Thursday, January 1, 2009
Soap in the Mouth
The kids were in the tub when I heard them converse using a word that had previously been explained to them as "bad..." STUPID. They were finding ways to stick it into every sentence, even if it didn't make sense. I didn't want to let it go without correction for fear they would take the word lightly and repeat the behavior. To set the stage a little more, we had watched A Christmas Story a few times recently because of the holidays. They knew Ralphie had suffered soap in the mouth for saying a bad word, so I thought following suit might make the lesson more clear. So into the bathroom I walked with a somber look on my face that said, "This is too bad... I wish I didn't have to do this." I took the bar of soap from the shower and knelt down. I told Drew he said a bad word and that I had to put soap in his mouth. He grinned from ear to ear and willingly opened his mouth, thinking we were role-playing from the movie. I fought a smile and tried not to laugh. He wasn't scared or upset at all, and the impact of the demonstration was quickly in danger of deflating into a joke, but I was determined to remain vigil. Into his mouth the soap went, and instantly his brow furrowed as he spit out the soap. I know he didn't fully comprehend this was an official "punishment" because after a few good spews he said, "Mom, that's really not a good taste," like I showed bad form by feeding him something repulsive because of my own lack of knowledge. Matt just screamed and twisted away as if I was about to amputate one of his limbs with a chainsaw. We'll see if I struck enough fear to eliminate the undesired vocabulary.