John Foxx

Well, it happened. It was inevitable. I would say I was surprised it hadn’t happened sooner, but I know the reason. I am a chicken…and also a bit lazy. I am a lazy chicken. But there comes a time when even the laziest chicken must draw a line in the sand—forgive that incomprehensible metaphor, clearly I am still reeling. I had my first grounding.

There was an incident. I will be deliberately vague, but suffice it to say, a grounding was warranted. Frankly, I was kind of excited about it. Grounding is like a stage on the parenting ropes course. I relished the moment as I had imagined it through the years--as my mother had said it to me: Young lady, you are grounded. Well, I didn’t say it exactly like that, but it was good. I was good. I was serious and heavy-handed and Cranky was obsequious and contrite. I had successfully delivered my first grounding. I banged the proverbial gavel.

Then came the problem: A grounding is more than a moment in time. You can say you’re grounded all you want, it’s executing the grounding that’s the trick. What they don’t tell you in the parenting handbook is that you’re grounded, too. The warden has to be in the prison with the inmate. Plus, in actual prison, the inmate can’t nag the warden. Does my grounding include the football game? Does my grounding include no smoothies? Am I grounded from Twitter? It’s exhausting.

So in the end, after a tremendous force of will, I completed my first grounding. Yes, there may have been some ill-advised guilt purchases, but I did it. I grounded a teenager—on a four-day weekend nonetheless, and I never want to go through it again. So hopefully, all of my children have learned a valuable lesson and will not stray from the straight and narrow again. I think that’s a reasonable expectation.

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