Yesterday, after a long day at work, I went to pick up my kids from Pam's house. As soon as I walked in the door, Noah (holding his Woody toy) says in his whiniest voice, "I don't wanna go home. I wanna watch Cars." A chill goes up my spine as I sense the demon child making himself known. I ignore the urge to exorcise that little demon right out of my child and try to convince him that we will watch Cars at home and that he needs to clean up his toys. He tells me he does not want to clean up and whines profusely. I reason with him some more and threaten a spanking. He throws himself on the floor. I put a toy in his hand and ask him to put it away. He throws it on the floor. I concentrate on keeping my cool. Baby Liam is sleeping so I take Noah outside to spank him. Here is where Gallahad comes in.
Gallahad is Chuck and Pam's big playful Labrador. As soon as we walk outside, he comes over to give us kisses and see if we are coming to play. I kindly ask him to sit and try to get to spanking Noah who is wiggling around and using Woody to cover his little behind so I can't get to it. Gallahad cannot contain himself in all the excitement and gets up from his sitting position to be in the middle of all the action. There I am trying to push the dog away, keep Noah still, and give him a hard enough spanking to get my point across. Somehow I manage. Then, as I am squatting down to be at eye level with Noah and explain that he needs to go back inside, obey, and clean up, I feel something, slimy, cold, and nasty glide across my back. Gallahad had brought his toy which resembled a really big dirty wet sock for me to play with. I grin and bear it accepting that my work clothes are ruined and go back inside.
Again, I hand Noah the toy to put away. Again, he throws it. Again, we go outside to administer a spanking. But, this time right as I am pushing Gallahad away, trying to keep Noah still, and giving a spanking that makes the point; Noah's Woody toy catches Gallahad's eye and he makes a pass at it. Noah screams and pulls the toy away. I get a brilliant idea: "Noah, Gallahad is going to eat Woody if you don't clean up your toys and behave." Gallahad seems to understand and jumps for the toy leaving dog slobber all over Woody's head. Noah screams and begs me not to let Gallahad eat Woody. He goes inside and picks up the toys. I take a deep breath and am tempted to kiss Gallahad even though I am thoroughly grossed out by dogs.
The threat continued to work last night and all day today. Praise the Lord!