Saturday, July 4, 2009

Getting Your Kids to Do What You Want

Addendum: I just came across this article...

Yesterday, while watching a television show about notorious females on E!, I started thinking about mothers who can get their kids to do anything. It was the segment on Sante Kimes that got me thinking the most. She's a mother who got her twenty-something year old some to kill and rob for her. When they were finally arrested, the police found 14 notebooks filled with handwritten notes on how to kill one of their victims.

I'm not condoning what they did! But it did make me wonder how she could get her son to do criminal things for her when I can't even get the twins to clean their room! What does she have that I don't?

Seriously, my three boys, in nearly 30 combined years of school, have not filled 14 notebooks with anything. Much less notes on one single subject or plan. I'm not going to count to doodles of manga characters.

I'm reading a book about a mother-daughter bank robbing team (Knockout by Catherine Coulter, pretty good so far). Here's how bank robbing with my sons would go...

Setting: my kitchen table, during dinner...

Me: Tomorrow we're going to ride the bank...
Aaron: Which bank?
Me: The one down the street...
Aaron: Why that one? Why not the other one? What are we going to do after that? How long will it take? Can I get a sucker? Can I have two? Do Jeremy and Jermaine have to come? I don't want to miss Ben Ten...there's a new one coming on...can I tape it?
Me: I don't care.
Aaron: Can we stop at McDonald's on the way? Can I have a shake? Can I have a large shake? Can I have two? Can Jeremy and Jermaine have one?
Me: Shut up! We're going to rob this bank and that's that! (I leave the table, head upstairs, and take to my bed in early evening to recover from the conversation.)

Next day...
Me: Get your brothers up, it's time to go rob the bank...
Aaron: Wake up my brothers? Now?
Me: Yes...
Aaron: Wake up my brothers?
Me: Yes...
Aaron: Where are we going? Can I have a shake? Can I have a large shake? Can I have two? Can Jeremy and Jermaine have one? What are you going to get? You really like that yogurt thingy, you can get that.
Me: Get your brothers.
Finally Jeremy and Jermaine make it downstairs, sometime well after noon.
Me: Who's driving the getaway car?
Jeremy: (shrug)
Jermaine: (shrug)
Me: Fine, we'll work it out when we get there. (drive to the bank)
Me: Jeremy, you drive the getaway car...
Jeremy: I don't have my permit...I lost it...
Me: Damn it, Jeremy! That's the fourth one you've lost. You're paying for it! It's coming out of your allowance! You're going to order it yourself!
Jeremy: (shrug)
Me: Fine...Jermaine you drive...
Jermaine: I don't really want to...I want to go throw the shot and discus (spinning around the parking lot like a 6'5", 280# ballerina)
Aaron: If they don't have to go, I'm not going...can I change the channel? Can I tape this movie that's three-quarters of the way over?
Me: (drive home, go upstairs, take to my bed...)

In my house, it's not even worth planning a trip to the park, much less anything requiring tight planning and plotting! How did Sante Kimes do it? Was she armed and threatening? Was her son scared of her?

Because my kids are a) bigger than me and b) not scared of me in the least. Which would explain why I say, "take out all the trash," get a nod, and find out later nothing was touched. And repeat this same scenario for cleaning the room, vacuuming, get the picture!

I really don't want to rob banks with my kids. But I would like to go to the store to buy clothes for them without the attitude, whining, questioning...

If you have secrets for getting your kids to do things, share them, please!

Happy Fourth,

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