Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Mean!

How many of you were a kind and loving person?

And then you had kids.

Or became a teacher.

Just today my son said to me, "you're so mean, Mom!" And he was right. I wouldn't cut an apple for him. But if I'm not mean today his wife will eventually explode and tell me, "If you hadn't cut those apples for him, I wouldn't have to iron all of his clothes or serve him steaming hot chocolate on a silver platter!!"

I reminded him of the mother's day card he gave me last year that expressed why he loved me so much. "Mom, you don't mean to be mean, it's your job."

What a blessing to have a child who actually GETS that (at least on Mother's Day).

If mom's were nice the whole world would have false teeth and skin cancer.

And if teachers were nice the whole world would have false teeth, skin cancer and a 4.0 GPA.

It's not our job to be nice. We must teach our students and our children correct principals and then teach them to govern themselves. (But we know they won't so we must go ahead and rule over them.)

I've been mean to my night class lately. I wasn't at first. At first I treated them like my pets and I called them my honor students because of their sharp minds and even sharper tongues. But then they thought they were brilliant and stopped reading and writing and coming to class.

It's so much better to tell people they're stupid. Put obstacles in their path and give them something to overcome.

And then punish them. Students and children need punishment like a plant needs water.

Tonight I made my class listen to Barry Manilow for a whole hour while I gave them a 50 point pop quiz. And I even took Nevadanistas suggestion that looking at Barry Manilow is even more punishment than listening to him. I projected this photo on the big screen behind me during the entire class.

They deserved it.

Stinkin' smart kids.

One thing I like about my next door neighbor, Martha, is that she knows it's not easy being mean. She knows that sometimes you have to push people around to help them learn their life lessons(and to win a pumpkin pie.)

This is Martha pushing her competition in the Turkey Trot today.

Here she is again. She just smacked the competition in the head and said "Don't mess with me, white girl!"

Then she won the pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving Martha! You go, white girl!"

(There's an object lesson here for those of you paying close attention. Martha didn't actually push that girl. She just looks like she's pushed that girl.)

(btw, ftr, I could totally take Martha down if I wasn't so afeared of her. Once I was beating her 5-0 in a game of tennis and she ran to the net and smacked the ball so hard I had a hole in my chest for a year. I was seriously on life-support for 2 weeks.)

Here's a caution! There's a code of conduct that will help you be mean responsibly, elsewise life lessons can't be learned properly:

You must never be mean spitefully, anonymously or unapolegetically.

Martha understands this. She will knock you down like a champion, but she will lift you back up like a hero.

I'm so thankful for Martha and for all the people who told me I was stupid and poor and ill-dressed and good-for-nothing when I was growing up.

And I'm so thankful I now have the opportunity to share this knowledge with others.

Happy Thanksgiving all you bored, crazy, good-for-nothing Mormon Mommies! LY

And remember, no one ever said being mean would be easy. They just didn't say it would be so hard.

Then they said it would be worth it!


Machen family said...

Barry Manilow, now that's mean... I don't know if I can continue reading this blog, knowing what you have done to that class. I doubt whatever they did, did not merit such cruelty.

Heidi Ashworth said...

That picture gives me the literal willies! Willys? Whatev.

Melanie J said...

I was one of the few teachers on my middle school campus that never had trouble when I was out and had a sub. My secret weapon? I left the students each their own copy of the directions for the day and a threat if I had a bad report: when I came back the next day they would have to listen to polka the entire hour. Or sometimes opera. Whatever would make them most cringe. Because it was an enforceable threat, they always believed me. Oh, and because I'm also mean. So...never had a problem.

Jen said...

You're truly a (mean) woman after my own heart. I feel like we've bonded. I tell my children constantly that being mean is my job - for all the reasons you've so beautifully stated.

Especially the false teeth.

And as a high school/jr. high sub, I just want to tell Melanie she rocks. (Although I rarely have any problems anyway, because I bring my own enforceable threats with me:)

Pat said...

I have an extremely hard time being mean, which is why my kids will have false teeth. Well a false hip at least.

I am thankful for crash test dummies who more often than not make me smile.

Happy Turkey Day!

Pat said...

I have an extremely hard time being mean, which is why my kids will have false teeth. Well a false hip at least.

I am thankful for crash test dummies who more often than not make me smile.

Happy Turkey Day!

Martha said...

