"That's it, everyone get your monkey butts outside!" Dad bellows.
It's a dad's growl, a voice that when deepen with frustration, everyone's heads turn. It's a bellow that says hey, your mom may not believe in spankings but that doesn't mean dad is a true believer. When heard all children know one thing for sure: Shit, we're busted and there's no getting out of it.
No one does it like dad does it. Sure, don't get me wrong. No one can throw a dish busting hissy like mom. There's a place for it no doubt. But there's a significant difference between the two that all kids know.
Here are the facts. Mom is going to lose it. She's going to go absolutely apeshit. And when that happens she is going to open the cabinet and start throwing her own dishes into the sink, smashing each and everyone. As a kid you are looking at this and are amazed at the ferocity of the attack. And you know you are in trouble. However, you know that this shit isn't yours so no big deal. Maybe you'll get a grounding and you can deal with that because your Wii is still ok.
And then you know that later will come the mom guilt and remorse. It's a guarantee. She'll feel bad that she over reacted. In fact, chances are that when you go buy some new dishes you'll get something cool yourself. And a little advice--you'll probably get some candy too if you cry a little.
Dad has no remorse. And he doesn't break his own shit. He breaks your shit and he doesn't feel that bad about it. Every kid knows this and that is why when dad uses his dad voice, you fucking pay attention.
Because it says that if you two kids don't get out in the front yard in two seconds I'm going to put Barbie's head in a blender and make you push the button. It says that your favorite ball is about to be chucked on the roof and the ladder is going to be locked up. It says that despite what your mother says, she's got to leave sometime and when she does we are going to have a meeting between ass and hand.
Kids know this.
So when I say "get outside now" both kids stop the fighting, stop the throwing things and stop trying to jerk the phone out of mom's hand. Because now is punishment time and what is all Dad's favorite punishment of all time, everywhere?
Clean the garage you two yahoos.
Because if you have all this pent up energy that mathematically prevents you from behaving then god damnit we are going to be productive about it. My dad was king of this and I'm happy to say that I employ the same strategy.
Because a Dad knows that nothing builds character in children like some good old sweat that will put some hair on your chest. And the garage and front yard is the best place to make it happen.
Here's what dad is thinking. In his head he has a vision of you when you are about 21. You've dropped out of college and are hitting the drugs hard. But the drugs are what get you through your 8pm to 3am shift at Bobs topless club so you need the drugs. And the drugs always make you more flirty so Slimy Mcgreasball tips you better so now maybe you can get some boose with your drugs. And finally, why not ask old Slimy to come home with you and spend the night at your house. And by your house I mean your parents house because that's where you still live thus ruining any and all chance for your Dad's peace and quite which is all he really wants.
That's what dad sees and that's what comes through in his voice. He'll be damned if he's raising a couple of coked out whores and he knows the best course of action to take. Use the dad voice and let's do some manual labor. And he supervises which makes it 10 times worse.
Pick up that piece of trash. There's a screw over there. Let's move it gang, you aren't get paid by the hour. I'll be out here all night if I have to, I love the garage. The garage is my happy place. Elmo does not visit this garage. The wonder pets hate this garage. This is my fortress of solitude and there is no hope for you here. Pablo gets gang banged in this garage.
And then he lectures you while you do it. Fantastic.
He asks you if you want to be homeless by the time you are 13 and he's just curious because that's the way things are going for you right now. Hey, don't blame him, these are your choices. He asks you if you want to be walking for the rest of your life because there is no way your are getting a car, ever. He asks you why do you have to behave like a border ruffian and perhaps its the influence of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so we should never ever watch that again.
So when Dad bellows you listen to it because if you don't, he's got friends with garages. Hell, he's got a whole front yard that needs to be mowed and weeded. And he knows just the two kids that just volunteered for the job because no one finds willing volunteers like Dad.
And if you do a good job you might get some ice cream.