Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Amazing All-Purpose Wooden Spoon.......It Will Stir, Mix, Discipline Your Child And Act As A Makeshift Microphone

There's a family that lives in our neighborhood who suffers from an extreme case of suburbanitis. You know, they look the part, and act the part with their 3 children, mammoth SUV, nice 2-story brick home with a Chemlawn manufactured yard, and endless conversations about getting their toddler into the "right" pre-school. We actually live in the low-end spectrum for this area so the most they can hope to achieve is the title of Ghetto Debutantes.

So, they have a 6 year-old son with an interesting Widow's Peak hairline named Logan. I have a 6 year-old son with an interesting Widow's Peak hairline named Logan, too! We see this family pretty frequently at the neighborhood pool during the summer months and have since both our Logan's were tiny little boys.

The Middle-Class Socialite wannabe Mom absolutely fascinates me. She can go from sharing her favorite meatloaf recipes with her poolside gal pals to shrieking at her son and threatening to beat him with a wooden spoon in seconds flat.

I know, a wooden spoon. Wooden Spoons: The spanking instrument of choice for Betty Crocker devotees everywhere. You can whip up a cake and whip up your kid all at the very same time!

I always figured that the wooden spoon paddling was just an empty threat because I employ the use of empty threats myself. I always tell my mini-Infidels, "Don't make me take off my belt because I'll burn your little butt with it," and then they start laughing uproariously because they know that:
A. Fat woman pants don't usually have belts hence my elasticwaistbandlady screen name.
B. The only belt I own is silky and scarf-like. It would be akin to getting a pounding from a paddle made of dryer sheets. Yeah.
Imagine our surprise when one day the lady stopped her bellowing and actually pulled a wooden spoon out of her purse and gave her son a butt-whooping right there at the pool. (Nothing severe. I don't sit idly by while children get abused. This was just a couple smacks on his rear end for being disobedient.)

I'm working on this theory that ardent environmentalists out devoting their entire lives to saving trees from destruction have ulterior motives. I think they got wooden spoon whippings as children and now dedicate themselves to tree preservation work in an effort to bring the wooden spoon manufacturers to a screeching halt. I wonder if young Logan will grow up to ban wooden spoons from his home like Christina Crawford has likely banned all padded hangers from hers? I wonder if Logan's wife will offer to "spoon" with him and will be baffled when he runs from their marital bed, screaming?

Anyway, it's hot time, summer in the city once again and that means seeing the Wooden Spoon Whipper Family down at the pool. I know this is so wrong but the intrinsically devious part of my mind wants to bring my own wooden spoon to the pool so I can (jokingly) threaten my mini-Infidels with it in front of that family just to gauge a reaction. I have these wild thoughts of maliciously brandishing the spoon and twirling it above my head like a lethal weapon. (Think Indiana Jones and his leather whip)

We saw a 3-pack of wooden spoons at the Dollar Store. They were teak and of fairly high quality for Dollar Store merchandise. Yep, these spoons should carry an endorsement from The Wooden Spoon Whippers Society of America promising that they will never break or crack while being used to correct an errant child. Upon seeing the wooden spoon threesome, that intrinsically devious part of my mind whispered to me again and told me I should buy those spoons and wrap them up with pretty ribbon and leave them at the door of The Wooden Spoon Whipper Family's house.......So far, I've resisted but I don't know how much longer I can hold out.

40 comments:

Alice said...

I am a guilty, wooden-spoon wielding momma. I don't use it very often (that's reserved for outright defiance and maliciousness), but its mere presence seems to do the job. (Also - please don't get the wrong idea about me - my kids are really pretty good kids.)

Hmmm..maybe I'll upgrade to the teak.

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

We are a spanking family too, Alice!!! This was not an anti-corporal punishment post at all.

Papi usually does the spanking and its only for major offenses like lying. Lying is basolutely not tolerated around here.

Since I don't wear a belt maybe I should start sticking a wooden spoon into one of my belt loops? Like a wooden spoon holster.

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

Pity me today.....100 percent humidity.....one broken car (Papi's).....thousands of papers....and ME getting to spend the day outside in it all, working, working, working. Yay!

glittersmama said...

elastic, Sorry about your suck weather.

I can't believe the lady carries a wooden spoon in her purse. Does she plan on spanking her kid before she even leaves the house?

Millie said...

Not to sound all "how dare she, I'm calling CPS," but I'm amazed at a mom who brings along a wooden spoon to spank her kids with out in public. Even if all you saw was a couple of spanks, what happens when they're at home, behind closed doors? Maybe nothing, since she obviously sees nothing wrong with doing it in front of people. Hmmmm.

I think I'll bring my cheese grater or maybe my silicone-coated whisk (the silicone means it's less painful) to church with me, just in case my children decide to misbehave. Then there's always the meat mallet, or the cat-o-nine-tails effect of a nice group of measuring spoons. The possibilities are endless.

Seriously, we spank, but rarely and with our hands.

Millie said...

(That sounded more high horse than I wanted it to)

Suburban Hippie said...