I can't even believe you got that on film. So let's closely examine that first picture. The red-shirted chick's right foot is totally behind her left leg. It almost looks like her leg is deformed or something. Dude, she tripped over her own leg. Plus she is so trying to cut me off. She almost deserved to go down. Then I get blamed for it because I happen to be beside her.

I sprinted my buns off and they run out of pie!!! Can you believe that I didn't get my prize? I don't run for free.

My only consolation is that I was actually working at the time so the school was paying me to keep all the kids inside the cones. It was a hard job.

Here we go about the overhead again. You need to move on, and next time move the heck out of the way when someone winds up ready to smash a floater two feet from the net.

At least I wasn't mean spitefully, anonymously or unapolegetically.

nevadanista said...

I've been imprinting on lots of people lately, and I think I've just imprinted on you. You'll have to read the second Twilight book to fully understand what that means. But just know that I really had to control myself just now so I wouldn't wake the kids. I was literally LOL-ing. Thanks for the laugh and the shout out!

Emily Anne Leyland ( Art-n-Sewl) said...

I am always the mean mom. Those pics are flippin hilarious!! Have a happy turkey day. I hear Ben may grace you with his presence. Give him a huge hug for me.
xoxox Emily

Annie Valentine said...

I'm moving to Hawaii and signing up for one of your night classes so you can teach me stuff. Like proper meanness.

I'll probably be a smart aleck so consider yourself warned.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I'm never mean anonomously...I'm always classy when I'm mean.

I'm so mad right now I can't even be funny! I got your email today...okay I'm not mad but frustrated enough to not have two helpings of pie.

The pictures of Martha pushing her competition out of the way helped cheer me up though...I can always rely on you for a good laugh! lol!

I re-did the outcome of the contest! Go check my blog out! :)


That's how you say questions when you are frustrated...

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Shelle, I just read your post and that was so nice of you to clear things up. I hate haters (AND cheaters).

YOU ROCK! Now, I can't wait to snuggle in my new quilt.

Have a nice day everyone!!!!!!!!!!! This is seriously my favorite day of the year just for the smells alone!

Liz said...

wait, this post was such a fun read. and the photo of bm really did scare me into brilliance. hope you have a fabulous thanksgiving. we're having garlic shrimp.

SWIRL said...

Happy Pie Day Crash!
That MArtha picture is classic! She poked her head by my kitchen window to "explain" the story.
too funny- you are always at the right place at the right time.

Mariko said...

I knew you wouldn't let me down today. I am thankful for CTDs to make me laugh in between my marathon cooking projects.
I am a totally mean teacher, at least to one of my classes. I come home feeling like crap. It takes a lot out of you, and it doesn't let its hold go very easily.
Did Martha win? Did your kid win? If he didn't then Tatum has no excuse for missing class, and THAT'S FINAL!

Martha said...

I showed my husband the pictures of the red shirt girl and you know the first thing he noticed? He says, "No wonder that girl fell, she's pretty top heavy."

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Mariko, you understand so well how much haters and hard classes take out of you. We have much in common.

Martha won 2nd! By a foot. She won a pie, but then they ran out of pie so I had to make her a pie even though she already made 4 pies. And my twins won 2nd and 3rd place even though they both had a cough and luckily Tatum was there because she had to sprint all the way across the field to get Wyatt's inhaler while everyone waited on the starting line. If she hadn't been there he probably would have died running. I hope that excuses her from class.

Hope your cooking marathon went well today.

Martha, Perry is totally right on! Only a man would notice that. ;)

Happy Pie DAY Swirl. We missed your boys today.

Jami said...

Barry Manilow. Ow. I was thinking I'd enjoy taking a class from you.

Just as your post was loading my six year old informed me that I was mean. I was strongly suggesting she wear different clothes than she did yesterday.

Love the race pictures. And you say you never catch the important stuff. Those could be used in the lawsuit!

sellu: sell you or see Lou

CaJoh said...

I think yo summed up "stern" quite well. My wife will usually comment that I am mean, but when I look at it I realize that I'm just being stern. I'm not mean just to be mean, or to get them out of my hair (there's usually a lesson behind what I do).

Glad you're able to share your secrets (Pedagogically, and Parentally).

Nicole said...

ok, so you dont know me, but I am a fellow MM and this is great. Barry Manilow, now thats mean!!!That is one creepy picture.
Maybe I wont feel so guilty about being mean to my 3 kids now. THANKS

Sher said...

Wait. I totally know that girl in the red who got knocked down. Small world....

Sher said...

Ok. maybe not. But she looks like somebody else....