Monday, June 11, 2007

The "Look"

You're probably thinking to yourself is this another "Seinfeld" episode. The answer is no, although it could be. If you watched Seinfeld you're aware of the episodes all beginning with the word "The". For example, "The Contest", "The Soup Nazi" and "The Low Talker" to name a few. The "Look" that I'm referring to is the glaring glance that parent(s) give their kids when they do something stupid our unacceptable in the eyes of the parent. The "Look" is suppose to put the kid in his place without physical punishment. I'm guessing that The "Look" has been around for ages. I'm sure if the Bible was a picture book instead of a text book you would see Adam (in the Book of Genesis) giving The "Look" to Cain and Abel. Apparently Cain didn't get the message as he whacked Abel. On the other hand Joseph the Carpenter had no need to give his son The"Look". Jesus already knew what Joseph was thinking without making eye contact.
To be fair, The "Look" can be limited in its use. First of all, it's necessary to have eye contact between the parent and the child. Once eye contact is established, The "Look" can be used. However, when the child becomes a teenager The "Look" is no longer effective. Secondly, if there are two parents, generally just one of the parents gives The "Look". Jan was a master of The "Look". She was the one with the short fuse. On the other hand, I had a much longer fuse. Our kids knew when they crossed the line. Nothing, and I mean nothing what get by her. I would merely serve as a cheerleader for her. Like Superman, her eyes could penetrate steel. Once in a while I added my two cents. I was more verbal than Jan. I would say things like "Gees, that's cute!" or "Now what?" The kids knew when my bottom lip protruded that I was at my breaking point, and ready to explode.
When The "Look" didn't work The "Threat" would take over. I remember Grandma saying, "Wait 'til Grandpa comes home, he'll use the razor strap on you." We were too young to even know what a razor strap was way back then. But we did know that it wasn't good. Fortunately, the razor strap never came into play. Who knows if there ever was a razor strap? We often wondered where Grandpa kept the razor strap. Perhaps in a box under his bed.
Today's generation of parents have a much tougher time in disciplining their children. If they spank the kid they could be arrested for child abuse. Heck, let's just have "time-out". Yeah right, that will work. Give me a break.
One thing for certain is that The "Look" will live for generations too come.


Daleen said...

Yes, Mark, Grandpa indeed had a razor strap although I'm pretty sure he didn't use it on any of his grandkids.(Well...maybe on Kyle.) I think it hung on the wall inside the cellar door.
ITA. Time outs just don't get any results.

David and Heidi said...

Shoot! When I heard that belt snap all I did was run. And no one ever did get whipped with it. I always wondered, how my butt was going to fit into the hole that the belt made when it was doubled over. I didn't know you didn't keep it doubled over when you actually used it. Crazy me.

I don't get the whole not spanking thing. Now mind you mom didn't go around spanking us all the time but I do remember one time and then a swat here or there or a slap across the face. Needless to say I learned and I didn't do those things again. I'm just a little head shy big deal. Just kidding mom!

Anyway, I do think it has it's place in my opinion but I guess it just gives me one more reason not to have a child so I don't have to decide whether I should or not or whether someone would come after me if I did.

Anonymous said...

Hah, Daddy Mark,
You're priceless! I didn't know you were so deep! Breaking down the whole "look" process, didn't ya. That's too funny.
So...that explains why Heidi's a little cuckoo, a little on the punchy side, boppin' and a weavin' Momma Jan's blows. heehee.

Mexican children were never allowed to think for themselves or to speak for that matter. That's how parents got by without needing the look. I'm not kidding either.

Hmm, I guess that explains why I have all my issues. Yikes.

I think I'll end on that note.
Love ya,