|Pretending I don't hear them...|
“Robert John Cox!” I froze in my tracks, afraid to move another inch. Once that middle name came out, I knew I had stepped over the invisible line.
There are only two people who will ever use your middle name–your mother or your wife. Furthermore, the only time you will ever hear it is if you’ve ignored the first trillion times they have warned you that it was coming. Then, when you do hear it, you’re usually in enormous trouble and it’s too late to back pedal out of it. Don’t pretend you don’t hear it, either, because that will only make it worse. You don’t need it worse. Unless of course, you’re one of those rare individuals that has two or even three middle names and then you have a little more time to push those buttons. I only have one middle name, so my time was up.
Middle names are serious business when shouted out loud. People “Oooo” and “Ahhhh” because they know someone is in trouble and they are glad it’s not them. It’s a progression, as well, unless, of course, you’ve totally blown it right off the bat. They’ll start with your first name. “Robert.” We never tend to hear that one. It moves up, skipping over the middle name and going to the last name. “Robert Cox.” Sometimes this is accompanied by some threat we will ignore as well, such as “Robert Cox if you don’t sit your ass down right this minute you will not be able to sit down for a month.” You would think that the threat would catch our attention alone, but no, we must press forward in pushing those buttons that should be left alone.
Then we hear it. “Robert John Cox!” Suddenly you wish you had heard your name the first two or twenty times it was called.
|Wait, you're talking to me?|
While the girls and I were at Disney I heard a different threat attached to the usage of the middle name. A mother who was having trouble controlling her overly energetic child shouted out, “If I say your middle name one more time, you’ll lose a dollar.” My first thought was how many times had she used his middle name before then. I mean, I hear it once and my rambunctiousness shuts down. This kid had obviously pressed that button way too many times, because now it was about to dig into his souvenir money. At Disney, that could mean a big deal when it came time to purchase something.
The child must have realized he was truly pushing it at that point, however, because I didn’t hear another peep out of him while we were in the store.
I tried to think back to when my kids were little and how far I would allow them to go in their misbehavior before slamming on the brakes. I’ve watched parents who have no control over their children at all. The kids run amuck and strangers are soon ready to spank the parents. These are children who will grow up with no respect for the things or people around them. Boundaries are set at an early age and if you fail to set them when your child is young, you will not be able to set them later in life. The amount of time you have to use the middle name should be limited because your child knows you mean business the first time and you should not have to keep tacking on threats to make them behave. It’s up to you to raise them to be well-behaved members of society instead of hooligans who do not care what destruction or disruption they cause.
If we raise them properly, perhaps we can do away with middle names altogether. Except mine, that is. I’m sure the girls will be using it quite often.
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