Sunday, November 14, 2010

Say it Ain't Joe!


A few weeks ago, I described how Ciaran and I literally laughed one of our neighbors out of the house, which wasn't one of my proudest moments, but somehow oddly appropriate at the time.

Well, it seems we're Ciaran is hellbent on alienating more neighbor folk - this time making no secret of his utter dislike for Joe, who lives across the street.

Now, if Joe was a cantankerous old man who yelled or called the cops on kids playing outside his house, I could understand my son's anxiety, but Joe is, in reality, one of the most friendly, jovial people in the neighborhood.

That being said, he does have quite a loud, boisterous voice. And Ciaran is obviously threatened by it. Also, the boy seemingly has an aversion to the name "Joe".

My husband has a cousin also named Joe and he could be "neighbor Joe's" twin. They both wear baseball caps on a regular basis, sport mustaches and bellow speak in a very outgoing manner.

One day a few weeks back, as Ciaran played in the front yard with Tony, he caught sight of neighbor Joe outside his house and ran to hide behind the car, all the while yelling at the top of his lungs, "Oh no, it's Joe! I don't like Joe!"

Tony tried to tell him to keep it down or Joe's feelings would be hurt, but Ciaran shouted even louder, "Joe's not a good name! Joe's not a good name!!"

On Halloween night, while we made our rounds around the hood, Ciaran squeezed my hand hard when we approached Joe's awesomely-decorated house. "Not Joe's house, Mom," he stage-whispered. Well, at least he didn't scream it at the top of his lungs. We moved on to the next house.

But Joe was not to be avoided. As we went about our trick-or-treating business, we bumped into him and his little boy at every turn. Which did not make Ciaran a happy camper. And it certainly didn't help matters when Joe took to howling like a werewolf each time he saw us.

When we returned home, Ciaran helped Tony give out candy, and who was the first trick-or-treater to show up at the door? Joe with his son, of course.

On the plus side, The Man now has a name! I no longer have to use the empty threat of having the call The Man, or even Santa Claus when Ciaran acts up. Nope. All I have to do is utter the "J-word" to make him listen, get his PJ's on, or clean up his toys.

So much for thinking I'd never use fear to get my kid to do stuff. Sometimes it just gets to that point. And it works, for now, anyway.

7 comments:

Sandra said...

I agree with Ciaran: really, who names their kid Joe? Who does that? Joe isn't a name. It's a brand at Superstore.

Kimberly said...

Oh fear...it can be a beautiful thing when used wisely ;)
Brush your teeth or Joe will come and knock them out one by one...muwhahahah!

ModernMom said...

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

the mombshell said...

ah the 'stage whisper', I call it the 'toddler whisper', similiar to an 'irish whisper', but less drunk.

The Empress said...

I refuse to believe this about you. You do not do this, I know you don't.
Not my girl. I say you put this up here as good blog fodder.

Bibliomama said...

I'm sorry, but I LOVE little kids who have quirky fears that make no sense. Joe's not a good name! Ha! Blinded by the awesomeness!

The Mayor! said...

Sooo funny! And it's not a bad thing to find something to hold over your kid lol! I remember that post about the neighbour too, reminded me of myself! My father-in-law bellows, & it has always put off my kids...& ME!! He's what Seinfeld would call a "loud talker"! Sadly, my 10yr old inherited this...she hollers everything, we are constantly shushing this child!

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