Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Don't Expect Everyone to Move Over to Make Room for You

Today I was in the stairwell at work when two people came from the opposite direction. One of them was one step ahead of the other, but they were basically walking side by side. Now, by all rights, the one in the "middle" should have moved over so as not to bump into me, right? Well, she didn't. And guess what? I didn't move over, either. I am faculty, and she was clearly a student, but in the stairwell, we were equals.  So, there was no way I was going to step aside and flatten myself against the rail. In fact, I didn't even move my book bag out of the way. She bumped into it, and didn't apologize, but then, neither did I. I figured that since she didn't move over, she wanted to bump into my book bag.

This type of thing has happened to me before, but on a sidewalk rather than in a stairwell. I have been walking down the sidewalk and have encountered two and sometimes even three people walking side by side coming straight at me. When I was younger, I would step off the sidewalk entirely to let them pass. Then it occurred to me that there was no need for me to do that; one (or two) of them needed to step back so that we wouldn't all run into each other. I realized that I am not inferior, and as long as I keep to my part of the sidewalk, I'm should not have to step aside in that situation.

So, really, what was the best way to handle this? I didn't want to say "excuse me", because I wasn't in the wrong. Yelling "please don't run into me" would have been a bit extreme, and "excuse you" would have been too rude. Stopping the person in question to explain why her behavior bothered me would have been ridiculous.

I'm not even going to try to explain this to the kiddo until she is a good bit older. If I teach her basic good manners, hopefully it will occur to her to not expect everyone to move over to make room for her. As for the girl woman in the stairwell, well, I'm not her mommy. But I am mean enough to let her run into my book bag.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween!

OMG, I love Halloween! The decorations, the costumes, hearing "Thriller" on all the radio stations...and ok, yes, the candy! Well, some of the candy. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, yes! Cheap crap made in China? Not so much.

When I was a kid, my parents examined all of my candy in case it had been tampered with. In particular, they were looking for something that had been unwrapped or something that had needles inserted into it (seriously, what kind of sicko would do something like that?). Parents were even encouraged to have the police or fire department examine trick-or-treat goodies.

Now that I purchase my own Halloween candy to give out and have a kiddo out collecting candy, I have become aware of cheap candy. It used to be that Palmer candies were the low-end candies, especially their chocolates, since they were diluted with oils. Now, I'm more concerned with candy made in China. Hey, they managed to poison pet food, infant formula, and children's toys. We're supposed to trust them with candy? Isn't it enough that we have to contend with high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and the like? Some candies even contain "beef gelatin" (Avengers candies, I'm looking at you). The kiddo and I are vegetarians, so that is a no-go for us, but really, why put beef gelatin in candy?

So, this Halloween, this Mean Mommy will not only make sure that the kiddo is wearing something light-colored and reflective; not running too far ahead of me; saying "trick or treat" and "thank you"; not taking more than one piece of candy per house; and returning home at a reasonable time, but Mean Mommy will also be examining the candy for tampering, discarding the cheap stuff, and maybe even stealing a Reese's Cup...

Have fun and stay safe!

Snow--uh, Wind Day!

No school today! I remember how I used to love snow days! Today we are having a wind day rather than a snow day, and that's putting a damper on things since I can't send the kiddo outside to play. She thinks she should watch TV all day, and keeps subtly trying to get me to agree. Subtly for her, that is. She suggests that she "go downstairs"--where the TV is--to which I enthusiastically exclaim "Cool! You can play in your kitchen!", or "Fun! Your tent is downstairs!". Needless to say, the kiddo is not as excited about her kitchen or tent as I am.

When she started playing her flute, I threatened to send her outside to play it (that's the rule, no flute- or whistle-playing in the house. They are officially categorized as outside toys), then warned her that it might blow away. That suggestion wasn't well-received, either.

Then, the kiddo started loudly complaining that she was bored. I got her puzzles, crayons, and fake tattoos out and we spent some time with those, but when they lost their appeal, she started complaining again. The next time she whined about how bored she was, I told her that I needed some help with cleaning and that she could start by sweeping the steps. The kiddo is now playing with her i-XL, and even though she is playing some game that sounds like singing cats, I much prefer that to the flute, whining and complaining.

