Sunday, February 28, 2010
Many of my growing up years were in the 80’s, and man, did I love Bill Cosby. Not only did my whole family love watching the Cosby show every week, we also collected all of Bill Cosby’s stand-up comedy and books. We had cassette tapes of his comedy, and later, when I was in junior and high school, I would try to catch his stand-up shows on cable and tape them on VHS.
Bill is hilarious. He is belly-laugh out-loud rolling on the floor funny. I have thought of his old routines many times as a parent. I have even heeded Bill’s warnings and have chosen to only have one child. He bitches about the frustration of having more than one child, which increases hearing, “MINE! MINE!” and “Stop TOUCHING me!”
Some other favorite moments include children thinking that they’re names are “Dammit” and “Jesus Christ,” when Bill talks about his wife’s face being permanently changed into a scowl after having children, and children singing “Dad is great! Give us the chocolate cake!” during breakfast.
One old stand-up Bill moment sticks in my head even more than others, however. That would be Bill’s wife exclaiming, after she had had ENOUGH, “LET THE BEATINGS BEGIN!”
I did not grow up with beatings or the belt. Thank God, and thank you Mom and Dad. I did have one infamous spanking after running into the street, and my dad was known to snap the belt in a threatening manner, but it never touched my body. My dad would sit in my brother’s room in the dark while we were supposed to be going to sleep (my brother and I slept in the same room when we were children, much to my brother’s annoyance). My dad would be frustrated that we weren’t going to bed. He would drop “silent but deadly” farts on us to express his frustration. When we giggled or groaned, Dad would say, “You think that is bad, we’ll get your mom in here and see what happens.” This is all I remember of heavy-handed parenting when I was growing up.
It seems, nowadays, that the pendulum has swung to the other extreme and parents are afraid to really discipline their children. Parents want their children to have more than they did and be happier than they were. Sometimes this happens in conjunction with unintentionally teaching their children entitlement, so parents must be careful and figure out a balance that includes empathy and love with discipline, limits, and structure.
But it’s just so much fun to yell when you have had ENOUGH, “LET THE BEATINGS BEGIN!” At least it makes my husband and me laugh and then we are in a much better place to deal with annoying behavior that requires smarter discipline. Humor always helps. Always.