Monday, 15 March 2010

The secret of successful discipline

Not been here much recently. Mostly because I haven't been, well, for want of a better word: here.  So apologies for bloggy absence, but we were up in Scotland, looking at The House, seeing the in-laws, making plans and generally having a very busy, totally unrelaxing, but extremely enjoyable week off.

Anyway, it's all been a bit unsettling for all the girls, and especially L. We've been moving around a lot: she's been sleeping in different places, meeting new people, coming to the beginnings of an understanding about what moving is going to mean and generally having her routine totally blown to pieces.  So yesterday morning we woke up in East Lothian at her cousins' house, piled in the car and drove south, planning to stop for lunch with friends in Yorkshire.

L slept in the car and we made very good time, so I was confident that when we got there she'd be on splendid form. 

Not a bit of it. She was properly horrid. Whingy, moany, clingy, refusing to eat, refusing to sit down, refusing to do anything we wanted her to....

So I got cross.  And I find that there's something even more cross-making about ordinary toddler behaviour when you're with friends and you really, really want them to see what a lovely child you have, and that child refuses to cooperate...

After half an hour of detailed negotiations over precisely which bit of utterly delicious lasagna she would and wouldn't eat, I lost it and I told her that either she sat down and ate her lunch or I'd put her in the car. (I am officially turning into my mother).

I put her in the car.
I got her out of the car.

She didn't eat.

I put her back in the car.
I got her back out of the car.

I sat her back down at the table, and we agreed that I would "help" her eat "very little spoons" of lasagna.

She looked at me, put her hand under my chin and said:

"Tickle tickle"

I looked at her.

"I want you to smile, Mummy".

Whereupon all thoughts of being a strict disciplinarian vanish. In a puff of delighted maternal love. 


  1. Aww this made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside

  2. I snamped at Mani yesterday morning and then felt oh so guilty about it as he asked me what he had done to upset me. God I felt terrible - I am ill though!!

  3. Kids are wonders at making all memory of their tantrums disappear like that!

  4. Don't you love it when they manage to totally undermine your efforts ! I love that someone else is also morphing into their mum

  5. little diplomats in the making, I think! They always know which buttons to press!

  6. it's just impossible to stay mad at them for long, huh?

  7. It's so hard to continue being cross with them when they're so darn cute isn't it? Lovely story.

  8. Moiderer - that's pretty much what it did to me! If I could bottle it and sell it as a blood pressure medication I'd make a fortune!

    Mad Mummy - don't feel guilty. You're human, as well as being an amazing mum! And they honestly do have to learn that there are limits...

    Muddling Along Mummy - I SO am going to be my mother. And when she drives me loopy it terrifies me.... That's going to be me in 30 years! aaaaaaaaaaargh

    Diney - oh don't they just! (see post on moving house for the opposite example!)

    Glowstars and Heather and Deer Baby - I try to stay cross, I really do.... It's a useful lesson though in living in the moment isn't it. I tend to seethe, and really I shouldn't.

  9. Very sweet, it would be impossible to stay mad after that. I totally get what you mean about wanting to show your friends what an adorable child you have, I'm guilty of this x

  10. Loved this! I'm the same in that situation, get crosser and crosser and don't really get anywhere. Your daughter sounds great!

  11. Last of the Mojitos - I think it is (it is isn't it?) totally natural. They can be so lovely, and we're so proud of them, that you want other people to think they're lovely too. I suppose at base it's because I want them to be loved....

    And Motherhood and Anarchy - oh yes, crosser and crosser and crosser and crosser and "are you cross mummy?". aaaaaaaaaaaaargh!


I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

So please do. Comments are great...