Before you read this story, I have to say that Zach is an awesome awesome kid. He is sweet. He is sensitive. He likes to fight like a ninja and spontaneously tackle his friends. Sometimes things get rowdy and out of hand, but that’s not the norm. The story below is NOT a typical day in my life. Just so ya know…
About 10 weeks ago I wrote a post about my 6 year old son Zach learning the F word. Yesterday he let his first one fly. “You big f–k!” Not at me though. He was in a rough house argument with the neighbor boys, his two closest friends.
The next thing i know, the neighbor boys and my daughter are in front of me with huge eyes and dropped jaws.
First, Max. “Zach said the F word.”
Then Tim. “Zach called me the F word.”
Then Abby, nodding fervently. “He did.”
Zach came up the stairs and barely tried to mount a defense. Poor li’l guy. He honestly thought he was going to be grounded forever. I took him upstairs and the idea struck me to wash his mouth out with soap. I’ve never done such a thing. I wasn’t that committed to the idea, but he put up zero resistance. So I put a little on his tongue, he made a face, I gave him a towel to lick, and he went into his room for a 30 minute time out. That was his punishment. Oh and he doesn’t get dessert for 3 days and had to go over and apologize to the neighbor boys. I was kind of proud of how dadly and responsible I was. I was holding my children accountable.
Then I went on facebook and got my face shot off. well maybe it wasn’t that bad. But what I thought was a funny story to share turned out to be not-so-funny to others. Let’s see. I got booed. Booed! On the first comment! And I was publicly admonished by my mother. And then there were the astounded friends and family who literally could not believe that I could do such a horrible thing.
Not much more to the story except for the thread. In the end, Zach and I both learned the same lesson from opposite sides. Zach got too dirty, and I got him too clean. Then we both clearly got our messages of significant disapproval. Then we both felt really guilty and decided we don’t want to ever do this again.
(here’s the facebook thread. no pics or names to protect the peeps.)
A classic parenting rite of passage. Zach just dropped the f bomb and I washed his mouth out with soap. (fyi- liquid soap didn’t achieve the desired result. maybe too much lavender? it took the old fashioned bar to make him cringe.)
Yesterday at 2:31pm · Privacy: · Like ·
- Suzanne M., Sam, Maria C. and 4 others like this.
Yesterday at 2:39pm · Like
You’re lying, Derek. You didn’t, really?
Yesterday at 2:50pm · Like
Hot sauce might work better. Good luck!
Yesterday at 2:59pm · Like
Derek Munson (starting to get a little concerned) i did. that’s not child abuse is it
Yesterday at 3:10pm · Like
Derek Munson and i didn’t stick the bar of soap in his mouth or anything. i just put it on his tongue for like 5 seconds till he wanted to spit it out. aw shoot now i feel bad.
Yesterday at 3:13pm · Like
Turning you in Munson
Yesterday at 3:16pm · Like
Wait until he becomes a teenager. You will here it most of the time.
Yesterday at 3:20pm · Unlike · 1 person
I have heard that threat spoken of many times, by many people, but I never knew anyone who carried it out… Til now! Lol! Poor Zach. xo
Yesterday at 3:37pm · Like
I got a bar of dial rubbed IN my teeth…. not abuse
Yesterday at 3:40pm · Like
Derek Munson i just talked to the neighbor lady and she gives her boys liquid soap, and then they have to take a swig of water and swish it around for a minute. made me feel better. 🙂
Yesterday at 4:03pm · Like · 1 person
Derek, if I swear Somehow i still get a little taste of Palmolive in the back corner of my mouth that takes me back and reminds that the f bomb is not appropriate, so it’s a lesson that keeps on giving…
Yesterday at 4:34pm · Like
Sam (owns a spicy barbecue sauce company) DUDE! Soap is not a food product! No matter who or why, it is not meant to come in contact with mucus membranes or be ingested! Hot sauce is a food product, it can produce tears and strong feelings of regret, without the toxic subtances that can be found in soaps!
