Spanx…not just for fat thighs.

Discipline. Every parent’s worst nightmare. Well, I guess it should be every parent’s worst nightmare. It’s mine. I bring this up because I gave my 2-year-old a good spanking this weekend. We are so accustomed to him being very laid back, a bit slow, and more or less really mild-mannered. We got so spoiled.

Then he turned two. Here is a kid who is a bit developmentally delayed and goes to therapy, but somehow knew that in terms of acting like a little son of a gun, he is exactly two.years.old. What’s worse is that I can’t even tell if he isn’t listening to me or doesn’t understand. And I don’t know when it is I became a comedienne, because he is constantly laughing at me. Gutteral laughs. His dimples are so deep I am thinking of serving egg nog out of them at Thanksgiving. He thinks it’s all just a riot. I keep a straight face, I walk away to laugh, I try to be serious. But he just loves to do the opposite of everything he should. Congratulations kid, you have caught up with yourself.

So this weekend I took some pinches to the face, a smack, a kiss, then another pinch, then my glasses got ripped off my face. His dad got “pantsed” while trying to make taco meat. More than once he ran into the kitchen, smiling big, eyebrows arched, dimples deep and ready to pull his dad’s pants down. Playing in the garbage. Tossing food across the room. Sticking the drain cap in his mouth. Towards the end of the day, especially after the glasses face pinching, I lost it. I spanked.

Now oddly enough, we had just gotten done watching a string of Supernanny episodes. She is really pragmatic and has good ideas that I wouldn’t think about otherwise. But nothing that day was working. And I spanked him. Yes, I get that it makes no sense to stop someone from hurting you by hurting them back. But some people at some point in their life actually need to learn empathy, sympathy, and discipline by means of experience. I had no idea how much fire hurt until I burned myself as a kid. I loved the stove. My mother was not a hitter by nature in the least. But the day I was 3 and ran away across the street to my aunt’s house, I got a spanking. I should say in my defense that I got a teenage neighbor of ours to walk me across the street to my aunt’s house. But still, I acted like a jerky brat, threw a tantrum, and then left my house and crossed the street into better pastures. My welcoming committee wasn’t great. I remember it now 32 years later.

When the boy got his first official spanking,  he acted as if I poured ice water on him. He was shocked. He was afraid. He was confused. And I was a bit dead inside. Mostly because I really struck him out of anger and frustration and it was clearly very in the moment. But I don’t know how or when else is a better time to spank? 

I know many people have many methods. All of the old TV shows show the parents telling their kids to go upstairs and wait for the whoopin. This seems very well thought out and logical and in the mind of a kid, extremely frightening, which I suppose is the point. And I do think that in reality, a snowflake could do with a shock to the system. Not a beatdown, mind you. Just some old-fashioned no-nonsense fanny whooping.

I have to ask myself if I would be able to do it, because on the other hand, it seems so calculating. And the only “violence or physical altercations” I have ever witnessed were not meant to dissuade. They were purely meant to humiliate and hurt, and relieve stress. Pure and simple. Where is the line in my house?

I am not sure there is a clear-cut answer that is going to work all of the time. And I know that every good parent probably does really feel like shit after the spanking occurs. I know I do. I think I will walk away if I really feel in my gut that I just want to stop stressing before I administer the spanking. But if he is lighting things on fire, sticking objects in light sockets or running out in the street, I reserve the right to spank, and possibly strangle Homer Simpson style.

I do have some hope that once he is back into the swing of things with his speech therapy he will have some more tools to communicate with us. And vice versa. We lost his therapist to a combination of red tape with her license and also the state not paying therapists for work in EI. We got lucky that we live in just a decent enough neighborhood to have someone willing to travel and pick up our case. Many others aren’t that lucky and that’s a problem. But that’s for another post.

I haven’t gotten any judgement from any friends on this issue. Lulu says that I have to give him boundaries otherwise he will grow up to live in a neighborhood filled with fuckfaces and acting like a douchebag on Facebook Version 7.0. I am inclined to agree.

So in the end, no pun intended, I maintain that I feel like shit about spanking my kid. I will always be on the lookout for functional ways to not have to spank my kid. I will hopefully recognize when I need to cool down and spanking incidents will be the exception, and not the norm.

Someone should write Miranda Rights for spanking. You have a right to remain silent. Anything you do can and will be held against you with your parents. You have a right to straighten your shit up and you have a right to ask us to assist you. We in turn reserve the right to possibly and maybe spank you. We hope not though.



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tamale chica
    Nov 24, 2009 @ 02:59:46

    I think spanking, within reason, is a good thing. It sets the boundaries between parent and child, and helps develop a child’s sense of what is right and what is wrong before they get too big and too old to be spanked. You’re saving the world from an out of control adult who will be frustrated with himself that he’s offended all the good people, by giving him some much needed structure. And before anyone crabs about my comment, I don’t advocate beating a child. Spanking is not the same as beating or an ass whooping with a belt.

    I was hardly ever spanked as a kid, but I sure remember those times that I was, and it always reminded me as a kid ‘who the boss was’ as an adolescent.

    I do have a friend I’d love to borrow him for to use his pantsing skills on, though.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!


    • thecrabbucket
      Nov 24, 2009 @ 12:23:20

      Thank you! I agree as well. But wow, did I ever not expect feeling like such crap about it. But I feel better about it, and he still likes me. 🙂

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too!!


  2. tamale chica
    Nov 25, 2009 @ 17:55:26

    I remember once when I played with nail polish (I wasn’t supposed to be messing in my parent’s stuff), I spilled the entire bottle on their bedspread. Right after that, my mom walked in and I immediately started crying. It was the one time I got out of a spanking for deliberately disobeying my parents.

    Many years later, my mom said she could barely keep from laughing (the nail polish thing) because of my pre-spanking crying and the look on my face (I knew I was “guilty.” She told me the same thing, that it was really hard to do that but they needed to set boundaries for me. With boys, I think they’re just more rambunctious so it’s even more challenging.

    Even when my parents were “mad” at me, they made it clear that they still loved me, but didn’t “love” what bad thing I might have done. Not that I was ever really bad, but unchecked misbehavior is still not a good attribute. Of course they never bought my suggestions that if they really loved me they didn’t need to spank me. Ha, kids will say anything!


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