Friday, June 02, 2006

Why My Kids Will Someday Need Counseling

Here are three things I used to do to my daughters when they were little. This will explain the strange facial tics they’ll surely develop as they get older:

Throwin’ her out the window! One time, Daughter Number 1 did something very naughty. When she was caught, a punishment of some kind was certainly expected, but it so happened that that day I was in a whimsical mood. So I said to her, “Do you know what I with little girls who do that? I throw them out the window!” Before DN1 could respond, I scooped her up, belly down with her head aimed toward the window, and started to swing her. “One…!” I said. “No!” she screamed. “Two…!” “No, Dad!” Then I swung her way up in a big arc and yelled, “Three! Throwin’ her out the window!”

That punishment was so harrowing she asked to have it done to her again. Then Daughter Number 2 demanded her turn. So until they got too heavy, I periodically had to throw both my girls out the window.

Tickle machine. This usually happened whenever I’d be sitting on the couch with, let’s say, Daughter Number 1 (any daughter will do of course). I would randomly turn to my right or left, look down and say, “Huh? What’s this?” DN1, eyes fastened on the TV screen, would abstractedly respond with, “What?” Then I’d say, “Uh oh, Princess . . . look!” Up would come my hand with the fingers all contorted, opening and closing in an ominous way. Then, in a low voice, I’d eerily intone, “tickle machine . . . tickle machine…” with the sinister hand continuing to grasp at the air. “Oh no!” DN1 would scream and start to scramble. I’d grab her ankle with my other hand and say, “Yes, get away! I can’t hold it off forever!” “No, Dad, don’t!” “Flee! Flee while you still have a chance!” I’d say, tightening my hold on her ankle. “Why don’t you run? Can’t you see it’s almost upon you?” I’d ask, until finally, after several excruciating, anticipatory seconds, the tickle machine attacked!

The heart attack. Here’s one I used to do if I walked into the TV room and saw, for example, Daughter Number 2 laying like a zombie on the coach, eyes glued to the TV in an opiate-like trance. I’d walk over near her and suddenly seize my chest. “Oh!” I’d exclaim. “My . . . my heart!” DN2, fully aware of what was coming next, would start to make her escape, but not before I could flop down on top of her and start writhing in pain. “It’s . . . it’s the big one! I’m comin’ to meet’cha, ’Lizabeth!” I’d yell, scrunching her way down into the sofa and pressing my upper arm into her face while she screamed, “Dad! Get off! Mom!” “Oh, the pain!” I’d continue. “Barely . . . maintaining . . . consciousness. Blacking out. Losing . . . control of . . . my body!” Then I’d start getting all twitchy while she fought to get me off. If she tried to slip under me in one direction, I’d be sure to block her by falling that way in my convulsions. Finally, after a good long while, I’d eventually “recover” and let her go. “Whew!” I’d remark. “I thought I was a goner for sure!”

Question du jour: What do you do to traumatize your kids? OR what did your parents do to traumatize you?

17 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

Wow, what a mean bastard you were! Sometimes I tell Jackson, "You know, I love you so much that sometimes I want to do this." Then I visit some kind of torture, a poke in the ribs, wonder punch (aka the flying tickle fist in the gullet), etc. Then I say, "But I then I don't, because I love you too much." He loves it, and chuckles at irony.

I was extremely torturous to my younger brother, but he deserved it.

This is a little more serious. One time my dad pulled up to the side of a steep cliff overlooking a river. I was very young. I'm guessing I was 7 or 8. "Sometimes I just want to drive over the edge." I yelled at him to stop while he revved the engine. He was laughing all the while. Then he put it in reverse and pulled away. Pretty sick, huh?

6:06 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Your father's the best, Scott. I know, I know — I've read all the stories, know all about his faults, but he cracks me up.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous dreadmouse said...

I got nothin' yet, but I'm taking notes. Throwing my daughter out the window sounds like a great game, at least until I slip and let go.

7:55 AM  
Blogger jason evans said...

Those are hilarious!!

My older daughter, when she was about four, adopted Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol as an imaginary friend. He lived with us a while.

Sometimes, mixed in with wrestling matches, I would throw a blanket over my head like a hood, you know, creepy death style, and become Jacob Marley. Although she'd run to Mom when I got too wacked- out scary, she'd come back for more.

8:21 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

Those things all happened in our house, so apparently my older siblings went to the same school as you.

When my nephew was little, I'd sit on him and "type" out a letter on his chest. Of course, when you got to the end of a line, you had to push the typewriter back to the left by way of tickling to the armpit. It was only fun right up to the point he'd pee his pants.

8:40 AM  
Blogger boo said...

my papa used to pucker up then land his lips on my belly & go "ppfffftt" it tickles much much & makes my soft underbelly vibrate like jelly - kills me everytime :p

8:53 AM  
Blogger :phil: said...

