Thursday, January 28, 2010

Parenting 101: The Golden Trophy

One of my main duties each day is seriously interfering with my efforts to write my blog, that being actually teaching and feeding my children. Major Havoc decided that he wants to start his school work as early as possible, so two days in a row I’ve found him outside my bedroom door holding a stack of books with a look of eager anticipation while I stumble past on my daily trek to the coffee pot and a hot steaming cup of the nectar of the gods. I absolutely cannot share with the young man my abject disgust with his desire to begin math before my eyelids are opened more than a tight squint. This is where acting intersects with parenting, and I feign interest while I wait for my energy level to catch up to his. I think that at one point or another we all put on Academy Award performances in front of our children, which is just one of the reasons why I’m never too interested in Oscar Night. Every parent worth his or her salt should have a little golden statue on their mantle.

If you felt the earth move beneath your feet or heard a loud bang at roughly 8:30 CST last night that was the sound of my universe returning to its proper alignment when the Boss returned from New Mexico a day early. This week was one of those weeks where we really needed two parents due to the activities Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. We raced from our last event at church to the airport to meet her at the gate. I was pleased to see my wife return safely to our family. Major Havoc was chomping at the bit for a hug from mommy and to tell her about our groundbreaking program here at the Arby household, the Foul Air Reparations Trust.

You see, it was time to clear the air in our house.


To that end, I created the Foul Air Reparation Trust, also known as the Fart Jar. Combining the best of green initiatives and the goal of discovering new parenting techniques that do not involve yelling or punishing, I recycled an old pickle jar into a bank. On the front of the jar I placed this cartoon:

We are going to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in our home by charging the adults and the oldest child a quarter per noxious emission, the middle child a nickel, and the youngest a penny. It’s a pay-to-play system. One rule is that if you deny being the malodorous violator everyone pays, so if you do not want to pay unnecessarily, own up to your offense. Yesterday, the inaugural day of this new vacation savings account, was a success. We made a dollar, I didn’t walk into any invisible walls, and I saw the boys sprinting to the bathroom on numerous occasions.

The Major couldn’t wait to share all of this with his mommy, and I was lucky to get him to wait until we were in the car to tell her. He would have shared this news with all of the passengers disembarking from the American Airlines flight from Dallas. I have to admire how well the Boss handled this news. It’s just what a working mother who returns home from a business trip wants to learn as she steps off her flight. She earned her golden trophy by showing genuine interest in what the boy had to say, before looking at me and asking if she could put a fiver in the jar to cover the entire week.


Teacher Mommy said...


My cat would owe you a FORTUNE. It's bad. It's so, so bad.

Big Doofus (Roger) said...

Insightful way to raise money.

CrossView said...

Um, very creative??!!

I especially love "Foul Air Reparation Trust".

I sense the methane levels dropping already. =/

The Pirate Mom said...

I would use my trophy to fend against any child waking me up that early. ;) Maybe that's why I don't have a trophy...?


Oklahoma Granny said...


TobyBo said...

Do you realize if the Feds get ahold of this idea they will get rich off the cows and our tax money?

Eat, Fart and Bark said...

Oh, I like this. I think I'll add the Belcher Reparation Trust on the other side of the jar. Great Idea. It is time those staying at the Eatfartandbark shape up a bit.

Junosmom said...

I would expect a lot of haggling at our house, "You did, too!" I guess the "everyone pays" might solve it, but teen girls aren't very compliant.

Kathleen said...

I'm laughing especially hard because I'm watching a cake challenge on the Food Network while I'm catching up on blog reading, and right as I was reading about your Green Initiatives, a tired cake baker said she was getting her second wind. Perhaps she should contribute to your jar. I like your idea. Should be effective as well as amusing!