There’s a moment of horror when you realise your child is becoming just a little too smart. It hits you one day, out of the blue. You’ve gone through the excitement of baby finding her fingers. You’ve swooned as baby learnt to sit up. You’ve marvelled as baby played peek-a-boo. You’ve seen this small person learn things. It’s amazing to see their little brains in action.
But then, just as you start to enjoy your toddler becoming more independent and capable, you realise they’re also starting to think for themselves. It’s one thing to clap and cheer as your little one manages to put the square shape into the square hole in the shape sorter. But another to realise they’re learning how to manipulate and scheme.
A terrifying realisation starts to grip you…. this tiny person doesn’t actually need to do what you say. Like seriously. You can scream and shout and jump up and down, but they are an entirely separate person to you. They can straight-up refuse to obey you. They can hold out until you grow old and die. It’s just a matter of who gives up first.
The reality of this hadn’t really occurred to me. I mean, I knew I’d have a child with a brain and all. But I had this vision of a democracy, where I was the elected leader…. but I was so wrong.
This is anarchy.
We’re at the stage where we really need to start disciplining Thud.
Between two adults, we have NOT.ONE.CLUE.
Thud finds yelling endlessly entertaining. The louder we yell, the harder he laughs.
Thud cares not for the “timeout”. At 17 months old, there’s precisely zero chance of him staying still in any one spot. We pick him up, put him down, he races away. Eventually this becomes a hugely entertaining game and his ‘punishment’ becomes a reward.
Thud is A-OK with things being taken off him. He has no attachment to anything. Toys, food, TV…. whatever we take away from him, he literally shrugs, turns around and starts entertaining himself with a power cord or a fly on the wall. If, by chance, he does get upset, he has a full-on melt down which lasts about 20 seconds, then picks himself up and finds another way to cause trouble.
Thud thinks smacking is funny. I once smacked his hand because he kept reaching for the stove. He cracked up. HILARIOUS. He started playing with every knob on the stove trying to get me to do it again. Then started hitting my hands. Because funny. So yeah, I just taught my child how to hit because it’s such an awesome game. Won’t be trying that again.
Lastly, Thud is immune to bribes and trickery.
This stings the most. What do we have if we can’t bribe the child?
Getting into the car is our latest battle. He locks his legs together and straightens his back to form a human surfboard. For a very small child, he is freakishly strong. I practically need to karate chop him in the guts to make him bend so I can do his straps up.
Last week he escaped my grasp and made it into the mystical land that is The Back Seat. He was free in the car for the first time in his life and he was loving it. He was bouncing on the seat and trying to somersault into the boot. It was a Toddler Wonderland and nothing was getting him back into his chair.
I pulled the big guns. A Scotch Finger Biscuit was produced from the handbag. I balanced it on the top of his chair.
“Come on mate, look! Biccie!”
His face lit up. A Scotch Finger is a definite step up from an Arrowroot. He knew I meant business.
But he hid his excitement well. The interest in his face died down very quickly and he fixed me with a steely gaze. I wasn’t winning that easily.
“Look buddy! Biccie for you! But you have to get into your seat first.”
He stared me straight in the eye and kept jumping on the seat.
“Mmm mmm! Yummy biccie!! Let’s go home and see Daddy!!!” maniacal pleading.
He stared at me with his sweet, sweet baby face and determinedly shook his head. It’s a new trick, this head shaking.
I half gasped and half laughed. It was unbearably cute but so bloody brazen.
“But bubby, it’s a Scotch Finger! You LOVE them!”
Then my tiny anarchist gave me the ultimate middle finger. He crouched down on the floor, rummaged under the seat and stood back up, proudly.
He triumphantly held a dirty old cracker in the air.
Before I could launch myself at him, he shoved it in his mouth with glee.
I have no clue how old that thing was. It could have been down there for months.
It must have tasted like arse but he happily chewed away on that crusted old thing like it was the greatest thing he’d ever tasted.
My jaw dropped at the FUCK YOU I’d just copped from my baby. He can’t speak yet, but I heard him loud and clear. “Take your Scotch Finger and SHOVE IT mum. I’m not moving and you can’t make me. Maybe if you cleaned this car once in a while you’d have a leg to stand on….”
So. So. Powerless.
Do you have any control at your house? HOW do you keep control of your tiny anarchists? Please help!
If you liked this, make sure you like The Thud on Facebook so you never miss a post!