And it's the ace up my sleeve when my kids are acting like effing hellions. When my kids are acting up, really acting like little...bad kids, I threaten to call Alcatraz to see if they have any rooms available. Bunkbeds? Fine. That's what they sleep on at home.
Whenever we cross the Golden Gate Bridge, I give a nod to Alcatraz. The girls snap to attention immediately even if they aren't doing anything wrong.
Why is it that, on a day like today, they don't respond to warnings or reasoning or yelling or time-outs, but as soon as I mention Alcatraz, all naughtiness stops? Wallie can be wailing on ever-patient Bunny (because she is a hitter), and as soon as I tell Wallie to pack her bags, Bunny is the one saying, "Nooooo! Don't call Alcatraz!" That threat is only for special occasions. Once every couple months. And as you can see, it works, long enough for me to stop the madness and explain what better choices look like anyway.
I used to think that I would be able to redirect or reason away any bad behavior with my children. We'd...talk it out. They would be intrinsically motivated to make appropriate choices at all times because we are thinking, rational people. I'd never raise my voice. After all, I was an educator.
I think all the educational psychologist professors I had never had a Wallie. She has had a strong personality since the day she was born, and that will hopefully serve her well in adulthood, but lately the child has been testing the limits of this family.
Alcatraz! Alcatraz! What a beautiful, beautiful name! (Sorry, was channeling Babs.)
Henyway. San Francisco Bay Area, I love you for many reasons, but today, it's because of Alcatraz.
Feel free to invoke Alcatraz whenever you need it. Alcatraz is meant for sharing, plus little kids have no idea how far away San Francisco is (if you never tell them).