My mom spanked me with a wooden spoon when I was a kid and it hurt pretty bad. I know it's no surprise - but I am anti-spanking. I do recognize that all kids are different and that it is the only thing that works for some of them... although bringing a spoon with you just in case is a little weird, what's wrong with her hand?

Science Teacher Mommy said...

People are just, well, nuts. My mom use to have a big flat wooden spoon she used for candy making that she called her "paddle-spoon." It actually looked like a paddle. Anyway, she would threaten and we would laugh until our sides hurt. Dad on the other hand . . .

We spank sometimes, but I try never to do it in anger. (If so, then I'm just the biggest person in the house hitting the little people when I lose my temper.) It is usually a last resort and then a "if you do ______ again, then you will be spanked." Like most parenting techniques, its effectiveness is mixed. I'm glad to see all those here who will admit to spanking. I'm glad I'm not the only human mother on the "block."

JustRandi said...

I used to spank, but I rarely carried around extra tools to get the job done.
Hmm, I wonder if I would get better behavior from my teens if I just open my jacket slightly to show them a wooden spoon tucked into my belt?

Lisa said...

I can count on 1 hand how many times we've spanked both of our girls combined. I don't like it. I feel awful. Knowing that they disappoint us has worked wonders, but I'm pretty lucky, I don't have to do that much. Did I mention I am lucky. I know it.

Don was spanked with ALL kinds of things. Including a metal backed ruler. But I know things were weird and all the sibs have something to say about it.

Lisa said...

Seeing that kind of punishment in public makes me so so uncomfortable. I mean really uncomfortable. I couldn't hang around.

Lisa said...

I can remember once my dad wanted to spank me and my mom said NO WAY! I don't remember getting spanked. But I was once slapped across the face, by my mom, when I was a rotten teen.

Lisa said...

Sorry for the heat and the 1 broken car. :(

Geosomin said...

Ah..the wooden spoon threat.
My Mum had one just for that...she only used it once or twice, and for very good reason...Mum is a quiet calm lady and all she had to do was go and pick up the spoon and we were quite suddenly glowing angels of perfection again.
I have noproablems with peiopl occasioanlly spanking their kids, if it's not in anger and they take the time to explain why to them.
I was rarely spanked as a child, but it worked.
Pulling out the spoon at the pool is a bit over the top though...maybe she wanted to embarrass them on top of it all. I too would wonder if they do that in public, what would they do at home.
In my family it would have been a "we're going home right now and just *wait* till we get home to your father!"...and we'd be scared stiff enough that nothing else would be needed :)
You could always use the Indiana Jones glowing spoon that comes free in the Mini Wheat cereal right now for cooler glow in the dark kind of discipline. It's not too big so it wouldn't hurt too much... But you can't use mine. :)

Geosomin said...

Sorry I can't type today...

Hey It's Di said...

I have fond memories of being tortured once by the wooden spoon. Oh, not in the way you were talking here but my Mom decided to make us chocolate shakes in the blender. She used her ever handy wooden spoon to make sure the ice cream met the blade...DUH! Well so did the spoon and instead of wasting the perfectly good shakes, she insisted we eat them and pick the slivers out of our tongue later:D

A different kind of torture don't you think? I might just have to try it and ease at least a part of the guilt!

Mrs. Who said...

Glad to see there are other spoon-wielders out there. When my two kids were small, they got spankings for major infractions (like running into the street, OMG, I feel a stroke coming on and she NEVER did that again) but they sure got them. I think it would help about 99% of the discipline problems at my school if the principal could use a wooden spoon on some bottoms.

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

I stopped by home for a potty break and couldn't resist looking at the computer. I'm so weak.

I didn't mean to stir up any sort of debate. Yeah, I think spanking your kids in full public view is abhorrent. In this lady's defense though, in all these years I've only seen her spank her kid once. The rest have just been threats.

I have actually called the police when I saw a mom beating her toddler son in a grocery store parking lot. The lady at the pool giving a couple quick "Warning" swats struck me as odd but not "OMG, I better call the authorities about this Joan Crawford wannabe immediately!"

Jami said...

Back when I knew everything, I knew I would never spank. Is anything less logical? Don't hit your sister or you'll get a spanking?

Then I had children and the theories developed some interesting holes. What do you do when your four year old gets quietly active at 3 in the morning? How to keep him off the top of the fridge, keep him in the house, keep the knives out of his hands, keep him from sticking wet things in electrical socket?

How about when your angel child begins slapping the baby at regular intervals? And time out makes no difference at all.

Whew! I was just not cut out for this parenting thing. Anyway, what I wanted to say was that at some point I began spanking and I hate it, but it does slow down seriously dangerous behavior.

At one point I bought into the "neutral object" theory (never hit your child with your hand which should only dispense love, use a wooden spoon instead). But after discovering that 3 swats on a clothed rear qualifies as child abuse to some, I moved to the hand dispensing justice. The spoon is back to old tricks, stirring things up.

Bee said...

My mom was too busy to stop what she was doing and whoop our butts. She'd just throw her shoe. My momma has the best aim this side of Lake Michigan!
;o)

She was always praised for her well behaved kids. Then my sister Nancy was born...

Physcokity said...

