After a long summer of excessive family togetherness, there were few sounds more beautiful than the squealing and rumbling of a bus carting my kids off to school. In my opinion, the early days of September were the best of the school year. It’s a time when my children launched out of bed, all shiny smiles and eagerness, ready to shed summer sloth for a busy school schedule.
But the thrill of new teachers and classmates soon fades like cheap calico. Inevitably, there comes a morning when kids remain fastened to their beds, like barnacles on a boat. Thus begins what I call “The Battle of the Budge”.
Picking them up is impossible. My sixty-pound son weighed 600 pounds asleep. (Would a physicist care to explain that to me?)
I tried pushing, but discovered it would take a team of horses to drag them out from under their fluffy eiderdowns. Unfortunately, horses loathe small two-story colonials.
Bribery is the easiest technique, the disadvantage being that it turns children into brats and brats into hundred headed, venom-eyed typhons.
Threats and extortion can be effective short-term methods but you have to deal with the guilt. I generally abhor violence, but tactics involving pain can be particularly gratifying if used on moody adolescent girls.
I finally found an animal-friendly, kinder and gentler tactic in my Battle of the Budge, which in the interest of good parenting and sane parents, I have elected to share with you.
That’s right. Go into your child’s room and sing any old song you like—preferably in an italliante vibrato soprano. If high C’s are a problem, just sing loudly and off-key. Try banging two pots together and threaten to keep singing until he gets up.
If the child refuses to budge and you’re quite sure he isn’t dead, calmly walk out of the room. Wait five seconds, then announce that his sister is about to eat the last waffle. It never fails!
Of course, this can sometimes lead to a raucous "Eggo War", but that's a battle to be discussed another day.