Friday, October 13

Oh, Big O.

My son has been given the curse and blessing of an unusual name. It was my grandfather's name, it is a fine name. It is not the name of your
average bear.

In the course of a boy's life, certain temptations are almost irresistible.

One of these temptations is a pristine piece of wet cement.

Oh, Big O. When your name is as distinctive as yours, a nom de plume is in order.


One of the Honey's chief complaints about the Ex is that he does not ever make Big O suffer any consequences. I find that the Honey can be a little Draconian in his notions of discipline, and overall, I find that I am usually more in line with the Ex. You can imagine what a big hit this is at home.

My first instinct is to drag Big O by the ear down to public works and make him perform some sort of penance, like dumping out their trash cans or SOMETHING to show him that there are consequences. But this day and age, they could thank me for my honesty and then slap me with a bill for the signed concrete art.

I'm honest, and I'm civic minded.... and I'm poor.

So I called the ex to ask what he thought an appropriate measure would
be, and sure enough, he thinks a lecture would suffice. Boys will be boys.

I understand that it's a temptation beyond measure to a boy walking home alone from school.

But when he walks by it in the future, I want Big O to wince, and wish that he had not done it, NOT discover the joys of sharpies and start making his mark everywhere. (And may I say that I am terrified that they are going to ask the school about the name and bill me anyway.)

Any recommendations for consequences of boyish behavior? Less than a beating but more than a lecture.

I hate it when the Honey is right.


Jennifer said...

A lecture sounds reasonable to me. If you are looking for more, maybe take him to a job site where they are pouring a sidewalk and let him see how much time and work goes into it...and how much work it is to smooth it out, and then to have someone mess it up. Maybe that would have an impression? My husband is from a construction backround, I know the work that goes into it, more then the smoothing-the setting of the forms, the pouring, ect. Ask the foreman how much a truckload costs...
I once wrote my name (not very big) in the sidewalk infront of my childhood home, so I understand the urge. I'm hoping it is still there, so I can show my kids.

another "Jen"
Jenny in Ca

crse said...

Its awful, but it never occurred to me that this would be a bad thing. Im glad to find this out now so I can stop defacing things (KIDDING! I only did what the other Jen did in front of my own house) The first idea is a good one, or you could also have him write a little report about the process. Or sentences. Active consequences related to the infraction often have more impact than groundings (beatings might too!) or loss of privileges. (wow im starting to sound like a case note in my social life, that might not be a good thing!) All right buddy, good luck and keep us posted!

The "Mind" said...

I'm not sure how old Big O is, but my boys (ages 15, 14, and 9) have been well warned that if they do anything like that where I have to pay for it, they will be working off the $ I put out to repair their damage OR paying it themselves.

My oldest, at age 6 decided to pop the neighbor boys bike tire. I dragged him next door, made him knock on the door and apologize to the boy and his parents AND then we went to the bank and he withdrew the $5 from his bank account to replace the tire (the innertube). He then had to bring the money next door. The parents said it was okay and tried handing it back and I said, "No, he needs to learn", so they took it.

That was $5 well spent. I haven't had an issue since.

I think the lecture, making him apologize (incidentally, this was the WORST thing for him) and then working off any $ you have to put out by doing extra chores he wouldn't normally do is a great lesson.

factor 10 said...

Thanks for the input, guys. I totally get WHY it was so tempting, and it's EXACTLY what every kid has done since the inception of cement sidewalks. So I was kidding about the beatings, but I DO want him to understand that he has to think about ramifications BEFORE he acts. I like the idea of making him write a report about how much work goes into paving/cement. Horror for an eleven year old.

Sayre said...

Hey, Jen - another issue here, depending on how big and how deeply he wrote his name is that people who are not stable on their feet trip over EVERYTHING. Any bit of raised surface is an obstacle for them. And falling can be disastrous. I don't know who uses your side walk, but if you've got elderly who don't move well, that could be an issue...