Thursday, 5 January 2012

From 10 to 1 and back up again...

So, I’ve decided to start the New Year by introducing some more rigid boundaries for my children. I announced this proudly to a good friend the other day, who politely pointed out that as my eldest is four, perhaps four years ago would have been the time to start thinking of boundary introduction. A fair point.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have some. Like they’re not allowed to eat upstairs and they can only watch three episodes of Peppa Pig in a row in order to keep me out of a mental institution. But certain things have slipped of late, meaning that my son is frequently found snoring in between The Husband and I at 3.30am and my two year old daughter often addresses me like I’m a sista from her ghetto.

So this week I have dusted the naughty step, ready and waiting for tiny bottoms to perch on it.  Mwah ha ha….

Trouble is, my son is exceptionally laid back, reasonably bright and – it turns out - rather manipulative. And what happens is this:

ME: ‘If you don’t go and clean your teeth now I will take away your fire engine’.

HIM: (Nothing).

ME: ‘I’m going to count to 10’
(I know most kids get three, but he needs 10 – purely because it takes until I’ve got to three for him to even notice I’ve started to count).

HIM: A fixed look, right into my eyes of – I’m not even sure what – just chilling in da crib, boredom, exasperation, puzzlement and, above all, stubbornness.

At four, he knows exactly what’s going on here and he knows exactly what the consequences are.  He just doesn’t care. You can almost see his little brain through the backs of his eyes, working it all out and saying to itself ‘You know what? Fuck the fire engine’.

And when they genuinely don’t give a shit, it’s kind of hard to know where to go with the discipline isn’t it?

To add insult to injury, there was a fight in the bath last night as he wouldn't share the toys when asked nicely by his little sister. As I go to fetch a towel I hear a clumsy little toddler voice say ‘You do your told, I count to ten…one….two…three’. Brilliant, now my two year old daughter is taking the piss out of me.

And you know what? He bloody well did as he was told.

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