Please, can there be school tomorrow?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

That's Disgusting--So Don't Let It Happen To You!

Today I was talking to a Mean Dad who told me how he resorted to showing his young son graphic pictures of what could happen to him if he continued chewing on electrical wires (yikes!). So, because of the same compulsion that makes me look at road kill, I had to google some images. The results range from silly cartoon drawings to photos of nasty-looking burns. Then I googled other awful things, like "bike hit by a car", "2nd degree burns" (didn't make it to 3rd degree), "broken arm", "smoker's lungs", "skin cancer", "meth mouth"...OK, some of those things I don't have to worry about for a while (hopefully not at all!), but I am adding this idea to my arsenal of weapons against bad/undesirable/dangerous behavior.  I think I will start with "rotten teeth", "head lice", and "hit by a car". *Shudder*  *Cringe*  *Wince*

Friday, October 26, 2012

Love My Girl!

You may be thinking that all I do is complain about my kiddo. Well, it's true, I do tend to criticize her choices and detail my mean mommy reactions to them. However, there is a lot about my kiddo that I am proud of. Just to mention a few things:

  • The kiddo makes a lot of good food choices. She often chooses the healthy option (fruit, pretzels, etc) over the sweet option. Not always. She is a kid, after all.
  •  She is kind to other children, and she likes to share. On her terms, and that's OK.
  • She speaks well, has a large vocabulary, and uses good grammar.
  • She understands the value of her toys.
  • She appreciates books.
  • She is healthy and enjoys being active.
The kiddo is an awesome little girl, and I can't take credit for all of it, but I really think that my choices have influenced her choices (like limiting sweets and banning crappy food; making her play nice and take care of smaller children; correcting her grammar and making her repeat things the correct way; "selling" one of her toys for money to replace something she damaged by being careless; making her leave me alone when I am enjoying my own reading time; and making her walk to and from school)

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I have received criticism, sneers, and questions from other people in addition to whining, complaining, and claims that "it's not fair" from the kiddo herself. But when I look at her, I know that I am doing some things just right.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Sometimes having a kid and a kit is like having two kids, in that the one (the kid), likes to bug the heck out of the other (the kit). Today Mr. Kitty Cat had to go to the vet for his yearly checkup and vaccinations, and I just couldn't get us in until after school, which means that the kiddo had to come with us. Mr. Kitty Cat loathes his carrier, so I have to be sneaky about catching him and stuffing him into it. In order to give myself extra time in case the cat put up a fight, I put him into his carrier before getting the kiddo from school. As soon as we got in the door, she went straight for the carrier and started bugging him.

The last time we took the cat to the vet, I put his carrier in the back seat, which wasn't the best idea. The kiddo has a new car seat, which gives her a little more freedom of movement than the old one, and she spent the entire ride to the vet's office leaning over and reaching into the carrier. She thinks she is petting the cat, but she is really adding to his overall discomfort and anxiety. So, this time, the carrier stayed up front with me.

The kiddo just couldn't stand it, though, and as soon as we got into the exam room at the vet's office and the vet was examining the cat, she started in again. She was trying to pet and poke the cat, making him very agitated. I told her to stop, twice, then I had to physically remove her from the area around the exam table.

If the vet hadn't been in the room, I'm sure we would have experienced a full on fit. I asked the kiddo if she would like being poked and annoyed when she was in the middle of a doctor appointment, getting shots. She vehemently said "no", so I pointed out that the cat must feel the same way.

The kiddo loves the cat; he is...tolerant of her. In time, when she learns to stop bothering him, they could be friends. I guess I am overly protective of them both--the cat was a stray and is skittish around loud noises (like screaming, wailing, giggling...), and the kiddo loves animals so much that I don't want that to change if she goads the cat so much that he scratches her.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Funny Punishment

This will go into my arsenal of parenting tips for when the kiddo is a teenager:


In an effort to make my house look somewhat presentable, I have attempted to de-clutter, which is a nice term for tossing crap. My house is overflowing with crap. Some of it is hubby's, a lot of it is mine, but the bulk of it belongs to the kiddo. There are random pieces from long-lost toys, plastic junk from the "treasure box", forgotten candy wrappers under the table (thank you, kindergarten!), and paper. And more paper. And even more paper.

