I’m startled from my sleep. Damn kids. I look over at my wife, but she’s already gone off to work at her minimum-wage bookstore job. If she hadn’t wanted kids so damn bad, I’d be sleeping right now.
Kaak. Hum-hum vreeeeeee…
Oh shit, the vacuum cleaner. It must be bad. I rush downstairs to find the boy on the couch, watching The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. “What happened?” I ask, but I really don’t have time to try to decipher the garbled speech of a two-year-old, so I walk into the kitchen, where I can hear the vacuum and see the most incompetent of my offspring trying to suck up the carcass of a bowl and cereal that has shattered on the floor. She’s trying to accomplish this task in bare feet, and I hope she steps in one of the shards. Pain is the best motivator and teaching tool. Fear comes in a close second: Fear of the Pain. She needs to learn not to drop the damn dishes. We don’t have enough to spare in the house already. I help her learn her lesson by picking her up, leaning her over the couch, and deal disciplinary action on her ass. It’s the place it’ll hurt the least, because I’m feeling generous today. I deal her one blow for each shard of china on the floor–19–and send her back in there to pick up the pieces with her hands.
“And, Lea, I swear if you cut yourself on those pieces once–I better not see one drop of blood in there, or you’ll be cleaning it up with your tongue!”
Satisfied, I return to bed. It’s easier to sleep when I know these children are raised right.