I'm not completely out of the loop, though. We obviously have Internet access, so I get a good 30-45 seconds a day to skim the Yahoo! headlines while waiting for my e-mail account to pop up. This seems to be all the time I need, because I know enough to give you the name of our new president, and tell you that yes, we are still involved in a war on terror. I also picked up something the other day about shutting down Gitmo, but I didn't catch all the details. Ann Taylor Loft was having a sale.
I wish I had read up on the story, though, because it occurred to me later that I might actually have a solution to that whole Guantanamo Bay situation: draft the mothers of small children. Only we mothers of small children know how to torture people without leaving a mark. We do it every time we take our small children out in public. The military could refer to us as MSC's and let us wear uniforms of... oh, I don't know... Army-issued camo sweat pants and baggy, over sized t-shirts. The MSC's could handle torturing - er, soliciting information from - suspected terrorists. I'm betting that with our interrogation tactics, the war would be over in no time.
Personally, I'm surprised that I haven't been called into duty yet. After all, I not only take my children out in public regularly, but I'm apparently quite effective at torturing my own four pre-schoolers. My children are constantly shrieking about the various methods I use. After observing their reactions during the past few days, I've actually come up with a list of five particularly effective techniques that I'm thinking the military may want to consider implementing:
1. Turn the water on
No, I'm not talking about water boarding. I'm talking about running water somewhere in the vicinity of hydro-phobic children. This makes the greatest impression on my youngest daughter Evie, who is terrified of running water. Not standing water, mind you. Bath tubs, swimming pools, muddy puddles, and murky ponds are all great fun. But put her in the bathroom while actually filling the tub? Better have your ear plugs ready. These days, in the interest of her security and my ear drums, I pre-fill the bathtub while she is tucked safely away in her bedroom.
2. Use "germy juice"
I didn't realize before last week that the use antibacterial gel (otherwise known as "germy juice") could produce such a catastrophic response in small children. It can. And it did. I won't be able to show my face at the park again for a long, long time.3. Play the wrong CD
Nothing freaks my kids out more than when they ask me to play a CD, and I inadvertently play the wrong one. Granted, their requests are specific: "Play the blue one." "Play Emily's CD." "Put the Veggie Tales music on." I suppose I should be able to get it right, but it's confusing for a distracted MSC like me, considering we now own 6 Veggie Tales CD's. But trust me - unless you're trying to get the kids' attention, listen carefully and get it right the first time.
4. Let them ride on the carousel and then say "no" to ice cream
OK, this probably seems pretty specific. I'm not really sure how it would translate for a group of suspected terrorists, but I can assure you that it works on my kids. Yesterday, I took all four to the mall in cruel attempt to have fun. After devouring a lunch of all french fries and no chicken or fruit, the girls took turns alternately begging to ride on the merry-go-round and stop by the cookie stand. It seemed like a good idea at the time: I asked them to choose one or the other. The carousel won out. Six dollars and 25 dizzying turns later, we stumbled our way out of the Food Court only to pass a cleverly located ice cream stand. My girls are smart. They had agreed to surrender their cookies in exchange for a ride. But I never said they couldn't have ice cream. It took 20 minutes and two adults to drag four screaming children out to the car. Yes, it was torture. I'm just not sure who suffered more...
5. Leave the room
It's the classic method that all MSC's learn early in training: Walk out of the room - whether for 5 seconds or 5 hours - and your child will scream loud and long. Pure torture for them and for any unfortunate soul stuck in the room with your screaming kid. But not for you, because you're not in the room. I like this method best.
In fact, it occurs to me that #5 is the only technique in which the MSC actually comes out of the interrogation unscathed. I should remember this in the event I ever get called into service by my country: Bring the kids. Leave the room. The Army will get its information in no time.