If I could turn all the paper in my house back into trees, we would have a small forest. There are notices from school, pages from coloring books, schoolwork, notes to the kiddo's friends that never got delivered, notes from the kiddos friends that did get delivered, drawings, get the idea.

So, in an effort to clean up, I grabbed any loose paper that wasn't a) official, b) sentimental, or c) interesting,  and threw it away. Unfortunately, I tossed a paper that had some significance to the kiddo. That, however, is not the problem. The problem is that I put it in the kitchen trash can and didn't cover it up. You guessed it--she found it, and the tears began. It was in the trash with some pretty unsavory stuff, so it was ruined and she knew better than to try to retrieve it, but that didn't stop her from letting me know just how displeased I had made her.

I feel terrible. Not because she was distraught over a piece of paper, but because I got caught. The next time, the crap goes straight into the big trash can.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Just Doing My Job

Well, there I was, thinking that I had nothing to report for today and that I could just post links to good websites when, all of a sudden, inspiration hit me. Almost literally.

The kiddo and I were heading over to the neighbors' house so that she could run around with her friends. She spotted a little girl who isn't usually over there and excitedly pointed her out to me. The kiddo was so eager to tell me all about this other girl that she didn't look before trying to venture out into the street. There is a slight curve right before our house, so she didn't see the car coming, and even when it was almost right in front of us, she wasn't paying attention.

Fortunately, there were several things in our favor: first, the driver appeared to be a timid teenager, probably just learning how to drive, very nervous, and going fairly slowly; second, the kiddo was so enthusiastic about telling me who the other girl was, she wasn't focused on running across the street.

She actually stepped off the curb, but I grabbed her arm; when she tried to keep going, I jerked her back. When the car passed and she tried to break my death-grip on her arm, I just held on tighter and pointed to the truck that had just turned onto our street. Seeing the truck took all the fight out of her as she realized that I wasn't torturing her, just trying to prevent her from getting run over, and she held my hand as we crossed the street.

This incident reminded me that even though the kiddo knows "the rules" and can even recite them to me, I can't trust her to remember them when she is distracted. So, Mean Mommy will continue to annoy her by repeating the rules, checking on her, and grabbing her as needed.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Missed Opportunity

This evening after bath time, I was trying to put the kiddo's clean laundry away. Specifically, I was trying to put her pants away in the middle dresser drawer, while she was attempting to choose a different pair of undies from the top drawer. I asked her not to whack my arm with the drawer. What was I thinking?? I should have just handed her the clean clothes and had her put them away. Next time...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Meet Another Mean Mommy

I'm always interested to hear other moms' "mean mommy moments" (maybe so I can get ideas, or maybe so I know I'm not the only one...). Here's one for you:

"A" is very conscientious about making sure that her kids are well behaved, especially in public. One of her techniques is to bribe the littlest one with a small piece of candy if he lets her run her errands peacefully. One day, though, he was way too excited and after a few reprimands, then threats, A was at the end of her rope. The youngster was wild and crazy and about to be strapped into the shopping cart, a form of torture for an energetic toddler. A knew that a meltdown of epic proportions was imminent, so she decided to use it as a teaching moment. She pulled out the candy she had put aside for bribing her son, told him that he didn't deserve it, but that she did. She then proceeded to eat it, making a show of savoring every bite!

Of course, some of the other customers were shooting A dirty looks but they probably would have done so if she had let her little guy throw a fit. Now, he realizes that there is a benefit to being good, A does not have to pull her hair out, and shoppers around town can breathe easier knowing that at least some mommies keep their children in line. Go, momma, go!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Eat Healthy, Eat Healthy, Eat Healthy...Here, Have Some Crap

The kiddo is enjoying kindergarten, and hubby and I are enjoying our routine walks to and from school with her. Her life sure is sweet, and that is the problem.

Every Friday, her class prepares some kind of food to tie in with the lesson of the week; for instance, when they studied the letter 'a', they made apple sauce. However, every cooking project after that has been something sweet. That's not too objectionable, but Friday is also the day on which the kindergarten students are allowed to purchase ice cream. The kids are also rewarded for good behavior by being allowed to select a prize from the "Treasure Box", which always includes candy (a Starburst, for example). Students are also allowed to bring in treats for their birthdays. So, those kids can get two sweets in school on a Friday, possibly more. At the school's Fall Fest, enough candy was given out to kill a town full of diabetics.

