The Greatest Punishment of All Time

Today my daughter threw a piece of burrito at me. She was promptly sent to her room. Her initial reaction was fear, she doesn’t like it when Dad gets mad. Then disbelief, as if being sent to her room was a completely unexpected result of throwing a semi-chewed piece of tortilla at one’s father. When she got to her room the water works came on and I thought to myself, she doesn’t know how good she has it.

Not in the sense that in a another time (or in this time with a different father) the punishment would have been a more violent one, but in the sense that being sent to your room is actually fantastic. I love it when I get sent to my room.

Every now and then my daughter sends me to my room. Usually because she sees me hugging or kissing my wife, and she has a zero tolerance policy on PDA. My daughter will walk over to me, grab me by the bottom of my shirt and escort me to my bedroom should she lay eyes on any form of physical affection between my wife and I, and I don’t mind at all. Sometimes she comes right back in a few seconds and I can’t so much as pick up a book off the night stand, but sometimes she sets a timer – which she has no idea how long she is setting it for – and I can get a few pages of light reading in. It’s delightful.

Yet here she is crying and laying on the floor. Does she not realize there’s a shelf of books three feet away from her? Or her CD player and her Disney’s Greatest Hits? Yes that’s right, she has a CD player. She has a few records too. Keeping it low tech keeps Alexa/Google out of the picture and allows you to stay in complete control of the music they listen to. Today its preventing the minor annoyance of “Alexa, play Jingle Bells” in August, but when they get older it will prevent “Alexa, play whatever garbage sounds kids are listening to these days.” I digress.

Anyway, she’s in there acting like I stole her ice cream when all I’ve really done is give her a gift. I wish I got sent to my room more often than I do. Forgot to fill the gas can and now I can’t mow the lawn? I better take a timeout it in my room. Got regular Cheerios and not Honey Nut? I better go think about what I’ve done. Its not even for the reading time, sometimes I’ll just stare out the window. No tears, just a little slice of serenity.

Makes me wish I got punished like a child more often. Not getting dessert seems like a pretty fair penalty for not paying your taxes. Then I’ll have a little bit of peace and quiet, I’ve learned a valuable lesson, and my pants fit better. Everybody wins.

Also makes me wonder where my kids will take this in the future. Maybe when they get older and they have a curfew they’ll give me one too. Home and in bed by 9:30? Yes, please. Don’t get to chaperone a school function? Sign me up. Well, actually don’t sign me up. You get it. Grounded and can’t leave the house? Dare to dream.

I think it could set a good example to show them that I wouldn’t do something to them I wouldn’t have done to myself. And if they don’t like it they can send me to my room.

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