Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Crime and Punishment


Yesterday I heard the familiar sound of water hitting my sliding glass door and walked over to discover water pouring off the roof of the house and shooting over the fence.  My boys, despite distinctly being told not to, were playing with the hose once again.

I suppose I could unhook the hose and store it in the garage, but I've chosen to leave it where I need it because I keep hoping my kids will have the sense to listen to me when I tell them not to play with it.

They don't. 

The message still hasn't set in despite multiple time-outs and revoked privileges.

So, yesterday, I tried a new consequence.

They wrote sentences.  Over and over and over again.

"I will not turn on the hose without permission."

(Cruel perhaps, but report cards recently came out and they could both totally use the handwriting practice...)

The boredom of repetition lead to heavy sighing, and whining, and crying.  At one point, one kid blurted out that he was "gonna die!" and the other child wound up in his room to complete his sentences after writing a few things OTHER than the assigned text.

When Nate arrived home from work, the now weary kids were still scrawling away and it became apparent that it was going to take more time to complete the assigned number of sentences than the short time we had left before bed.

Nate had a suggestion.  He knew the punishment had been set and needed to be met, but wondered if he could help bridge the difference by writing some of the sentences himself.  We discussed how it might make a good object lesson and agreed.

Nate got out his own paper and pencil and sat with the kids at the kitchen table writing sentences, trying to explain how, like the Savior, he would pay the price for a mistake he didn't make and help them make up the difference.


Did they truly understand the deep symbolism of the lesson we were trying to teach them?

I don't know; I hope so.

But I moved the hose just in case.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Better late than never...I guess.

I first checked this out from the library years ago after hearing how great it was.

It wasn't.

So, I only ended up  reading a few chapters before returning the book.

Soon it seemed like everyone I met was gushing over how AWESOME it was, so I figured it must get better further into the book, and checked it out again.

It didn't.

Then, seemingly everyone on earth was completely stoked over the fact that it was being turned into a movie and practically begged me to read it.

So, during a long flight layover two summers ago, I bought my very own copy of the book from the airport bookstore and tried to once again read what many considered to be 'the best book ever'.

A few more chapters into to it this time, and I realized...

it wasn't.

So after my trip, I put that book up on Craig's List and recouped some of the dough I'd shelled out for it.

Soon, everywhere I looked there were references to vampires.  People were siding with Team Jacob or Team Edward.  I learned who that pale, hairy guy is that everyone loved so much.

Once again, I dragged myself to the library to check out the dopey book everyone was now obsessed with.

I wasn't.

And once the movies made it into the theatre, I was invited to go see them with groups of girlfriends.  Turning them down because I didn't know anything about the series made me a real buzz kill.  I finally accepted the offer of my friend to borrow her DVD of the first book and watched what everyone on earth seemed to now be infatuated with.

I wasn't.

I went to see the second movie in the theater with those friends. And the third.  And I marveled that not just teen girls, but actual grown women were mesmerized by the whole thing.

I wasn't.

So, one last time I gritted my teeth, and with great determination (and about a million renewals!) I finally sucked it up and read the damn thing, finishing just this morning, actually.  I think I may qualify as the last person on earth to read the book.

And was it worth it?

Sorry, folks.  It wasn't.