Friday, August 11, 2006

I Want Dooze!!

He rushed into the store, screeching "Dadddddyyyyy!", flopping his tiny little limbs around—eyes manic, crazed. Crack-smoker eyes. A haggard-looking Daddy squinted at his child and arranged his face to Stern.

"Beta, this lady will scold you if you keep shouting." I looked up, alarmed. Who? Me? What? I smiled uncertainly while moving swiftly away. I will do no such thing, I muttered inside my head. In typical crack-head fashion, the kid rushed up and down the aisles, poking stuff, examining anything he could pick up before dropping it pleasurably—thud!—on the floor. "Beta, no!" A pathetic plea really as The Dad trailed after him, picking up pastas, rice, sugar, potato sacks. "Papa is not happy!"

I don't advocate violence against children. That's wrong and stuff. But would it really be so terrible if before leaving the privacy of their home, the dad would loom menacingly down on the boy and snarl, "If you misbehave, I will spank your bum pink when we get home. Understood?"

Now don't get me wrong. If there is anything that's more cringe-inducing than watching a kid stomp all over their parent, is watching adults hit their children in public. But of course, the only times I have seen this has been when the child is behaving normally with minor infractions. So it becomes this horrible moment when you realize how utterly powerful adults, and you are witnessing abuse of that power.

I started thinking about when I used to teach junior high kids at this after-school club. During class, one of my students was sent to the principal's office largely because the teacher was this utterly manic mess of a woman who doled out punishment like it was going out of style, especially if you were on her shit-list. Admittedly, my student was a known trouble-maker, class-disrupter—but basically a good kid (actually one of my favorites). Later on that day, I sat down with him and talked to him about it. I made the mistake of telling him that I agreed with him and that Mrs. Frequently-Insane had been somewhat unfair. (He had been late to class by about 2 seconds.) He looked up at me, mildly horrified, and wailed, "Why didn't you do something?" I was speechless. "umm..because you are her student during first period, not mine?" Bleh. Everytime I see a public smacking, he wails in my head, "Why don't you do something?"

"I want Dooze!!," the kid's shriek could only mean one thing. He had spotted the twinkling, sparkly, multi-colored juices inside the refrigerator. Unable to figure out how to slide open the doors, he simply jabbed at the glass and croaked, "Doozze!". Quite suddenly parched with thirst. In a valiant attempt at discipline, the father grabbed the groceries and left the store (to the mild horror of everyone else). He watched worriedly through the glass as his child flung himself on the ground and flopped around like a fish. Defeated, the man came back in and bought the drink. Fanta made a buck that day.

2 Comments:

Blogger Andy's Life in India said...

Why have we become so politically correct that parents are not allowed to discipline their children and at the same time hypocritical enough when children run amok blame the parents. We cannot disarm parents without having to deal with the consequences of bratty children getting their way. We (the western societal we) have created these little hellions and yet we still sit and judge the parents who are not allowed to raise them.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02buX8_8C7o

I think this commercial goes perfectly with what you said! Enjoy ;)

10:06 PM  

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