Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writer’s Workshop #9 – Just Punishment

My parents were pretty strong disciplinarians when I was growing up. Both were teachers and they had high expectations of my behavior. Overall I was a good kid. Sometimes however, this might come to you as a surprise for those of you who know me in real life, I could have an “attitude”. That was my biggest behavior problem. Being the only child, I spent most of my childhood with my parents. In the tweens and teen years, they drove me nuts. Add in some hormones and that was quite a mix.

I know I was a brat and I don’t wish a teenage daughter like me on anyone. One of my mom’s favorite stories to tell about this period of time starts out with me and my room. I was messy. Never gross messy – I didn’t leave dirty dishes or food in my room – but I left clothes everywhere. This drove my mom crazy and her craziness drove my dad crazy.

After one particularly heated discussion about my messy room where “It’s my room and I should be able to keep it the way I want it!” and “I can’t believe you!” were screamed for the millionth time my dad got so mad and marched upstairs to take care of the situation.

Some background information…In the house we lived in at the time my room was one of two rooms that faced the street. Both of these rooms had a sliding glass door out to a balcony which looked over the front yard and driveway.

My dad came into my room as my mom and I were fighting about my piles. He opened up my sliding glass door, scooped up an armful of clothes, walked out to the balcony, and flung them over the side. At first I gasped and then the drama kicked in and I started crying, “Stop it!” Instead, he picked up another armful and threw those over as well.

There were clothes everywhere! Hanging off the balcony, from tree branches, in the planter boxes, draped over rocks, and strewn over the driveway and grass. I don’t know what I was more mortified about at the time – him throwing my clothes or what the neighbors thought. I ran downstairs and tried to scoop them up as quickly as possible. It was so embarrassing.

That incident took care of the messy room issue for a little while. When it reared it’s ugly head again, my mom finally compromised. As long as I kept my door closed and did my own laundry, she agreed not to hound me about my room. Not sure if that was the result my dad had in mind, but at least the arguments about it stopped after that.



  1. dad and your dad are related! Mine did the same thing.

  2. That's hysterical! I could just picture it. My parents just shut my door and gave up!

  3. OMG, I would never clean my cluttered room till my dad descended on me with hefty trash bags!
    I have been known to chuck things (of my kids that they leave around and I've nagged for days) out the front door. but we live in the boonies and there's no one to see. Their rooms, I don't even attempt because I remember the way I was.

  4. Thanks for the glimps in to my very near future.

  5. I hear ya. My daughter is a single child and just turned 13. I just finished a phone conversation with her during which she pretty much yelled at me for everything I said. . . and her room . . . sigh . . .

  6. I considered something very similar from time to time with my daughter. Since she lived in the basement, the logistics made it more work than I was willing to expend.

    I don't remember fighting with her about it (selective memories?) but I do remember being frustrated.

  7. I reckon, who cares?

    As long as it is just clothes,anyway and not food, dishes and other rubbish.

    I should probably get out of bed now, but I will come back later and share a story

  8. Thanks for a good laugh this morning!!! It also sounds like our parents were very similar!!! My dad would get the snow shovel, open the window and then scoop it all out!!!

  9. Oh wow - this is a great idea... I have a 15 year old daughter and she would die if I did this... it would be a good lesson though.

  10. HA! Your dad was awesome! He should have stuck to his guns and just kept doing it every single time he saw any clothes on the floor. One pair of panties? Out the window! One sock? Out the window! One bra? Out the window!

    That would have showed ya.

    I'm not entirely sure my dad even knew where my room WAS.

  11. Oh that is such a Dad thing to do. Enough of all the bickering I'll clean the damn room up myself!!!

    And I have to say...I love Dads. :)

  12. What a brilliant thing to do! And I love that you and your Mom compromised later. In the scope of all the things that are wrong in the world, does a little mess really matter? : ) I try to remember that when Kaishon's room looks like a hurricane hit it!

  13. You sound like me as a teenager! I do not look forward to my payback.

  14. Since I now live in the same model house you grew up gave me a great idea for the future!!!