Ways My Dad Tricked Me

Something I read earlier reminded me of my father, specifically the many ways he used to trick me into going to sleep when I was a kid so I dug them out of the archive for your amusement.

1 – The Oven Timer Maneuver – When I was a kid my father a simple method of letting me know when it was time for bed, he’d set the timer on the oven and when it rang I knew it was bedtime.

When this first started he would wait until the evening, maybe around 8 o’clock and set the timer for half an hour later. After a while I knew that when I heard the bell it was bedtime and I’d drop everything and get into my pajamas.  Once I got used to this my father’s genius kicked in…he just started setting the clock earlier and earlier.  I was too young to know better and before long had me going to be around 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

2 – The Darkness Caper – I must have figured out the timer thing eventually because the bedtime rules changed from “bedtime when the alarm goes off” to “bedtime when it gets dark”, at least in the summer time.  Of course I wasn’t aware of the built in unfairness of this system (it gets dark earlier every night) or the extra advantage my father had built into it.  You see, at the time we were living in a basement apartment so at any given time we were no more than a few pieces of plywood over the windows from instant darkness and an early bedtime for me.

Pretty sneaky dad, but at least I know where I get it from.  Do the parents out there have any similar tricks?

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Ways My Dad Tricked Me

  1. I don’t remember being tricked into going to bed, but when I was in high school, if I slept too late on the weekends/days off, my mom would come into my room, put a Barry Manilow tape in the stereo, and turn up the volume as loud as it’d go, forcing me to get up and out of the bed to shut it off.

  2. betheboy

    Heather – that is far worse than tricking you into going to sleep.

  3. Heather – my dad never did that, but he did sneak into my room late one morning, set my boombox on the footboard of my bed, plug a microphone into it, turn it all the way up, and step out into the hall to say, “ChiaLynn, this is your father. It’s time to get up now!” in a voice so horribly mechanical and loud I nearly somersaulted over the footboard trying to get to the boombox and turn it off.

  4. Stepalicious

    I do the timer trick with my 6 year old…works like a charm… sneaky. sneaky.

    I also love the choice trick. I give my daughter two choices…Are you going to wear this shirt or that…are you going to eat your meat first or your veggies…etc. Either way, it’s a win win for the parent…and my gal thinks she’s making the decision. Love and Logic…I couldn’t stomach the whole book, but the choice tricks are killer good!

  5. Angela

    Eh, I had a comment typed out here but it was way too much of a bummy and depressing childhood story to share on someone else’s blog.

    So I’ll say this instead: my sister tricks her kids these days by telling them “The Man” is going to get them if they don’t behave. No idea who “The Man” is or why he instills so much fear in a 3&1/2 yr old and a 1&1/2 yr old, but it works, every time.

  6. i used to convince my brother that if he was REALLY GOOD when i babysat him that i would “let” him do the dishes. it totally worked for a while. i was also a big fan when babysitting of making getting ready for bed a race — but in slow-mo, so the kids don’t get too hyped up. so you have to move in slow-mo, but the first in their pjs w/ teeth brushed wins… something.

  7. Delicateflowah

    Mom always made this stinky stuff which she covered in onions and called steak. We grudgingly ate it as that is what you did back in the 60’s. You ate your damn dinner or you starved. There were no chicken nuggets back then and PB&Js were only for lunch. Fast forward a few years to dinner at boyfriends house. His parents were cooking steaks on the grill. BF asked if I wanted to eat with them…they were having steak!!! I told him I hated steak. He thought I was nuts and assured me that I would love his dads steak. And I did. Because they were NOT LIVER! Thanks Mom. (She still laughs at this. Until I unhooked her life support)

  8. Paul L.

    Only the old “drunken power drill chase” trick.

  9. Karen

    Mine will do anything for 15 minutes of Call of Duty 4.

  10. My personal parenting trick:

    When we’re out, at a store or a restaurant or whatever, and Gabriel starts acting up or whining, I pick a stranger and say, “See that man over there? If you keep this up, he’s going to come over here and ask you to leave, because he does NOT like what you’re doing.”

    It works.

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