But, oh, it gets better. I wrote about the coupon for a free treat--it was a Slurpee--that I allowed the kiddo to get (and savor over the course of three days), and yesterday she whipped out a coupon for a free kid's meal at the local Zaxby's. She looked at the Zaxby's coupon and said "That's one of the places we don't go to, isn't it?", because she doesn't eat meat and she knows we don't do fast food.

Hubby and I insist on a healthy diet for the whole family, but we like the occasional treat, too. Sometimes I have to forgo a sweet treat for myself because the kiddo is already sugared up and I can't exactly treat myself and not allow her any. I'm committed to having a healthy kiddo, so I can deal. But I'm also concerned about the other kids. A kid could have a sugary cereal for breakfast, come to school on a Friday and make and eat something sweet with the class, have ice cream for snack, have a sugary snack with lunch, go home and eat junk food, have a fast food dinner and dessert. That is a whole lot of crap in one day.

Oh, and I should mention that her school encourages healthy food. WTF???

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Makes a Mean Mommy Grumpy

My kiddo loves to hug and snuggle; I know she will outgrow that tendency eventually, so I like to make time to cuddle and squeeze her...most of the time. When I am busy, I have to tell her "no"--more like "so sorry, sweetie, I will snuggle with you later", which often prompts her to cling to me.

The clinging is slightly (OK, extremely) annoying, and downright dangerous when I am standing in front of the stove, stirring a pot of hot food or working at the counter, chopping food with a sharp knife. Today, though, it is even worse because I have aggravated a hip injury, resulting in sharp, stabbing pain in my lower back, hip and leg. Now the kiddo won't stay away from me (good to know when I need her for something--just pretend to be hurt/uninterested in a hug). I have actually said "Get off me!" and have caught myself about to say "Go away!. "Go away!" is harsh and I really don't want to say that, so it becomes "Go somewhere else!", which still hurts her feelings.

The more pain I am in, the grumpier and meaner I get. The solution: get off me! Stop making my life harder! OK, that won't make an impact on her. I might try "Be kind, let me relax and do my stretches without jumping on me, and I will be warm and cuddly later. I may even 0read a book out loud if I'm not grousing about how much I hurt." Prescription painkillers would be nice, but I get loopy from over-the-counter meds. Not a good idea when I have to take care of the kiddo. My only other option is to run away...but my hip hurts too much to do that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Missing Teens: A Mean Mom Didn't Go Far Enough

I just read this article on Yahoo news, and I think the mom's idea is genius. The gist of the article is that two teenage boys got busted by the police for breaking their curfew, and the mom of one of them tried to ensure that they would not try to sneak out again:

 "This is going to sound really stupid, but I took all the shoes downstairs and put them in a bag and took them up to my room, thinking if I had the boys' shoes, they couldn't go out and go skateboarding again," she said.

 Unfortunately, they found some boots in the garage and snuck out to meet up with two teenage girls they met online. So, the shoe idea would have totally worked if the mom had thought of the boots in the garage. I guess she didn't realize how determined the boys were. I hope I never have to resort to such drastic action, but I commend this woman's thinking.

The boys stopped at a store and asked to use the phone; an employee let them, on the condition that they use speakerphone. Good thinking! He was able to glean a bit of information about their plans.

The two boys and two teenage girls they met up with are still missing; I am including the link to the Yahoo article in case you want all the details. And, if by chance you know where they are, please be mean, ruin their fun, and turn them in!

Read the entire article here:

Food for Thought

The kiddo came home from school today, and since the weather is beautiful, she asked to go outside in the front yard. After a recent, local attempted kidnapping scare, I'm hesitant to let her go out in the front yard if neither hubby nor I can watch her. As I was already cooking dinner, I told her she could play in the back yard. For some reason, the back yard has lost all its appeal, so the answer was "no, thanks" (give her points for good manners). Then she asked if she could watch cartoons. I hesitated, because, although I don't want her to become a tv-zombie, I had to prep some veggies for the Morrocan Stew we are having tonight, and I didn't want her to see them.

