Tag Archives: discipline

Wading Pool.

This is something that happened this summer.  I’m not proud of it.  But it happened, so I’ll put it out there.

I pretended I wasn’t Pippi’s parent the other day.  Only for just a brief moment.  Not exactly my shining moment as a parent.  Well to be more exact.  Parenting FAIL.

It all started at a park this summer.  I was there to meet a group of girlfriends.  Only none of us realized the park had a wading pool.

Said pool opened an hour after we got to the park.  Pool warden “Mr. Frown” took his job very seriously.  The rules: No kids in pool whilst filling. (yelling at children)

No feet in pool whilst filling. (yelling at children)

No throwing rocks in pool whilst filling. (yelling at children. specific children. children crying now.)

No smiling/laughing/screaming/looking at or near the pool, whilst filling. (more yelling)

It took 45min to fill the damn 1/2ft pool.  Surrounded by 48 kids under 3, and their scrambling mothers. To keep them all out. of. the. pool. (yup you guessed it…more Mr. Frown yelling.)

Then they were allowed in.  But more rules from Mr. Frown.  And his now whistle (and yelling).

We got to play for a total of 30min.  Which included the stripping down of wet clothes to underwear. (Had to try and dry them before jamming them in a carseat.  And the underwear was a last minute, group effort of all girlfriends following the herd mentality: Mr. Frown can’t kick all our kids out of the pool if everyone is in their skivvies – right?)

Only just as we were leaving, Pippi slid down a slide.  In her white underwear.  The “top of the nature trail, down the dirt path to the wading pool area” slide.  And ended up with mud on her behind.

I coyly mentioned maybe she should go for one last dip in the pool before we go.

Mr. Frown (again) began to yell at the children, a child, my child.  I turned around to see my diligent daughter in the pool, her underwear off and now in the water, and not covering her bum.  I continued to turn and face my girlfriends.  We were all horrified. (Not sure if I was more horrified that it was my child in the nude, or that Mr. Frown was yelling like a banshee again.)

Then he began yelling at her to show him her “momma”.  Dear Lord. And I was singled out as I ran over to my daughter, who was more angry at this mean, large, loud, power-tripped man than she was scared. As a matter of fact, I was SCARED of this mean, large, loud, power-tripped man.  When we got out of there Pippi spoke.

“That man was RUDE Mom.  He shouldn’t talk to people that way.  He isn’t nice to kids AT ALL.”  I agreed with her.

Parent fail.  Child win.  Way to go Pippi.  My heart sings for this child who has a true north within herself that guides us both some days (nude or not).


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Today was bananas.

I awoke at 5:30am to calls (read shouts) beconing me.  More leg pain from growing pains.  Medicine administered with a silent prayer (to a God that I may or may not believe in, but was really hoping for this morning) that both kids now awake from the yelling, would silently retreat back to slumberland.

No God today. (Maybe sleeping?)

So up we got. And my son immediately pointed to his mouth.  He gets sign language. In that way that a terrorist gets a bomb: Point to trigger, deploy device and BAM! The pointing to the mouth indicates hunger. IMMEDIATE. LIFE THREATENING HUNGER. Once the finger points I have .2 seconds to disarm the device or BAM.

Bananas work well for this.

Only today, it wasn’t just one, but two hairpin trigger devices I was working against.  (Usually it’s just the one…the other one has somehow had a patience delay for the last year or so.) But not this morning.

Thank god for bananas.

Or so I thought. (Remember the god part earlier…) She didn’t want HER banana, she wanted HIS banana.  This is the red wire/ green wire situation where no matter how much training you have you just don’t know which to cut.  Do I take his away? Try for a swap? Maybe he won’t notice half go missing?  I went with the half theory, successfully.  Only then the demander had raised the stakes.

“NO, not his half banana, I want my own banana!!”

In the background, mentally I start to go bananas.

I pass her a whole one back.  Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that this last attempt will work.

And it did.

Phew. Crisis averted.

Go bananas!

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Happy Day.

Today was a good day.  A happy day.  Or maybe it was just an average day on account of all things in comparison to yesterday.   Oh yesterday where I feel like I lost my mind with my three year old intentionally pissing on the newly cleaned floor (3.5 hours after the cleaners had left) for the second time.  There were three “accidents” yesterday.  I sometimes wonder if these accidents aren’t the world’s way of “pop quizzing” us parents to see how far we’ve come with our own control of emotions (or not) and how much we’ve learned in parenting (or not) and which new tools we’ve developed (if any.)  Today was happy.

Maybe it is in light of the recent 3 broad-daylight steal-the-3-year-old-from-his-family kidnapping attempts in the last 24 hours.  I am cherishing my children and holding them extra tight today.

I even tried to impose some education on the eldest of my troop.  The conversation went something like this:

Mommy “Pippi what would you do if a stranger told you to go with them?”

Pippi “Nope.  Not unless they were nice mommy.”

Mommy *sigh* “Okay if anyone EVER tells you to go with them other then Mommy or Daddy you come to us quick so you can ask if it’s okay.”

Pippi “But why Mommy?”

Mommy “Well sometimes they aren’t nice people, and only Mommy and Daddy can tell if they are okay for you to go with.

Pippi “Oh but I know who is nice Mommy.”

Mommy “hmmm.  You have to ask ask before you go with anybody okay.  Always have to come to Mommy and Daddy to ask before going with anyone right?”

Pippi “Yup.  But it’s okay if I go with Susan (neighbour) She’s nice!”

Mommy “No, that isn’t okay.  You always have to ask first, so we know where you are.”

Pippi “Okay.  But Susan is nice.”

Mommy frowning in exasperation

“Okay, so what would you do if somebody told you to come with them in their car?”

Pippi “No way! *big grin* I’d never get in their car.  That’s just silly.  Only if they had a carseat Mommy.  It’s not safe for me in a car without a carseat.”

Mommy (beginning to realize this concept might be out of Pippi’s developmental grasp for the time being) “No honey don’t ever get in a car with anybody either.  Only with Mommy or Daddy okay?”

Pippi “Okay Mommy. But if they have a carseat I’d be safe.  Then if they get in a crash and ask where I am I can say: I am here, safe in my carseat!”

Mommy “No, not even if they have a carseat.  Or if they offer you candy.  You always only get in a car with Mom or Dad okay?”

Pippi “Okay Mommy.  But that’s silly.  Candy is for Halloween, and birthdays only.”

Sigh.  Will keep a close watch on my kids.  And hug them extra tight tonight.  Their cuteness and naivety are only a few of the million reasons they are so special to me.

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