Motherhood hasn’t come naturally to Daisy Leverington. Four years in and she remains wide-eyed, terrified and in awe of the little person she’s responsible for. This week she has some suggestions from the darker side of parenting.
What the hell do you think you’re playing at, asking for ANOTHER pudding? Are you for real?? I just spent 20 minutes cooking a dinner you barely touched, a dinner which cost about half an hour’s wage, a dinner with an actual VEGETABLE in it, and then provided you with a pudding which you didn’t really deserve, and now you want another one?!
Are you actually out of your tiny mind?! No! You cannot have anything else! You are a disgrace, child, a disgrace to my family name and all children in general. Your behaviour is not befitting of our budget and you have ketchup around your mouth. My grandma would have handed you your own arse for even asking! I cannot believe such a frigging ingrate came out of my poor vagina.
My mind clicks back into reality, to the small child giving me puss-in-boots eyes. I wonder if she heard any of my loud thoughts. “Fine,” I reply, knowing I can palm her off with fruit and she’ll be happy.
I’m assuming that everyone runs a version of these thoughts through their heads before replying to their children. I can’t be the only one who quietly mutters “you little fecker” after outwardly proclaiming “love you, nanight” after a long kiddie-filled day.
I’ve been compiling a list of Motherhood Safe Words – replacement words and phrases for the occasions when you want to tell your child to piss off, or send it out to play in the traffic. Things to use when the breaking point looms large. Stuff you WON’T go to jail for.
“You ask them to put it down, they pick it up. You ask them to hold your hand, they run like the wind. My solution cleverly combines both fear and curiosity.”
1. Asking for shit they can’t have
A fairly common but exceptionally frustrating situation, especially in public. When we detect the dulcet tones of our offspring changing from inquisitive to pleading; we know we have approximately 10 seconds until we either give in or they melt down. Here’s my solution.
“LOOK, FREE STICKERS!” you shout. And then, (this is the crucial part) you run as fast as you can into the nearest licensed premises and neck two sambucas. (It needs to be quite close, or you might go to jail for abandonment.)
By the time security return your child you’ll be half-cut and they will have forgotten about the thing they wanted in the first place. WIN.
As kids get older, they get stronger, and the cute little wrestles with your toddler become bare-knuckle fist fights with oddly muscular children. At the point at which you know that you or your younger child will lose, you must shout: “THERE’S A GHOST IN YOUR SCHOOL’S SPORTS HALL.” This has the double effect of entirely distracting them from their current fight, and putting the fear of god into any future physical activity. WIN.
3. Doing the opposite of what they are told
Again, fairly common and especially annoying in public. You ask them to put it down, they pick it up. You ask them to hold your hand, they run like the wind. My solution cleverly combines both fear and curiosity.
At the first sign of disobedience, you must loudly declare: “MY COUSIN TRIED THAT AND A WEEK LATER HE WAS DEAD.” Then comes the most important part: never explain that sentence. Just a knowing nod will do. If they try to do it again, just cry loudly. WIN.
4. Refusing to go to bed
Tricky, but not impossible. My child has somehow managed to drag bedtime out for an entire hour on occasions. Bad occasions. I’ve now taken to chucking out “IF YOU DON’T SLEEP, ALL THE FAIRIES WILL DIE,” just after I kiss her goodnight.
The sheer weight of responsibility will silence even the loudest bedtime protestations, and when they grow up and are talking to their therapist, they’ll feel stupid because fairies don’t even exist. WIN.
5. Not eating dinner
This is a daily battle in my house, and one which I’m in constant danger of losing. No amount of threats will do here; you will need an iron will and a strong heart. You CAN do this. The only advice I have here is to look the child straight in the eye and say, “MUMMY WILL HAVE TO GO BACK ON THE GAME, THEN.”
This statement draws their attention to the hard work and financial burden they are as non-tax paying minors, while offering a fleeting reference to your dying sexuality and misshapen vagina. Either way, it gets them thinking. WIN.
So there you have it. Give them a go, and good luck. If you get arrested, let me know and I’ll write my next column about it.*
* Daisy’s Disclaimer: I am not a qualified childcare expert. I am a mother. There’s a good chance none of this is good advice.4339 Views
Daisy Leverington - Actor, mother, expert at winging it.