OooOOOOooh classy! Oh the days of yore when the pounding footfall accompanied by the brandishing of the despised wooden spoon... It still makes my butt cheeks tighten in frightened anticipation of what horrors await the ill-behaved. To this day I prefer silicon.

Physcokity said...

I echo the question that the rest of the ladies submitted why the tote along wooden spoon.

Get creative! She should learn to to rat tail him with the end of her beach towel!

Klin said...

Was her purse a bowl of brownie mix? I'm with Millie on that if she carries it around in her purse what happens behind closed doors? Skepticism from work I guess.

I used to make empty threats about the spanking stick (aka- wooden spoon) til my youngest announced in Dollar Tr33 that she had found a bag of spanking sticks and there were 5 of them!!! I changed my behavior quickly I slunk out of the store;)

Physcokity said...

I really liked randi's threat though...being able to secretly brandish said weapon...instrument of brutality...behavior enforcer... attitude adjuster the only hope is that the threats wouldn't grow idle without follow up. or just save it for when you get home.

Sorry to hear about the gross-o weather maybe I'll mail you some ice packs and a styro cooler so you can slip them in on top of your butt towel mid day.

Hilary said...

I'm just fascinated that you and she both named your sons' widow's peaks.. and the same name at that! ;)

Ringmaster said...

Guess what? My 6 year old sons name is Logan too. He does not have a widows peak, but he does have a horrible duck tail on the back of his neck. Is that like a widows peak on back? I dare you to leave the wooden spoons on her doorstep.

J-Mom said...

There were a few wooden spoons broken in my household growing up during punishment. I remember a story of someone knowing they were going to get in trouble and hid ALL spoons in the house before parents got home.

You should makeshift a style of tool-belt with your silky-scarf and slide in a wooden spoon for each child and sport the belt clanging with all the wooden spoons on your next pool trip.

Chell said...

I love reading your blog - makes you think about everyday things that people wouldnt normally think about. When I was little I got what was called "The Slop" It was basically a hiding with my dad flip-flop (in South Africa they are called slops) The no of times it came down on my behind depended on how bad the act of naughtiness was! I firmly agree with parents spanking their kids, and I was glad that I was spanked as a child, it made me the better grown up! :-)

Lori said...

I haven't read all the comments. But I'm commenting anyway so if I repeat or sound redundant, I apologize.

I used a wooden spoon with my first four kids and have used it with the 'baby' of the fam. I had a son who needed to fear for his life in order to settle down and stop driving everyone (three sisters) nuts. Although, it only took the evil eye to keep him in line in public usually. So I didn't need to carry anything around.
However, with 'the baby' of the family I have left the house with the spoon in my purse. It's so that he doesn't think it's an empty threat. I've never had to use it but if I did he would have gone with me to the restroom or out to the car in order to receive the discipline. Not out there for all to see.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

A bag of spanking sticks. Hah! I love that.

And Mrs. Who, you can still spank at some schools in Texas. With a paddle. And unless the policy has changed in the last couple of years, spanking is allowed in the district wherein the Smiling Infidel resides. Seriously.

Does anything really prepare you for parenting? I mean, even having parented one child doesn't prep you for another.

jams o donnell said...

Ah the good old wooden spoon. My mum had quite a selection, including one which could have done for a shovel. I felt the force of all of them during my childhood!

Tracy said...

I think that you should hold out no longer. Buy the wooden spoon packet! I think it would be so wonderful!

I was never whipped with a wooden spoon but I was a victim of soap in the mouth. One time my mom couldn't find a bar of soap so I got the liquid soap. That was horrible. I think I'm going to start a petition to ban all liquid soap. Thanks for the idea.

the Bag Lady said...

Please please please buy the spoons and leave them on her doorstep!!! It would be freakin' hilarious.

My mother spanked me once with her wooden spoon. The rest of my childhood, all she had to do was threaten. And she was a master at psychology - she used to tell us to go get the spoon ourselves and bring it to her! The big threat was the STRAP. My dad had one of those old straps they used to use to sharpen razors with, and if we had been really, really bad, it was "go get the strap" She never actually used it on any of us...
And in public, she could control all of us with the "Look of Death". That woman could pin you to the wall from across the room, whilst carrying on a conversation with a smile on her face...God, I miss her!

Anonymous said...

I love getting new household tips. I am pretty intrepid, but I must confess I never thought of using a spoon to whack my kids. But it does make sense...handle for leverage, all that good stuff...

123checkoutthefamily said...

Brother Coffin likes to use a wooden spoon as he leads the music in primary. I've never seen that before until now.

Nancy Face said...

A pounding from a paddle made of dryer sheets? HAHAHA! :D

Nancy Face said...

I can just picture you as Indiana Jones! :D

Nancy Face said...

Oh, yes! Leave the pretty present on the Spoon Whipper's doorstep! DO IT! DO IT! :D

Nancy Face said...

When I was four I swiped the neighbor boy's wallet and walked to the dime store all by myself and spent his dollar. My punishment was 20 smacks on the bare bottom with a metal spatula. I think I would have preferred a wooden spoon! :0

Nancy Face said...

I just saw your comment about the 100% humidity...NOOOOO! :(