In Which I Compare Child-Rearing To Enhanced Interrogation And Tag-Team Wrestling


I have two younger brothers, Caden (9) and Connor (7). Yes, I know sixteen years is a large spread between children, but--in answer to the lady at Sam's Club--no they are not from a second marriage and no, Kiana (15) is not my daughter.

My folks are away at a conference that my dad "has" to go to which is conveniently located in Cancun. This time it's not just me on babysitting duty--Brock is here, too. Making the job easier is the fact that my saintly mother prepared all the dinners ahead of time (no more lunch-lady dinner fiascos!).

Last night, Brock heated up shepherd's pie in the oven and we all sat down to eat. It was clear that my sweet mother catered to the whims of her picky eaters: Half of the pie was topped with cheese, the other wasn't (Caden doesn't like cheese). Half the pie had green beans in it, the other half corn (Caden and Connor don't like green beans). Despite my mother's good intentions, we dished out the meal in horror: The non-cheese half had green beans inside. Caden's eyes bulged wide with dread.

Oh, the humanity.

It bears repeating that Caden is NINE YEARS OLD. Not four. Not five. Nine. (Connor has a little bit more of an excuse for being picky, but not much.) In either case, Hitler Sister thinks it's high time they grew up and ate their damn food.

When I say that there was weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, I am speaking literally. I let Brock take over after five minutes--it'd been a long day and my patience was about as long as a carpet strand. Brock spent the next half-hour in the Great Green Bean Standoff.

You know how in spy movies when the CIA interrogator enters a dark room all covert-like? And there's a bruised and bloodied foreign man strapped to a chair with a spotlight on him? And the interrogator is all "WHO IS DR. PRAVOCCI? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT DR. PRAVOCCI???" and the foreign man is like"GO TO HELL YOU SON OF A $@#%#!!!!"

Parenthood is surprisingly applicable to that situation. Only the foreign man is your kid, Dr. Pravocci is green beans, and you are the $@#%#.

The boys' resistance tactics were predictable. First came indignation. "But I don't like green beans!" Then despair. Then holy-hell-he's-really-not-going-to-let-me-leave-the-table-till-I-eat-these-freaking-beans. Then gimmicks.

Connor doused his green beans in ketchup. Caden tried smashing them with his fork accompanied with a "DIE BEANS, DIE!!!!!!!!!!"  But in the end, it was the threats that got them. (Isn't it always?) As soon as they heard "Say goodbye to your Pokemon", all of a sudden those green beans didn't seem so bad after all. (I suggested breaking out the chair with the mesh seat cut out, but Brock vetoed.)

Later, reflecting on the situation, Brock said "It was so interesting to see Caden realize that crying wouldn't take the problem away. What a smart kid."

"Pfffffff," I said. "If he was that smart, he would've eaten the beans at the beginning. It would've taken thirty seconds and he'd-a saved himself a whoooooole lot of grief."

"Someone's angry tonight, eh?!"

"Nope. Just not in the mood to give credit where none is deserved."

The ice woman cometh.


SO WHAT if I'm the Ice Woman sometimes? At least I'm self-aware. I know what I like and I like discipline, responsibility, and order. I will run my household like a freaking Marines platoon and my kids are gonna LIKE IT. I don't like green beans?  What is this place, America? Sorry, little ones. Welcome to the People's Republic of I Own You.

Thank goodness for Brock. Call me Machiavellian, but I'm already thinking of ways to manipulate my kids using him as a pawn. What's that, Jimmy? Dad just delegated putting away the dishes to you? Well guess who delegated the delegating, sucker....

You see, Brock's got the sense of humor needed to raise kids that don't hate you, and I've got the Tiger Mom needed to raise kids that don't resent you when they're 23 and living in your basement. Oh, wait...

There are some nights where I would've lasted a half-hour in the Beans Ring, but last night was not one of them. Oh, well. Tagging-in is what husbands are for, right?


  1. Hitler Sister, you are the best damn blogger I know/ I know of. There's a distinction there.

  2. This is incredible. HAHAHAHAHA


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