    BRAVO!

  63. maria says:

    You are my hero - I’ll bet you finally made your point… they’ll remember this - wishing you peace and quiet on your next drive.

  64. Julie says:

    My grandmother used to tell the story of her 4 boys fighting so much on the way home from church that she literally did stop the car on the way home and made them all get out and walk.

  65. Sock Girl says:

    You are my new hero.

  66. Tina says:

    WOOHOO for you!!!!

    Way to go girl!! I now have that idea filed into my brain!

  67. nabbalicious says:

    Haha, Nice work! Love it.

  68. Jen says:

    My kids watched me eat a Dairy Queen ice cream cone all by myself not too long ago. They were both whining and moaning and whining and screaming and whining and being little brats. I had promised them ice cream hours earlier if they had been good, but they hadn’t been. I didn’t see why I should be punished, because I had certainly been well behaved (never once did I lose it with them in the stores when they were being so damn whiny about wanting to go home and how much their legs hurt and they didn’t want to walk anymore, or how my 15 month kept reaching out and pulling all the bathing suits off the racks). Best damn ice cream cone I have ever eaten. They were silent all the way home.

  69. Rae says:

    I bet it would be amusing to hear their side of it. Kind of like that wolf’s version of the three little pigs story. You’re pretty ingenious. I want to drive off the road almost everyday when I’m driving with the three kids in the back of the van.

  70. Kerri Roberts says:

    I loved your story, it brought back a funny memory for me. We were driving to see our grandparents and my sister and I were bickering. My mom finally had enough and said she would pull over until we stopped. Well, she pulled over and when we settled down enough to leave again the car wouldn’t start. We learned our lesson!

    Enough about me though…I’m reaching out to talk to parents about the Maya & Miguel program as part of a marketing project I’m working on with Scholastic. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Maya & Miguel, a show on PBS in the afternoons — http://pbskidsgo.org/mayaandmiguel — that emphasizes cultural diversity and language learning.

    I found your post and thought I’d reach out to say hello and ask if you’d like to receive a free Maya & Miguel DVD. If you’d like to receive the DVD just email me at Kerri at boldmouth.com with your address and I’ll have it shipped it out to you.

    If you do choose to blog about Maya & Miguel show or episodes on the DVD, please make it clear how you received the information. Our goal is to be open and honest with everyone we reach.

    Kerri Roberts, BoldMouth

  71. Stacy says:

    Absolutly Brillant! Love it…This story made me laugh…

  72. Heather says:

    Sweet!!!!!!

  73. Jules says:

    That was fabulous! I’ve contemplated/threatened/cajoled each of the same activities when with my kids. I’m going to have to remember that one!

  74. Mrs. Schmitty says:

    I absolutely LOVE IT! You rock! I’ll remember that for next time! hahhhaaaa!

  75. Courtney says:

    Wow - you really are my hero!

  76. Becky says:

    That was the best laugh I’ve had in days!!!!!

  77. Christine says:

    hahahaha I love it!!!!!

  78. Kasey says:

    AWESOME!!

  79. Jamie says:

    Pure and perfect evil!!!

  80. Eve says:

    This is gratifying to me on some many levels!

  81. Lillian says:

    All the possible words of praise for this have already been said. I second it all! Since lollipops will no longer work on my kids, I think next time I will claim the xbox as my own. Muahahahahaha!

  82. Kathleen says:

    Sometimes it just takes drastic measures! PERFECT!

  83. Kris says:

    Ha! I did this last year, except it was a soft serve ice cream cone from McDonald’s drive-thru. The best-tasting I’ve ever had! And one of my most brilliant parenting moments. (Although my kids were stunned into ear-piercing whining, unfortunately. I turned the radio up REALLY LOUD.)

  84. Jayne says:

    That is just fantastic! - I’ve been on many journeys like that and I only have 3 children - I can’t wait for the next noisy car ride!

  85. Dina says:

    Oh my gosh, I absolutely LOVE it and I will surely be stealing that little tip next time I’m out with my 3 and the arguments start! BRAVO!

  86. Jennifer says:

    You are the god of mothers. I bow down to you.

  87. Allanna says:

    You go, girl.
    That was awesome.

  88. Tonja says:

    GOOD FOR YOU!!! As a daycare provider, I wish more parents would do things like that!

  89. Kristina says:

    I love it!!! I get so tired of the whining and fighting in the van and sometimes I too feel like driving over the cliff! All I want is quiet - LOL - 4 kids and I want quiet. That’s the biggest joke of the century. But you know what I mean?

  90. Amy says:

    Priceless! I did, in fact, LOL.

  91. peepnroosmom says:

    “I am BEing HAVE” I love that, just love it.
    Good for you, mom.

  92. Christina says:

    Now that is genius :)

  93. PARENTS GONE STUPID « On The Ponderosa says:

    [...] if you want an example of a parenting hero, read here.  She is totally, my parental hero.  Chris, I bow at your parental [...]

  94. Anna says:

    OMG…you are my new hero. I am humbled in the site of your parental superiority. Go Chris!

  95. Mary W says:

    I pulled the van over a few weeks back after threatening to do so many times in the ten minute drive from home to the grocery store. I like the lollipop idea.

  96. Qalballah says:

    You bitch.

    LOL!!

