Spanking is in the news lately with people weighing in on both sides of the issue. Do you or don’t you? Is it an effective form of punishment for kids or not? Adrian Peterson, a Minnesota Vikings player, has been indicted by a grand jury in Montgomery, Texas, for child abuse after beating his 4-year-old son repeatedly with a tree branch. Beating might be the optimum word in this case. Whipping is a more accepted form of punishment below the Mason Dixon line. Most people I knew while living in the south had stories to tell about switches being used on their bottoms or hands following doing something that displeased their parents. Interesting enough when a poll was taken asking spanking yes or no, 79% of the people polled agreed with spanking as an acceptable form of punishment.
I didn’t spank my children. Well, perhaps when they were little if I’d exhausted my last nerve they got a pat or two on a well padded bum, but in general I did not use this as punishment. Instead I was big on consequences. My kids fully understood my 1-2-3 rule. Similar to Newton’s Third Law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. If I asked them to stop doing a behavior and I got to the third request, that was two too many. Once we were driving to Great America for a day at the park. At the time I had a huge station wagon. If you’re old enough you’ll remember what station wagons looked like, or if you’ve seen Vacation with Chevy Chase, similar to the Family Truckster. A vehicle large enough to land a 747 on, yellow with fake wood trim. Ours had two bench seats toward the front of the vehicle and another all the way in the back. We had two kids, three dogs, two cats, often half the soccer team, or a myriad friends, plus groceries, and whatever else needed to be carted back and forth. That day we were at full capacity. Naturally excited about a day filled with screaming on rides, stuffing themselves with junk food, and generally going wild, the car was a beehive of conversation and activity. Back in the day, again dating myself, seat belts weren’t universally used. Kids roamed like free range chickens in a vehicle, limited only to the space provided by the manufacturer. This led to the inevitable who’s going to sit by the window arguments, “he’s touching me” whining, and general mayhem accompanying nearly any outing involving children and their parents.
Leaving room for understanding their excitement, I still kept in mind I was driving a moving automobile and responsible for the young lives under my care. Several times when things got out of hand I asked them to calm down. When things got ridiculous, I said loudly, “I will not ask again. If you do not stop, I’ll turn around and we’ll head home”. Silence fell quickly, but before long it accelerated once again this time resulting a whack to the back of my head from an errant Frisbee. Turning on my signal, I exited at the next available off ramp My son, realizing this to be far before our scheduled turn off asked what I was doing. Was I getting gas? Did I need to use the facilities, get a drink, go mud wrestling? I crossed over the freeway and got on the on-ramp heading back towards home. Realization swept through the car like a wildfire through a dry canyon. Tears and begging ensued and apologies flowed like lava from a volcano. One thing I do know about kids, if you say something and don’t follow through with it you might as well hand them the tiller and give them full command of the boat. A sorry lot of pouting faces pulled into our driveway that day. However, despite the disappointment, the next time I asked them to settle down in the car, they heard what I was saying quite clearly remembering what they still refer to as of this day, as the infamous “Great America debacle”.
Our house was always a gathering place as my children moved up the lines on the wall delineating their height. I like to think I was a fun mom, but a parent nonetheless. Time outs weren’t the rage at the time. We didn’t apologize for enforcing discipline nor spend hours explaining our actions. Rules were explained and enforced. Love was doled out generously but all focus was not on the younger people in the family but rather the family unit as a whole. Unapologetically we took time for ourselves here and there and children were not always included in our social functions nor our conversations. I liked it.
If my daughter was here she would recount six weeks of an unfortunate summer where she colored so far outside the lines she found herself on restriction. Sixteen at the time had I beaten her with a baseball bat no punishment could have hurt worse than this. No phones (there were not computers at the time – I know!), no friends, no movies, no skating, and a list of chores to do to keep her from getting bored. Believe me it was as difficult for me as it was for her. I loved my children but I wanted them to learn that action comes with responsibility. Certainly you have a free mind to choose the option you wish, but with that comes taking responsibility for the choices you’ve made.
So, spanking sits on the playing field. Personally, I don’t think it’s effective. Sometimes, I suppose it might be necessary, but if so I would think only to delineate the serious offenses from those less grave. In my twenties I had a friend who spanked her kids for everything from sassing her to knocking off a jewelry store. They had no idea that one offense was worse than the other. Also, she would constantly say, “if you do that one more time, you’re going to get a whipping”. This was never enforced until she finally snapped now really angry to give them a smack. I found if I felt truly angry, a few minutes on an adult time out made me react more reasonably to my children.
Hitting to my way of thinking breeds hitting. I don’t know. Do I think parents should go to jail for spanking their kids? No. Do I think parents should go to jail for beating their children? Yes, and throw away the key. It’s a hard call.
I served this to my guests over the weekend and they were thrilled with it. The fun is in the presentation, but the yum is in the eating with the delicate eggs and the tangy sauce.
Mini-Omelets with Tangy Sauce on a Biscuit
4 baked biscuits
2 Tbsp. half and half
2 Tbsp. chunky salsa (your choice of heat)
1 Tbsp. chives, chopped
Salt and pepper as desired
8 Tbsp. cheddar cheese, shredded
4 wood skewers
1-2 bangers or thick breakfast sausage cooked, cut into 2″ chunks
4 slices crispy bacon
Olives and celery stalks
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray ramekins with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs, half and half, salsa, chives, salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 of mix into each of the prepared ramekins.
Place in baking dish with 2 cup of water on bottom. Bake for 30 mins. or until eggs are set. Remove from oven and sprinkle 2 Tbsp. of cheese over each omelet. Return to oven for 5 mins. or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Holding the ramekin with an oven mitt, use a butter knife to loosen from sides. Slice onto dish.
Halve biscuits. Slather both sides with sauce. Place omelets on biscuits to make sandwich.
Place 1 chunk of cooked sausage on skewer about 1/3 of the way down. Push sandwich down to meet sausage. Push a second sausage on skewer to secure top. Fold bacon and insert on skewer. Top with olive if desired.
4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tsp. yellow mustard
4 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. chives chopped
4-8 dashes hot sauce as desired
Whisk together and spread on both sides of biscuits.
For a great Bloody Mary recipe you might try http://www.food.com/recipe/best-ever-bloody-mary-416835. It’s the one I use.