She will eat broccoli, spinach, asparagus...but not peppers or eggplant or tomatoes (which is strange since she loves salsa and ketchup). So, in order to keep my list of ingredients secret, I sent her on her way.

There are cookbooks on the market that propose hiding veggies in kid-friendly foods like brownies or macaroni and cheese; the kiddo has always liked a variety of foods, so I haven't had to resort to that yet. But, until I can get coordinated enough to have dinner completely prepared before I go get her from school (fat chance!) or until I have the fortitude to make her eat things she dislikes (not gonna happen!), I will have to be sneaky. Bahaha!

Monday, October 15, 2012

No, I'm Not Starving My Child

It was a little bit before dinner this evening, and the kiddo asked for something to eat. I said "no", because dinner was going to be ready in fifteen minutes. She continued asking until I was ready to give in and shove a biscuit in her mouth just to make her stop talking (no, I didn't do that), but I still said "NO".

She had had a good breakfast, snack at school, filling lunch at school and a snack when she got home. So, the fourth or fifth or sixth time she asked for something to eat, I replied, sure, she could have undercooked fish. She declined. "How about some frozen sweet potato fries?" She refused. The next thing I offered was some boiling hot cauliflower. Again, she wasn't interested. Before I could offer any more suggestions, she threw herself down on the floor and began wailing that she was sooo hungry. I went through my list again--undercooked fish, frozen sweet potato fries, etc. She got up and stomped into her room. When dinner was ready, I called her and she came out, sat down sweetly, and ate (almost) everything on her plate. I "won" that one, but my goodness, what drama!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

40 Items in the Express Lane?? Really?

So here is the "Cornershot" from the October 13 local newspaper:

Corner shot

"I'm in the "Express Lane — 12 items or less" behind a group of three with a shopping cart with at least 40 items.
L., my favorite cashier, is trying hard to suppress a big smile — he knows what's coming.
I look one member of the group in the eye and ask if he ever wonders why the store puts up signs in the checkout lanes. He looks at me, uncomprehendingly.
I point to the sign. He looks at the sign and turns away. I wonder, out loud, if maybe the store should put up a picture for those who can't read.
He mutters, "I can read."
I say, "Oh, now I get it. You just don't care."
L., when they have left, laughingly reminds me that the cashiers are not allowed to say anything. I tell him not to worry; I will say something every single time.
So, if you are in front of me in the Express Lane with 40 items, you know what's coming as well." JS

Really, 40 items in the Express Lane? And he must have gotten away with it in the past, too. Kudos to the gentleman for speaking up! I hope that there were impressionable children within earshot who learned a thing or two!

If you are in that situation, especially if you are with your kids, please speak up!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hello, again

Well, I'm back. It's been a few days, and after having felt under the weather for more than a week, I have good news to report:

1st, my family has been helping out; the kiddo (grudgingly, but I'll take it) has helped put things away, and hubby has been doing a lot with the kiddo, thus giving me a break.

2nd, I managed to attend a great parenting group meeting where we discussed the importance of family meetings, especially in regard to assigning chores and giving an allowance. This gives me lots of ideas to keep the kiddo in line.

3rd, I have not had to yell at anyone for random acts of inconsiderate, dangerous, or annoying behavior.  W00t!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Time to Pick Up...

As I was looking around at all the crap on my floor (OK, some of it is mine), I remembered my mother-in-law's story of how she got fed up with her (3!) kids' toys littering the house. She asked them to pick their toys up, then gave them an ultimatum: if the toys were still on the floor by whenever, she wouldn't ask them again, she would pick them up herself. And so she did--and threw them in the trash.

This morning, I asked the kiddo to pick up her stuff or I would take it. She put her candy away, but left some bracelets, play kitchen pots and pans, vampire teeth, whistles and a drum out. I can't bring myself to throw her stuff in the trash, but I will put it in a basket and hide it in the extra room and let her sweat over it a while. Then, I'll let her earn her stuff back. There are lots of chores to do around here.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Driving home from work today, I noticed where someone had obviously emptied their ashtray while waiting their turn at an intersection. Eeew! I'm not enough of a devoted environmentalist to go back and clean up their mess, but if I had witnessed it, I probably would have said something. Yes, I realize that if I reprimand someone, even gently, they may very well reply with some offensive language. Oh well.

