I really don’t know when it happened. If I could just remember the day it all changed, why it all changed, and how it all changed, I think I’d unlock the key to parenting. When did my child start to need discipline? I mean, DIS.CI.PLINE. Like “do that again and you’re grounded for life” discipline. He’s only 3. Well, almost 4. And yet it seems like it was just yesterday that I was monitoring milestones and neurotically researching which solids were the best to introduce first. Bananas… peas… Berries, OY. The berries. Who cares that the AAP said you can introduce them as early as 6months. I just spent $300 for a “pediatric food specialist” in the Pacific Palisades who said it was too soon…

Now, I’m changing the tone of my voice, taking deep breaths, negotiating like there’s a bomb strapped to my back… Everything has changed. My goal to discipline according to “the plan” is not, well, going as planned. Trust me, I start out as a discipline-like-an-evolved-democrat-voting-parent… but shit. One can only, get down to “their” eye level, talk in a calm but firm voice for so long while their child slams a computer shut or gets out of bed 45 times… The result of failing the “what good parents on the Westside of LA pay thousands of dollars to accomplish” is a big, heavy, and ridiculous dose of the ET’s: Empty Threats.
So far, my threats are pretty standard… punishments that fit the crime. But just like the new hilarious book Go the F*** to Sleep by Adam Mansbach (you must listen to THIS audio version), there are a thousand things I’d like to threaten with but never will. Here are some of the ridiculous threats I could spew, and I think you all could do if that button kept getting pushed…
If you do that one more time….
I will throw out all your shoes.
If you do that one more time…
You will not go to prom.
If you do that one more time…
We will never take a vacation.
If you do that one more time…
You will not be able to vote.
If you do that one more time…
You will never go to elementary school.
If you do that one more time…
I’m never teaching you to read.
And the list goes on….
What are some of your biggest, best (and by best, I mean worst) threats you’ve said… or wanted to say?

FILED UNDER: A Little Life

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  1. Friday, June 17th, 2011
    I am now entering the ET phase- he's three. The "their level" talking is becoming increasingly difficult. I've threatened to take away playdates- which I haven't actually done, because I need it more than he does.
    Sometimes I cry...
  2. Friday, June 17th, 2011
    When we moved to England, my son was four. We were in a plane over the Atlantic. He didn't really understand that we were a mile in the air over an ocean. So, when he started throwing a fit, I asked him if he wanted to get off the plane right then and go home instead of the exciting move he was looking forward to. Takes, "turn this car around" to a whole new level, eh?