Okay I probably titled that wrong. Its less a how to than how not to.
I’m so not a stellar example of parenting. I haven’t been well emotionally for a while, and whilst that’s no excuse, it means I already feel like I’m on the back foot with imposing some sense of leadership over leaf.
She is the most obstinate child I’ve ever met, and I know a lot of people say that, but she is. The worst thing is people hardly notice because its in the most subtle ways that she can manipulate me.
‘Come on now,’ I hear you say, ‘she’s a baby! She can’t possibly boss you around!’
Oh but she can dear reader. She. Can:
When you’re sitting in your chair and your third mandarin becomes spontaneously unsatisfactory, what do you do? Squish it, throw it, and scream at an ungodly pitch and volume until an adequate replacement is suggested.
‘Banana? Cheese? Sandwich? Bikkie? Sultana?’
Ahhh, thinks the mama, the squished nose grin: yes please sultana.
Oops, no mum, you’re wrong. I thought you said banana again. I want banana. Allow me to demonstrate this to you by freeing the sultanas skyward to return to the heavens.
And when the banana is finished? Save the last bite for massaging against your scalp, and sharing with the dog.
Then scream that wonderful scream again, until a sandwich appears. That too is good for scalp stimulation, thought peanut butter stings less in your eyes than vegemite.
If you fancy a walk, simply reach behind you, have faith mama will grab your slippery grubby little fingers, and slip forward over her knees until you feel the ground. Next simply utilise your favourite scream until she gets the message, or loses all hearing and agrees out of weariness.
One of the worst things is when you’re hungry and she’s trying to feed you off a spoon. Like, seriously? Take the spoon like you’re going to feed yourself, but rub it all over your face. She’ll get frustrated, try to take it back, then it’s like you’re reacting to her anger when you move to take the spoon again but you’re forced to whack it as hard as you’re able till she lets go, resulting in the goop she’s trying to peddle being spattered all over everything within a 5 metre radius.
Oh and when you’re in public and you WANT THOSE SUGAR SACHETS/EGGS BENEDICT/PANCAKES/PIPING HOT COFFEE just take them. Your mama might pull you back once or twice but take a couple of moments to allow that third time to lull her into a false sense of security before your final attempt. If you’re still unsuccessful, once again make use of your pipes (what else are they for?) And really let her know. (It’s usually around this point Nan will start sharing the foam off her latte with you. Win.)
A fairly surefire way to get what you want with maximum distraction and minimum effort is to get real close to her face so she thinks you’re being sweet, then give her a good ol’ whack in the face. A few times, in quick succession. This ensures the highest return.
Ps – any of these things are likely to make her more amiable to the idea of sharing whatever she’s got with you, so if that’s really your endgame, use your brains: go all out from the beginning and then what you really want will be the lesser of the available evils. It’s all about planning, people.
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