Just Call Me “Guillotine”

In children, Dads, I-pod/I-phone, life, Moms, Parents, Politicians, punishment on May 2, 2011 at 3:39 am

It’s funny the things that people will go through in order to cover their ass. Such is the case with my children this evening; well, more specifically, two of them. On a short side-note, something that you probably don’t know about me, all together my wife and I have six children. We have ages ranging from 6 to 16; that’s 5 girls and 1 boy. I won’t get into the complexities regarding the breakdown of our family unit; I just used this tidbit of information to illustrate the point that when there is something going down in our house, not all the children may be involved. Anyway, back to the story at hand.

Earlier in the month, the eldest did something with terribly poor judgment—I honestly don’t remember what it was now, but I’m sure she deserved the punishment—and got all communication devises removed from her possession: laptop, cell phone, and I-pod. These items were placed on my wife’s dresser—the cell phone, lying next to an I-pod, both placed on top of the laptop—where they were to remain for the duration of the sentence. Ok, everybody got the visual on that? Good, cause this is where it gets tricky.

A cell phone and an I-pod, on top of a laptop, simple, right? Except the cell phone, is not a cell phone; it is in fact my wife’s I-pod, which bears a striking resemblance to my daughter’s I-phone. My wife had taken the phone, dropped it into her purse and paid it no more thought; only to later take the laptop and both I-pods from the kitchen table and put them on her dresser in the pre-discussed order.

Now at some point in time, one particularly nosy child inspecting the older sisters merchandise, realized that one of these items did not belong to older sister, this was, in fact mom’s I-pod. And since my wife sometimes allows them to use her I-pod, for games, music, videos and such, they thought that it would be O.K. to take it. Although, that really isn’t completely correct. They are fully aware that they are supposed to ask permission first.

Now, this missing cell phone—that was really an I-pod—caused quite a stir with my wife, as you can imagine, and the accusations of the possible perpetrator of said crime, were tossed like water balloons; followed by an investigation and about a four day search and seizure operation. Just a little sidebar, during this four-day search for the cell phone, I had noticed my wife’s I-pod in the car. But I wasn’t looking for a missing I-pod was I?

Anyway, on about the fourth of fifth day my wife discovers the cell phone in her purse, and feels a bit sheepish about the whole thing; believing that maybe she had taken the phone, dropped it in her purse, and had completely forgotten about it. What she did not know at the time, was that the person that had taken the I-pod from the top of the laptop—the one that my wife believed to be the cell phone—knew the truth about this I-pod/I-phone mix up, and was now in possession of a forgotten I-pod.

Another few days go by, the teenager cleans up her act, and gets her stuff back. Her phone being the top priority, she claims that first, and leaves the laptop and I-pod on mom’s dresser where they rested quietly… until today.

I would, at this time, like to protect the identity of the alleged offenders, and since none of our children are twins—one is always older and one is always younger—I will refer to them as “the older child” and the  “the younger child”.

Moving on. At some time earlier in the day, the teenager retrieved her I-pod from the top of the computer and used it until the expiration of the battery life; she then plugged it into the charger.

Now, the younger child came in and asked mom if it would be alright if they could use her I-pod. To which the mom replied that she was uncertain of the current whereabouts of the I-pod in question. And why would she? She had no idea that her I-pod was mistaken for the I-phone, put into holding with the rest of the confiscated communication devices, only later to be stolen, and then, thought to be recovered in the pockets of her purse as the missing I-phone. Then it really got good.

The younger child explained that they knew where mom’s I-pod was, and told a story about how the teenager had switched the covers on the I-pods—no one knowing that the two I-pods had actually been setting side by side for a while on the laptop… or did they? Before it gets more confusing, when the two I-pods were recovered later, there was no evidence that the covers had in fact ever been switched—the teenager seems to be innocent of this charge.

Needless to say, another investigation ensued and once again we played accusation paintball; that is until my wife and I narrowed the scope down to two potential suspects. We told everyone that we wanted both I-pods turned over to us immediately and then began a lengthy interrogation of both children. The first I-pod—the mom’s—was found quickly on top of the laptop where it hadn’t been since it was mistaken for the teenager’s I-phone. The second I-pod—the one that the teenager had earlier plugged into her charger was now missing… Hmmm. We conducted a search of the children’s possessions but had no luck. Then my wife and I decided to allow the children to do the work for us. So, we sent each of the children to conducted their own search of the others possessions and in no time the missing I-pod was found in a jacket pocket of the younger child.

Both children had compelling stories, and for times sake, I won’t go into the details; after all this is a blog not a crime drama. The point is, they both had well composed stories for themselves, and theories about the other, and the truth was simply impossible for us to uncover without much more time and a seasoned forensic team.

While we were growing up, my father used to always say to my sisters and I, “This is not a democracy. This, is a dictatorship… and I am the head tater.” And, well, there you go. Although, we did tend to lean towards one child’s story over the other, both stories were completely conceivable, and neither child was backing down. So… corporal punishment for everybody!

I refrain from getting on my soapbox about the rest of the “time out” society, but here in Texas, we still believe in busting our kids. My wife and I agreed on two licks apiece. Unfortunately, one of the children gave up their right to remain silent and got an extra lick added on. And, as a matter of course, my roll in this had now changed.

When the bedroom door gets closed and the impending sense of doom sets in on the child, there is always a last ditch effort for some sort of negotiation to be reached. “Wait, wait… just wait a minuet. Hold on! hold on! hold on!” and, “can’t I just get one, please?” and, “But dad, this is unfair…I didn’t do it” but, this is all for not. Negotiator is no longer part of my job description, I am the executioner, the flipper of the switch, the garroter… just call me, “guillotine”.

Anyway, five swats later and everyone was brushing their teeth and slipping into their pajamas. Then there was a round of hugs and kisses to let them know that we still love them, in spite of the sore butt they had to serve as a reminder that mom and dad do not appreciate deception, and everyone went to bed with lots of love and no fuss.

My wife and I—later as we reflected on the unfolding of events—had a good laugh at how genuinely clever—allbiet misguided—that our children actually are. I just hope that we can manage to turn them into productive members of society and steer them off of this path of potentially becoming politicians.

Well, there you have it, just another day in This World of Hurt.

  1. This is absolutely hilarious! I could actually picture the whole scenario in my head as I read it…..of course, it helps to know all involved participants–but it will still hilarious! Thank you for making me laugh today.


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