Inspired by Lyssachelle at Kind Of A Mess today you get a post about my awesome and creative mom, and her clever punishment methods.
I had a rough year my junior year. I was in fact a miserable little shit. So the following punishment was in fact richly deserved.
My mom's boyfriend had a 50 gallon fish tank. About the same time that I got myself into some trouble, they decided to change the gravel in the bottom of the tank from four colors, to a single color. Do y'all know how much gravel is in the bottom of a 50 gallon fish tank? A whole damn lot. That's how much. A full five gallon bucket, for those of you who'd like to be able to visualize it.
My mom did not ground me for a set period of time, or take away my telephone, TV, music, or pleasure reading privileges. Instead, I was grounded from leaving the house until the fish gravel was all sorted into its separate colors. I could sit in the (heated) garage and sort it as much or as little as I wanted during a day.
If I didn't want to sort, I could hide in my room and read, or do something else, as long as I was in the house. But the longer I put it off, the longer I would remain grounded. You see what that clever woman did there? She used my lazy teenager self against me. I could be lazy all I wanted, as long as I was ok with staying in my Fortress of Solitude (err, room) for all eternity. Or at least until I graduated. I'm a pretty solitary creature by nature, but at 16 this was just unacceptable. It surely encouraged discipline and diligence in me. Which honestly, has carried over well.
For the curious wondering how long it takes to sort a 5 gallon bucket of fish gravel, I can't actually give you an answer. After about three weeks of solitary confinement is the cool, lonely garage I was set free. I'm not sure if it was that my attitude had significantly improved, or that she took pity on me. Probably it was a combination of both.