Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Mommy Punk

So, tonight I participated in a focus group for a local parenting magazine and website. My children got to play for 2 hours at one of their favorite venues, and I got to sit with like minded people and listen and interact. I loved the social interaction, and even made some good contacts. I was also surprised to see a good friend who worked for the parent company of the magazine. Plus, they had food. That was a win/win situation.

After two hours, I went to collect my kids from their playtime. Of course, Bobbi had made new friends who knew her by name. And ELIJAH was stripped down to his first layer of t-shirts. He has taken to layering t-shirts over his undershirt, and tonight being no different, was down to the crayon blue Phat Pharm t-shirt. His jacket was sitting at the area entrance desk, and he was holding his first layer t-shirt in his hand. I was wondering why my child had stripped when he handed me a soaking wet t-shirt, and said in a giddy voice "Mom, I played in the water."

My mind, already recovering from migraine mayhem, begin to twirl out of control. I think I stood still for a full minute looking at this little person, wondering from whence he had come so I could send him back there.

Now, you must understand that earlier in the day I had gotten an email from Elijah's teacher about his in class behavior, and how he reported that she could tell me if she wanted, because nothing would happen. He may as well have flashed in neon "I have a Mommy Punk" for a parent.  He was already on My List. Of course, public displays of near child abuse are not socially acceptable. I just got him all zipped up in his warm jacket and put on his coat over top.

I carried the wet shirt to the car and got him in and seat belted. All the while I was thinking, Lord, why must I discipline this child? I abhor disciplining my children. But if I don't do it now, the world will do it later.

Elijah must've been thinking to himself in that backseat: We have spent tons of time playing at C.O.S.I. I know I am not supposed to get that wet. Oh man, I forgot about school. These thoughts had to be twirling through his mind, because he suddenly fake yawned really big and said "I'm tired. I just want to lay down."

I am often amused when my babies try to work their way out of a web they weaved. Not tonight. Telling a teacher that you don't care about authority is a no-no in this house. I am on the teachers side.

On the way home, he was quiet. I was actually glad about the quietness because I was bone tired. I have not participated in much since these migraines started and I was fully engaged at this event. Maybe I would just talk with him and put him to bed.

Then, to my surprise and consternation, while getting out of the car to go into the house, Elijah takes his wet shirt and rubs it into the snow mountain on the ground. I was flabbergasted. It would never occur to me, after nearly missing discipline AND getting to play at a place I love for over 2 hours, to remind my tentative abuser  parent of my capacity to misbehave.

That did it. I was going to give him exactly what he deserved, whether I wanted to do it or not. He had crossed the line of no return, and stubbornly believed he could get away without repercussion.

He basically was calling me the Mommy Punk. He pushed the chip off my shoulder. It was on! Spanking time. We had hung our coats, and Elijah sat on a heap near the sofa, sucking his two fingers, and doing a one man performance of  the depth of human tiredness. He yawned, he pulled sofa pillows around him. He lay over to this side and that side. All the while I was straightening the living room, making sure Bobbi finished her homework and thinking to myself  'why do I have to discipline this child?'

Then I remembered that it is my responsibility to oversee this child and provide him with guidance and instruction. If I don't give him correction now, he is going to be out of hand repeatedly. He would be right - nothing as going to happen. I put on my disciplinary hat and got busy.

Now, I just want to hug him and tell him he can sleep in Mommy's bed, but I restrain myself. I will not be the Mommy Punk in this house. Will not.


  1. Ummmm! Great article! I would have loved to seen his eyes when he saw you remembered. He is such a cool cat.

  2. Good job getting rid of Mommy Punk. I have to change my parenting approach with my boy - almost monthly. Because he becomes immune to my punishments - it's his special power! Thanks for stoping by my blog and following.
    My Wonderfully Dysfunctional Blog

  3. Yes, I too have been guilty of being a mommy punk... I understand. But its not like you are a punk....ijts just after a long day of work...fealing with grown people that act like children and have no sense...peace and quiet is all you want.....

  4. Ms. Towns, I will not be a mommy punk either. I think boys have that natural built in instinct I'm ruler of my world but often forget their place in the real world (just kids in general) I believe as mothers of Black little boys upon which we are raising to be Strong Black Men it is hard to learn the delicate task of disciplining while allowing them just enough room to not break that strong spirit in them. But I like you will not allow the world to discipline my child when I can put him in check at the young age where it ought to begin. If a child does not respect the authority figure that is clothing, feeding, buying him or her their favorite toys and so on, they definitely will have no respect for anyone else. Keep going and stay strong Spare the Rod Spoil the child. Don't Spare that Rod.

  5. Smiling as I read this as my own little six year old boy's antics amaze me sometime. Thanks for visiting my blog. Your header picture is captivating.


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