Cruel & Unusual Punishment

Most kids are grounded from the computer. Or video games. Or having friends over. Or candy/dessert. Not me, though. Nope!

I was grounded from reading.

I distinctly remember one time I got in trouble. I was in 4th grade and I don’t remember what I did, but it was probably about not cleaning something. That’s what the majority of my punishments were for, anyway. I recall this specific time because of what I wrote in my diary. Yes, I had a diary. Yes, my sister Lindsay read it even though she wasn’t supposed to.

(I know. I’m still kind of upset about it.)

Anyway, I wrote “I’M SO MAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mom and Dad grounded me from reading my book. AND I WAS RIGHT IN THE GOOD PART!!!!!!!!!!!!”

It wasn’t a long entry, as you can see. But it took up a whoooole page because I wrote it real big, real angrily, and I apparently had an affinity for exclamation points at that time in my young life. It was traumatic, to say the least.

I’m sure I deserved it. And my parents knew what to take away so that I would  think twice about disobeying them again. But here’s what I don’t get. Every time this was my punishment, it was right when I was in the middle of a good book and dying to finish it. How did they know?? Parents. It’s hard to get anything past them.

You would think that since I’ve been out of my parent’s house and on my own for several years that this wouldn’t come back to haunt me. But you know what? It’s different now that I’m an adult, but I still get that same feeling of being ripped from the pages of a book. Right when I’d rather be doing anything but putting my bookmark in its place.

That happened to me today. I was reading a great book (review to come later) at lunchtime, and about 6 chapters from finishing it when I had to get back to work. I seriously contemplated faking a broken leg or something to account for being late. But I’m not really known for my acting skills, so it’s probably best that I skipped that plan. I did, however, leave said book in my car so I wouldn’t be tempted to sneak it out during the afternoon.

So, I guess the moral of the story is that no matter what age you are, life isn’t all about doing what you want when you want to do it. Sometimes, you have to suck it up and finish a not-fun task to get to the enjoyable stuff.

Right, Mom & Dad? 🙂


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