  97. Holly Smith says:

    Now, I anticipated an ending unlike yours…I thought they were still getting the candy. You made me laugh!

    Now just last night, we had a couple of incidents where privileges were lost, but my husband decided rather to teach them about grace. So he graced them. My daughter got a popsicle, but only after thinking she wasn’t. It worked well, too. We’ll have to see if this happens again to really know.

  98. Beckie says:

    I have done that, but I was afraid to admit it! It was gum for me.

  99. Jessica says:

    I think I love you. That rocks.

  100. trailin' says:

    Haha! That is a great idea.

  101. CathyC says:

    That is awesome!!!!

  102. Darren McLikeshimself says:

    Oh, man. I can’t wait to have kids and torture them.

  103. Morgan says:

    Hilarious!

  104. deanna says:

    You are my FAVORITE!

  105. JENinMICH says:

    LOL thanks for the laugh!

    DId you act like it was really super delicious?

  106. Sensible One says:

    Oh man, THAT was awesome!! I’m actually looking forward to the next time my guys are driving me crazy now!

  107. Yvonne says:

    That was just the best - and I can prove it! You have over a hundred comments! In my two years of blogging I probably have a TOTAL of a hundred comments - if that!

  108. Henri says:

    I love to hear that there are other parents out there like me! I have so many friends that would just die if I told them half the things I do like this.

    Thanks for posting your stories/life! It keeps me smiling!!

  109. Merry says:

    Fantastic - i must remember it for. next. time. :):lol:

  110. fidget says:

    hee hee hee The Hubster and I did this the other day with skittles. Tessa also says Being Have, of course she also says “paper toilet” for toilet peper. Way to go Mom. That is something they wont soon forget!

  111. Jenn says:

    I once did this with Krispy Kreme. It definitely made an impression with the kiddos. Now they take me serious if they want the reward!!!

  112. Jackie says:

    First time at your blog. I’ve got seven kids, too! Love your sassy posts.

  113. Lesli says:

    I have been known to do this before, with an ice cream treat. Works well, doesn’t it? :) Great post.

  114. jcn says:

    this comes in second place to your daylight saving time joke from 2006.

  115. qtpies7 says:

    You go, Momma!
    that’s all I gotta say!

  116. familybriefs.com says:

    Is it that summer is upon us??? My kids are acting the same way! He touched me! She kicked me! Stop breathing on me! Don’t stare at me! If there were only a way to get them to understand how childish they are acting :)! It’s hard to resist giving in and even harder not to follow through on your threats, so I APPLAUD you for getting one lollipop for the one person who was behaving in the car. Wish I could have been there (then I could have had a lollipop too :)).

  117. jen says:

    Oh! The delight of that lollipop - and the stunned silence! Good job!

  118. Meg says:

    THat is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard in the history of parenting…

  119. Jenny says:

    Good for you! I hope you enjoyed the lollipop.

  120. Mz. Jackson says:

    Classic! Great move, Mom!

  121. Jordana says:

    You rock! :)

  122. Emily says:

    You go, girl! So so cool. We just got a new puppy, and so I’ve been reading up on training him, and all the books say that if I respond to his barking, that will teach him to bark more. So, set up a schedule and follow it so the puppy learns to adher to our household’s rules (he’e crate-trained). Seems there’s a parallel … not about the crate, mind you (!), just about sticking to one’s guns because ultimately we’re training our kids in the behavior we hope and expect from them, and if we reward the negative, we’ll get more of it.

  123. Kristin says:

    This so reminds me of the time we promised our four 9-14 yr old kids Dairy Queen if they could get through just one Sunday afternoon w/o fighting. Of course it didn’t happen but my husband still wanted ice cream. The looks on their faces as they sat outside in the car watching us sit inside DQ (of course at the closest window) enjoying our ice cream will be with me forever.

  124. Erin from Iowa says:

    Delurking to say…
    You rock.

  125. Cass says:

    Oh, this was great! Best. idea. ever. After the electric washing machine, of course!

  126. Julie says:

    My great friend Beth stopped at 7 Eleven and bought herself a big gulp and a candy bar with 5 misbehaving (or misbeing have) kids in the car! None for them. Great minds think alike!

  127. Tara says:

    GOOD MOMMY AWARD FOR YOU!!!

  128. Christa says:

    I think it would have shown a lot more kindness and love to have given them lollipops. Kids have trouble in cars for the same reasons we do. If you’d gotten into a car accident after the gas station and one of them was hurt, would you have still been glad you didn’t give them a lollipop?

  129. Joy H says:

    Awesome, simply awesome!

  130. renee says:

    Oh my god!!!!! I love it, love it. You are so strong….you go girl.

  131. Bethany says:

    So funny. Glad I’m not alone in the going crazy just a few minutes from home.

  132. t in hd says:

    Good for you, Chris!

    The last time I was in the car with bickering kids and my most awful threats fell on deaf ears (or perhaps I was just drowned out by the noise) I announced that whoever could keep silent until we got home would get an extra 25 cents added to their allowance cup (that’s a lot to my kids–I’m a cheapskate!). That did the trick. They almost made it home. But they didn’t quite and they lost the 25 cents. Needless to say, they were pretty hacked off. I bet they make it all the way home next time. And I bet your threat of no lollipops will work next time, too. ;-)

  133. Kelli says:

    Haahaahaa. Hilarious!!!!!!!!!!