Aug 2, 2008


In reply to comments about the title of this blog – yes, I did settle on Reservoir Dad because it had the ring of one of my favourite movies, Reservoir Dogs.

But, no, that doesn’t mean I’m the kind of Dad who’d tie his kids to a chair and cut their ears off in pursuit of a confession. When it comes to kids I prefer more subtle forms of torture. (On the other hand, if that DVD control goes missing one more time…)

Speaking of torture, I’ve been thinking about the disciplining of children lately. We borrowed the time-out-in-the-laundry approach for Archie. It was suggested to us by Sally and Cobes, friends of ours who have four daughters under the age of 10. It worked very well for Archie. Just the threat of the laundry can address inappropriate behaviour.

We haven’t had quite the same success with Lewis though, especially when it comes to discouraging him from one of his favourite past times – hitting things. Everything in our house (including the house), inanimate or otherwise has suffered the wrath of the Mighty Lewy. You should have seen him lay into this helpless banana once. I get the feeling that if he’d had access to a chair, some rope and a razor blade he would have gone to town on the curvy yellow bastard.

I have to admit, I feel a swelling of pride when I witness his patience and fierce focus on the task at hand. I intervened on his attempt to whack Archie on the head several times the other day. Every time I let him go he raised his hand in strike mode and walked steadily in Archie’s direction. Archie continued to dodge and weave but I knew from experience that he’d slowly fatigue and cop a series of whacks. So after repeated warnings it was off to the laundry.

Two minutes later I open the door.

Reservoir Dad “Lewis you mustn’t hit. OK? You come and say sorry to Archie.”
Lewis “No.”
Reservoir Dad “Come and say sorry to Archie or you can stay in the laundry.”
Lewis “No.”

I closed the door but could hear Lewis giggling in anticipation. When I opened it again, two minutes later, Lewis busts out laughing. Peek-a-bloody-boo! I did my best to suppress a smile but failed.

Archie walked down the hall, noticed my smirk and started laughing because I was trying so hard to stop laughing at Lewis laughing. In a flustered, panicked kind of way I said “No! Stop laughing Archie,” before I started laughing as well – at myself mostly – because trying to be a stern, controlled parent in that situation is just a crazy-hard thing to do.

Pfft… I wish I could stay angry sometimes.

Funny thing is, Lewis reminds me of myself. I used to struggle not to laugh when I was being disciplined as well. My Dad always said I’d grow out of it. Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

laughed my butt off...
funny how the best laid discipline plans sometimes go astray.