Monday, January 18, 2010

Be grateful, you wretch!

I imagine that all parents have their favorite threats. I guess they're not really threats as ways to point out that one's lousy life could be a lot lousier. When my sister, brother, or I refused to do something beneficial to us, such as tie our shoelaces or eat vegetables, my mother always threatened us with "you know, no one cares if you fall and break a leg at the orphanage" or "no one cares if you grow to be healthy and strong at the orphanage." We all naturally thought the orphanage must be a paradise. Much food has been eaten to the refrain about starving children in Ethiopia.

Yesterday when 6yo (new name for B) refused to do some simple chore such as taking his plate to the sink, N delightfully came up with "you know, some children have to work in coal mines."

That's awesome. The coal mine threat. Do your damned homework or you're going to be shipped to the coal mines and be forced to address me as "gov'ner".

So, stop putting off writing that next 1,000 words and be grateful, because, you know, some children have to work in coal mines.

Anyone care to share their favorite "be grateful, you wretch" line?


Robin S. said...

I actually used to hear the "Chinese children are starving" line. AND 'your daddy works hard, we can't afford to waste anything'. Christ, what a life.

Personally, I like the coal mine line!

Mother (Re)produces. said...

Pfff... And this works? My kids just say "ok, sounds like fun. Let's go." Or "ok, kids are starving? send them my vegetables." Usually it works best if I just break down and cry and guilt trip them into whatever it is I want them to do.

pjd said...

The orphanage does sound like paradise.

Usually we say if you don't do your homework you'll grow up and work in a call center.

We have conditioned our children to believe that salespeople who call during dinnertime are the most vile of all God's creatures.

Mother (Re)produces. said...

They *are* vile. And this is side-tracking things a bit, but I suppose you've seen this?

Anyway, we use "cleaning lady" as our ultimate threat. They can picture that. They hate cleaning their rooms...

writtenwyrdd said...

It was starving children in China when I was a tot in the 60s.

I like the coal mine threat.

Courtney said...

i just remember mom always saying "no one can make you do something you don't want to do, remember courtney, you always have a choice" wherein in i would be completely guilt tripped into doing just about anything.

huh? wonder what ill say when galen and i have kids