Thursday, February 9, 2012

Punishment via Ice Pick and a Makeover

Last night, as I was making dinner while the boys played and Snark Girl did her homework, my cell phone rang. “Mommy, can someone come get me?” OCDiva sobbed, “Daddy forgot me. Again.” I calmly apologized and assured OCDiva that one of us would be along shortly and not to worry. (I was, at this point, wondering whether or not DH really needed his testicles.)
You see, DH is a Non-Punctual Person (NPP) and also a Non-Caller (NC). He has a long history of being late leaving his office. Late arriving for various activities. Late leaving the house to go other places. Late picking up people. Late for everything EXCEPT work related things. Does his repeated tardiness irritate the holy freaking crap out of me? Yes, absolutely, because I am a Punctual Person and a Caller (PPC). Normally, I just move on without him – we eat dinner, we leave for events, kids get put to bed, etc., without him. Every few months I remind him that tardiness pisses me off and he does better for a while, but just like any addict, he backslides and if I don’t complain quickly enough, then there tends to be an “incident” as there was last night.

For the past two years it has been DH’s responsibility to pick up OCDIva from dance class. (DH’s office building can be seen from the studio, but is across a major street without a cross walk, so OCDiva cannot walk over there.) Because of his proclivity towards tardiness, DH has a reminder on his smartphone calendar (which also appears on the screen of his work PC), and a recurring alarm on his phone. I also remind him EVERY time that he must pick her up after dance. Well, this week his NPPNC proclivity managed to defeat all attempts to get him to the dance studio on time. (He left the phone on his desk and went to another part of the building and apparently forgot how to use his watch to tell time.)

By the time OCDiva called me, DH was already 23 minutes late. When I got him on the phone I asked (not nicely) what he was doing. He very calmly told me he was ready to leave the office and would be home soon. I asked him (again not very nicely) if he MIGHT be able to swing by the dance studio and MAYBE pick up OCDiva. He uttered an expletive, said he was on the way, and hung up.

Upon arriving home, with tears streaming down her face, OCDiva flung herself into my lap and sobbed. (There was snot on my shirt and everything.) As she began to calm down she asked if she could punish DH, if she could borrow my ice pick to do it, and how many punishments (five). She said, “Not to kill him. Just to make him REMEMBER next time.”  Yes, this is not the first time he has been late to pick her up from dance, this is the latest he has been, but he is a repeat offender. We are talking more than three strikes. Compounding this is that OCDiva is, like me, a PPC. As she cried and formulated his punishments, I texted DH from across the room and told him he was not allowed to be pissy, and would take whatever punishment she devised and I approved as he had “forgotten” her for a full 30 minutes.

By the time dinner was over, during which OCDiva refused to speak to DH but communicated that her feelings were hurt, she felt scared, and unloved (twist that knife to the heart) she had come up with the punishments; ice pick to the arm, timeout (one minute per year of age), jumping rope, hula hooping (both of those to be videotaped), and a makeover complete with make-up and nail polish to be photographed with those photos to be posted to his and my personal Facebook profiles. She still wasn’t speaking to him at bedtime, but he said something that made her smile slightly. When he pointed out her smile and surmised it meant he was forgiven, she shook her head no and said, “Sarcasm smile.”

She has already exacted the “Ice Pick to the Arm” portion of the punishment (she poked him twice to no great effect, so I gave her some instruction on technique and she got a genuine “Ouch!” out of him). The rest of the punishments will be meted out this weekend. He’s balking at the timeout, but I’ve explained to him that if I have to punish him the ice pick won’t be applied to his arm.

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