One thing that cracks me up about my parents is how they think they’re in control. What’s even more amusing is to watch my mom have one of her meltdowns when I give her a piece of my mind: “No, I don’t want to go to bed, eat your “cooking” or stop pouring an entire bottle of shampoo on my doll’s head. Get off my ass.”
Luckily, I was born when the punishment trend has swung past spankings all the way to the benign “time-out.” A time-out is a joke. “Sit there and think about what you’ve done!” Really? I usually spend the time wondering how, when it comes to my mom, I drew the short straw.
Here’s what’s weird. When she’s really mad she actually thinks I’m going to voluntarily throw myself in the chair. “Do you want a time out?!” she shrieks at least 10 times before she actually doles one out. This works out great for me because it gives me time to finish using the drapes to clean the windows, (you’d think she’d thank me!) before she actually takes any action.
The fact is most parents are easy to manipulate. Here are my top 3 tips to get what you DESERVE.
1) The Eyes Have It
For some reason nobody can resist a pathetic looking doe-eyed child. Especially parents. During your next “time-out” try mixing wide teary-eyes with a plaintive,”Do you still love me?” Not enough? Try reaching your arms out pathetically for a hug and Voila! The world is your oyster. Or, more to the point, your brand new Zhu Zhu/Go Go Pets Hamster Funhouse!
2) Time Keeps On Tickin’, Tickin’ Into the Future
Sure, I haven’t learned how to tell time yet, but I have learned that the “2 minute warning” doesn’t mean squat. It’s sooo easy to prolong any event (park, storytime, painting the cat) by incrementally asking for “just a couple more minutes.” Parents might have mastered telling time but they damn well don’t know how to keep track of it. (Bonus points if they’ve got an iPhone … 2 more minutes can go on forever if they start texting!) I once finagled 28 consecutive installments of “two more minutes.” Worked like a charm.
3) So Easy It’s Sickening!
I learned this indispensable tidbit the last time I was staying over at my grandparents house. I had just thrown up with the projectile force of Mr. Creosote in that scene from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. I asked Grammy if she was upset that I just drenched her house in regurgitated Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Mallomars. She said, “Sweetheart, no one will EVER be mad at you if you are sick.” Wow. Now that’s news I can use. And the best part? Pretending to be sick is SO easy! But remember, less is more. You don’t have to be Typhoid Mary. A couple of well placed coughs–preferable right in your mom’s face–and you can pretty much write your own ticket.