Alternative What?

l was in a store the other day. The kind that has a pharmacy in the back. A woman was dealing with a teenaged girl. She said, “It will only be five minutes.”

Teenaged girl: “I don’t wanna stand around un wait 5 minutes.”

I was thinking what an impoverished inner life the girl must have that she cannot entertain herself for five minutes. I could spend five minutes browsing any aisle in any store just to see something I had not noticed before. How poor the imagination of someone who cannot spend five to twenty minutes perusing a thought they had not had time to finish in the past.

What I said, with a chuckle, to my own (adult) grand-daughter, who was with me was, “If that were one of mine I’d make her stand in a corner for twenty minutes.  Next time five minutes would seem like nothing.”

My granddaughter laughed.

The woman must have heard me because she asked, “How would I make her do that?”

Teenaged girl: “Make me do what?”

The woman: “Make you stand in a corner for twenty minutes.”

Teenaged girl: “Nobody is gonna make me stand anywhere. Just try it.”

The woman shrugged and we moved on.

My grand-daughter said, “She’s right. My kid just started kindergarten and he knows I can’t make him stand in the corner or do anything else he doesn’t want to do.”

So I spent the next twenty minutes mulling over the question, “If there is no alternative punishment to the “alternative” punishment — Is there any punishment?”

I’m glad I’m not raising children any more.

If any of mine act up and refuse alternative punishment they can go home.

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