Those are good. I just make up stories about how things grow in the garden or laws of nature (Why is the sky blue? Because Green was already taken for the grass). I have no credibility with them anymore at all. It's funny but it frustrates me now because they never believe me even if I'm telling them the truth.

9:31 AM  
Blogger tiff said...

Uh, I throw the fit before they can. I see them ramping up to some bad interaction or approaching huff, and I do it first.

Verrrrry satisfying.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Wordnerd said...

Some people should NOT have children...;)

In our house, dad is the torturer. We have the tickle machine as well, except it's "The Claw"... We used to have the "tick tock clock" which consisted of swinging them like a pendulum, and the runaway airplane, where they were "flown" up and down and all around the house.

5:00 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"I got nothin' yet, but I'm taking notes. Throwing my daughter out the window sounds like a great game, at least until I slip and let go."

Hmm. Slip and let go? That's an innovation I hadn't considered.


"Although she'd run to Mom when I got too wacked- out scary, she'd come back for more."

Yep, that's how kids are — they're drawn to it like moths to a flame.


"When my nephew was little, I'd sit on him and "type" out a letter on his chest. Of course, when you got to the end of a line, you had to push the typewriter back to the left by way of tickling to the armpit. It was only fun right up to the point he'd pee his pants."

That's hilarious, Trina. I think you're one hell of an aunt.


"my papa used to pucker up then land his lips on my belly & go "ppfffftt" it tickles much much & makes my soft underbelly vibrate like jelly - kills me everytime :p"

My youngest daughter especially liked that. Of course, if I were to do that today, well, that would just be weird, wouldn't it?


"It's funny but it frustrates me now because they never believe me even if I'm telling them the truth."

But that is the truth, isn't it? The grass did claim green first, sticking the sky with blue.

"Uh, I throw the fit before they can. I see them ramping up to some bad interaction or approaching huff, and I do it first."

Preemptive, eh? Good strategy, Tiff.


"In our house, dad is the torturer. We have the tickle machine as well, except it's "The Claw"... We used to have the "tick tock clock" which consisted of swinging them like a pendulum, and the runaway airplane, where they were "flown" up and down and all around the house."

Excellent! And once my girls find just the right therapist, I'll forward the information on to you for your kids.

6:14 AM  
Blogger Mrs.T said...

OMG, I JUST blogged about this.. I totally traumatized my son last night... OY

6:15 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

" OMG, I JUST blogged about this.. I totally traumatized my son last night... OY"

I'm going there right now, Mrs. T. This I gotta see!

6:38 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Schprock, you never cease to melt my heart. Your daughters must be full of love. They'll remember those times for the rest of their lives.

I am not stern in the ways of disciplining. My husband used to do "the claw" -- the one Jim Carrey stole. LOL

I do the tickle thing. I hold them tight and I say, "Let go of me! If you're so mad, why won't you let go?" This always makes them laugh.

I also do this thing when they're upset ... I say, "Look, I know you're angry, but don't smile about it. Makes you look silly. Seriously, don't smile!" Then of course the kids laugh and say, "STOP!"

Oh, good times. =)

Schprock, is this really your harshest punishments? LOL

10:54 AM  
Blogger Spirit Of Owl said...

I put them "In The Sky." This means they have to sit on my hand and I lift them over my head. They're then about 8 feet up at the butt. I then proceed to totter, saying, "Whoa!" a lot, as I "pretend" to lose balance. I'm actually not sure who it traumatises most.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

I torture the kids by kissing & hugging them. Everybody knows cats LOVED to be hugged & kissed.

There was no tickling in our household (well, there was, but it would end when Mom would find out), as Mom considered it to be torture.

The FF was more along the lines of Scott's father, but crueler. He made my little brother live with a suitcase under his bed knowing that if he were bad he would be forced to pack it and leave. LB was 8 at the time.

5:36 AM  
Blogger Farrago said...

Mrs. Farrago and I have no kids, but I have 12 nieces and nephews (6 each!) from my six siblings (2 each!), and when each was widdo and I would play with them, my most innovative torture device was the blanket monster. I would loosely wrap the ends of a blanket over my arms, forming a big bowl. And then I would form a huge muppet with the blanket, my arms as the lips/mouth, and I would change my voice into a growl, much like Barry White (yeah, right!) and say, "OH, NO! You woke up the....BLANKET MONSTER!" And then "it" would "eat" them. Most fun was when they didn't agree with it, and it would then barf them back out. I made some great sound effects!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Farrago said...

Oops. "when they didn't agree with it" reads a little awkwardly. Change that to "when the meal didn't agree with it"

9:30 PM  

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