Betsy left a comment on my last post (a comment! i finally got a comment!) asking, “Is it possible to get after naughty kids and still be joyful?”
I think it is, especially when it’s the feast of St. Patrick and my children are made to clean—Gasp! Clean!—before they are allowed to move on to the fun stuff.
The “fun stuff” around here includes chocolate Rolo cookies and shamrock shakes. Homemade shamrock shakes, mind you, because the ones at McDonald’s are too expensive and besides that, mine are better. Are you kidding? I add a touch of crème de menthe. How could they possibly not be better?
But somehow the prospect of treats this evening was not enough to keep the kids from complaining, especially when Daddy dumped out the laundry baskets and told them to start folding. I couldn’t take away the entire treat, could I? Because after that, what punitive measures remain?
And it is, after all, the feast of St. Patrick.
It was then that inspiration struck. I turned to the incessantly grumbling child (the loudest one, anyway) and said, “That’s it. You were warned. I am writing your name on the dry erase board and for every grumble that comes out of your mouth, I will take a big germy slurp of your shamrock shake.”
What? No way. Could I be serious?
I gave her name a tally mark and, holding an imaginary spoon to my lips and slurping loudly, said, “That makes one.” She looked mortified…but she stopped.
(So far the tally rests at one, with the promise of removing it for good behavior.)
(Plus the laundry is folded and the bathrooms are clean!)
(This from the children who aren’t even Irish.)
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!