Yesterday at 5:23pm · Like · 1 person
Lifebuoy – yuck. (A Christmas Story reference)
Yesterday at 5:34pm · Like · 1 person
I have made Lucy suck on a bar of Dove. I even checked with a doctor. It is fine for them. Just don’t use something like Zest.
Yesterday at 6:20pm · Like
(this is my mom’s post- her first scold in what? Like 20 years?) Geez Derek! I think the past three weeks have caught up with you. I’m not a fan of what you did!
Yesterday at 8:31pm · Like
Yesterday at 8:40pm · Like
My dad did it to me but since he was the one I learned it from, it was not very effective. Plus he was cussing me out. Good ol’ days…
Yesterday at 8:52pm · Unlike · 1 person
You didn’t REALLY do that, did you?!
Yesterday at 9:49pm · Like
Derek Munson (unabashedly defensive) this torturous incident, along with the one spanking i’ve delivered in my 8 years of parenting, should help cement my reputation as a cruel and ruthless parent. tough love. i am willing to bet that i won’t be hearing the f word for a few years.
Yesterday at 9:49pm · Like
Derek Munson and mom! what the hay? you so don’t want to get into a public discussion about appropriate parental discipline strategies! :p
Yesterday at 9:55pm · Like · 1 person
(my sis) HAHAHAHA. Amen, brotha.
Yesterday at 9:59pm · Like
… but you didn’t REALLY do that, did you?!
Yesterday at 10:03pm · Like
Derek -I happen to know you are a great dad and you did the right thing…I remember a certain thing called a wooden spoon and I turned out ok :)…I had great parents and still do…just remember you are the dad!
Yesterday at 10:05pm · Like
Derek Munson (incredulous and tired) for real- do you guys really think the punishment outweighs the crime? my typically very sweet 6 year old boy took a swing at his friend and called him a fuck. “You big fuck!” totally not acceptable! the punishment was immediate and unprecedented as it should be. it was experiential instead of some vague conceptual thing like a time out. sheesh- it wasn’t ajax and a toilet brush. he was actually curious about it. there weren’t any tears. i just told him i had to get the dirty words off his tongue and he was fine with it. i’ve had a harder time getting him to eat his dinner.
Yesterday at 10:10pm · Like · 1 person
The whole concept is so bizarre to me, I can’t wrap my head around it.
Yesterday at 10:37pm · Like
Right on Derek! Probably 4 out of my 5 kids had a bar of soap in their mouths at least once. The dirty words are what does it. It is NOT child abuse (your Dr. confirmed it) But a way to get their attention and discourage that language. I’m behind your actions one hundred percent. I think I’ve told you in a past post, I’d love to be your kid because you play and encourage creativity. A good balance of disapline makes for an excellent dad.
23 hours ago · Like
20 hours ago · Like
Sam Soap is not the answer, I don’t disagree that a punishment was deserved, but no matter who’s doctor says what, soap is not a food product. Just curious as to the credentials said doctor has and upon what he would base such a statement. “It is fine for them”?!? Better check with the FDA doc!
11 hours ago · Like · 1 person
Derek Munson sam- have you developed a hot sauce for this? i think this would be an awesome and funny product to add to your line! i bet you’d get great national press for it too. instead of mild, medium and hot, you could have bad, very bad, and whatever comes after that. maybe liquid soap flavor. 😉
10 hours ago · Like · 1 person
Sam It could be a money maker, it would definitely get press, bad press and hate mail. I think this is a pretty good idea. Don’t worry Derek, the challenges become even greater as they grow older! I have a 17, 15, 6, and 3 yr old boy.
9 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person
Soap poisoning has been well documented: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ktzt096mlxs
4 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person ·
Suzanne (my wife) This discussion is incredibly entertaining and worth documenting in the Munson family history . . .must be the first time that derek has ever been accused of being a hard ass.
4 hours ago · Like · 1 person
Where can I get my “DUDE! Soap is not a food product!” T-shirt?
4 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person