My parents were a “No Spanking” family.
The one time I was ever spanked (before their no spanking policy was in place) didn’t work. I remember being about six years old, I told a lie (my mom’s biggest issue was with lies.) I remember getting bent over the knee, it hurt like hell, I looked up with no tears and said, “Is that all you got?” or something along those lines. Then ran to my room, slammed the door, & cried for an hour. But I wasn’t going to let them know that it had worked.
I should have just cried in front of them and been done with it. Because what I did was dangerous, I challenged two lawyers. So, they put their heads together & came up with a different form of consequences. Since spanking clearly did not work, they created a way in which they could torture their overly, extroverted child–
What is a theme?
theme: A very clever & sly, evil way that two outside of the box thinkers derive a plan to make their daughter suffer the consequences of her actions by assigning said child 1) a time that she must go to her room by herself, with no toys or siblings to distract her and 2) write a paper with an assigned number of words with a topic; such as:
1500 words on “Why I will not lie”
1000 words on “Why Hitting My Sister is Not Nice”
500 words on “Why I will do my chores the first time my mother asks”
I would be given a deadline & if that deadline was not met or the theme wasn’t up to their standards, then they tacked on another 200 words. GENIUS I say (I swear it’s the reason school papers do not daunt me to this day. When I became a history grad student & had to write 30 page papers 2 times a semester, no big deal, I was spittin’ out 5 page papers weekly when I was eleven all for being a brat.)
People, I guarantee you I had to have written 5 volumes of “Themes” (that probably doesn’t speak very highly of me does it–I’m basically telling you I was in trouble all the time.) The concept is really quite brilliant–I was a total extrovert (still am) who HATED to be separated from people (still do.) It was sheer torture being sent to my room at 7:30 on a Friday night, with no family movie time, & with no interaction with people! I could hear them laughing, I could hear them talking, I could hear the movies, I could hear them eating (had to eat supper alone too), I could hear them all the time & it would kill me slowly!
I was thinking about those
brilliantly, genius stupid themes yesterday as I watched my precious baby boy turn into a scary, screaming, monster thrashing on the floor because he wanted something he couldn’t have. It put me in a momentary shock that such a ferocious, little, creature came from my angel and I was amazed my parents did battle like this with five kids & survived it (and still love us).
It was in this moment that I realized that they were trying to figure things out just like Todd and me. They, like everyone else, didn’t have it all planned out for them, didn’t have a map legend telling them what huge decisions needed to be made, if those darn themes would work on me or not; it was a lot of guesswork, prayer, & diligence to mold their five kids into the people we are today.
I just hope that I can do it with as much grace as they did & I hope I can do as well of a job. Cause, seriously y’all, I’m pretty much the bomb!