In an episode of “Nanny 9-1-1” recently, Nanny Emma was visiting a family with four daughters, three of them over-the-top rambunctious and a 10-month-old little cupcake who was taking notes.
The parents both worked. The dad ran a couple of construction companies and the mom was a teacher. They seemed like really intelligent people — except when it came to their kids. Loving parents, no doubt, but oh boy, those girls were something else.
The 6-year-old twins beat each other up constantly and the 4-year-old was the Bossy Boots in charge.
Nanny took away the televisions in the bedrooms.
Those girls moaned and cried, and Bossy Boots had a major tantrum in her bedroom. Her dad showed the bedroom door to the camera crew, depicting the multiple times she’d beaten the bejeezus outta that thing, leaving marks. I have to admit that it was pretty frightening seeing what that little child could do to a solid door.
Then she was shown laying on her bed, screaming her fool head off and beating the walls with her feet. I was just waiting for that overhead light to come crashing down on the bed and scaring the wits out of her.
One of the twins had a blowout, throwing a tantrum all the way up, and then throwing herself down, the stairs.
There was Nanny and the mom, two grown women, dealing with this 6-year-old who carried on like they were performing an exorcism on her, and they were merely holding her to calm her.
I’d have given those girls a pop across the fanny so fast they wouldn’t have known what hit them.
The mom said at one point that she thought about giving them a whack, but ... “You just can’t do that anymore.”
Well, sure. You can’t beat ‘em with a hanger — and you shouldn’t — but a good ol’ pop on the bottom? Bet those girls would think twice before getting outta line again.
I had to go through the same thing with ol’ Sunnybuns. He definitely had his terrible 2s, and I remember one day putting him in the hall closet, closing the door and counting to ten.
The minute I closed the door, he stopped his screaming. Utter silence. Upon reaching 10, and believe me, it was a sloooow count, I opened the door.
He stepped out and looked at me with big fat tears still on his cheeks and said quietly, “I don yike dat.”
“And I don yike when you yell and scream. So don’t do it anymore, OK?”
My friends were horrified when I told them the story.
I didn’t make scary noises or have him chained in there without food or water, it was simply a way of getting his attention with hurting his tender little behind.
But these were friends who’d never had children, mind you. They just didn’t get it.
After that, whenever he thought he needed to have a good throw-down, I’d simply open that closet door and say, “Get in.”
He’d sit right down in his little chair in front of the television and say, “I be good.”
Dang right, Scooby Doo.
When he was about 5, though, he crossed the line.
He was having a major hissy all morning and Hubs had finally had enough. He took ol’ Sunnybuns and said, “Son, I hate to do this to you, but I have to.”
The look on the kid’s face was nothing like I’d ever seen. One pop from ol’ Dad on his bottom and the house stood still.
Sunnybuns hollered, “Ow! That hurt!” It was more a theatrical cry than a real cry of pain.
Hubs spent the day in the garage, feeling guilty.
I told him, “Haven’t you ever been paddled? You don’t give warning, you just do it!”
It was the first time Sunnybuns had ever gotten paddled. He didn’t like it, but he sure shaped up fast.
He got paddled once more after that, probably when he was about 7, but he remembers both times very vividly. He admitted that it didn’t hurt his bottom as much as it hurt his feelings.
After watching “Nanny 9-1-1” and seeing the way those girls behaved, he said, “They need a spanking!”
I laughed and said, “So do you!”
He waited on me hand and foot for the rest of the evening.
And I didn’t even have to open the closet door.