Hubby says it's not my place to correct other people's actions, especially adults'. But it's part of my personality, even though I'm basically shy. Some things, like littering, just bug me. This tendency was there before I was a mommy, and really started to come out when I was pregnant (one bonehead got a real earful when I was expecting). I mean, I do my best not to screw up society or the planet, and I expect others to do the same, and to teach their kids to do the same. It's not that lofty a goal; I'm not talking about saving the world or solving societal dilemmas, just having some respect and some common sense. And if your mommy didn't instil that in you, I'm more than willing to remind you.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Little girl, big cough

The kiddo has been coughing a lot lately. She was actually sick for not even a whole day--feverish, lethargic--but by the end of that day she was asking to go out and play. The cough, however, has lingered, showing up at inconvenient times (middle of the night, waking her up) and making her whole body shake. Since she didn't act sick and wanted to go to school, I sent her. Today, though, marked almost two weeks of the coughing, so I finally took her to the doctor. She is now on antibiotics and oral steroids.

Was I too mean, expecting her to tough it out? If her fever and lethargy had lasted, I certainly would have acted sooner, but I was concerned about her catching something else in the doctor's waiting room and really getting sick. And I definitely don't want to be one of those moms who demands antibiotics for their child when the problem is viral and antibiotics won't help. (If any of my readers do that, stop it! It only makes antibiotics ineffective because the bacteria get used to them and learn how to beat them.) So now I'm having a bit of "mommy guilt" for letting the coughing go for so long. But at least she is agreeable to taking her medicine (it must be flavored), otherwise I'd have to tackle her and make her take it (and end up feeling guilty about that).

*cough*  *cough*  Great. It's my turn. Guess I'm gonna tough it out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Using my "Mean Mommy Voice" at the auto body shop

Life without a car...although my husband and I have had some insightful conversations on our morning ride--without the kiddo--to his office, I would have to say that I was seriously missing having a vehicle of my own during the last 9 days when my car was in the shop. Yes, I said NINE DAYS. All they were doing was a little repair work for a minor fender-bender, and they all but promised me that it would be done on Friday. Fast forward four days , and they were hinting that it might not be ready today at 5:00 when they closed.

This might be typical for body shops (although I suspect that it is not, not if they want business), but enough was enough. I asked when, precisely, my car would be finished. The secretary checked and gave me a wishy-washy answer; I asked her if she was aware that my car had been in her establishment for over a week. She answered "yes", but it was the kind of "yes" that was accompanied by an eye roll. I could hear her eyes rolling, even over the phone.

Many comments were rolling around in my head, like, "excuse me, but have you heard of Angie's List? You might want to shut up and get my car ready." However, I held the nasty remarks in and simply said tersely  "I will be in to get my car this afternoon".

Mission accomplished! I got my car without having to cause a scene. Sometimes the hint of being mean--like the tone of one's voice--is enough to get results without full-out yelling. I know that works on the kiddo sometimes (a stern "I know you aren't getting into the cookies!" works wonders in applying the guilt and reminding her of my expectations). It's just kind of sad that I had to do that with a grown up. Sigh.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Now, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

This is a friend's status update from her Facebook page:

"[Yesterday] afternoon my children were awful! My hubby and I decided we had had enough! I announced, "No ice cream for anyone tonight." Hubby said, "Well, I don't know about that, WE didn't do anything wrong, let's you and I go and get ice cream and the kids have to watch us eat it." So off to Super Duper Scoops we went. My husband even pointed out to the children that there was a happy little girl inside dancing around because she got to have ice cream. Cruel and usual punishment, hmmm? Here are my children's reactions. :( :( :( " 

If you read my post from yesterday, you know that I see  a big difference between "mean" and "cruel", at least in how I use those two words. My friend is hardly cruel--she was teaching her kids a valuable lesson: you don't get rewarded for unacceptable behavior. Or at least they don't.  Yes, I'm sure the punishment stung, but down the road the sting will be gone but hopefully the lesson will remain. Carry on!