Why torture yourself, when you're kids will do it for you?
My sons are experts in the art of enhanced interrogation, better known as "torture." Kristoffer and Kyle reserve intensified interrogation techniques for their most challenging captive—me. Their methods are not new: feigning suffocation, stress positions, exhaustion exercising, light and noise bombardment, and sleep deprivation.
I refused to buy Kristoffer an expensive remote control car that he saw advertised every two seconds on TV. His last ditch persuasion technique was an attempt to break the breath-holding world record. His feigned suffocation turned him blue. I panicked. Fortunately, the body overrides stubbornness to resume breathing on its own.
Both of my sons managed to find their way onto my two-story rooftop. Kristoffer was four; Kyle was three. Finagling preschoolers off the roof without sustaining life-threatening injuries is an exercise in an emotionally and physically exhausting 'stress position.'
Kristoffer and Kyle instinctively play warring factions against each other. When the boys lose the war game of pitting Mom versus Dad, they ratchet up hardcore torture-that-isn't-somehow-torture. I allege their tactics are harsh. They deem their methods valid and necessary. The only marks my enhanced interrogators leave are on my heart.
As a battle-weary solo parent, I long for a peaceful night's sleep rather than bedtime skirmishes. Their nocturnal light and noise bombardment diversions wear me down until I cave into their demands. "You can have what you want! Just let me sleep!" The CIA makes a good point: Enhanced interrogation forces the interrogated to give in.
When the CIA forced detainees to listen to rap artist Eminem's Slim Shady album, they became frantic. Hello! Is this not an everyday parental reaction to the music choices of American teens?
My mothering instincts kicked into full gear when U.S. tanks rolled into Baghdad and the looting began. I thought: Where are their mothers? It is time for the moms of America to take charge!
- Pipe incessant whining, complaining and nonstop "Why?" questions into their cells.
- Guard terrorists on multiple shopping trips as they accompany teeny enemy combatants suffering from a severe case of the "gimmes."
- Put prisoners in charge of laundry duty. Their assignment? To wrench Superman pajamas off wiry, defiant bodies, then distract angry naked Superboy while jammies wash and dry.
- Let detainees attempt to de-escalate major temper tantrums in the library thrown by children who are selectively deaf to the word "No!"
- Set up primal screaming rooms within ear-splitting distance of the terrorists' cells. Sequester tantrum-throwing toddlers and defiant teens that scream, rant, rave, cuss, slam doors, and kick everything in sight.
- Sleep deprive detainees by compelling them to care for colicky, projectile-vomiting babies and feverish, whimpering toddlers with blowout diarrhea.
- Assign prisoners the white-knuckle task of teaching advanced driving skills to rookie teen drivers with lead feet. When an inebriated, fast-driving teen sneaks off with their suicide-bomber car, let them figure out how to retrieve it in one piece.
- Terrorize terrorists by making them care for overactive toddlers and teens 24/7—without help or reprieve.
One escapee from an Afghani CIA prison reported through a translator, "They would not let you rest, day or night. Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down. Don't sleep. Don't lie on the floor."
Whiner! Welcome to my life.
Obviously, this prisoner was not a solo parent. Luckily, he escaped.