Situational Manipulation, or Suffer The Little Children

Somewhere in The Bible (Mark 10:14, I think), the following words are uttered:

Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.

I am fairly certain the following quote came from Julius Caesar (The Roman Dictator, not the Shakespeare play):

‘Veni Vidi Vici’ (‘I came, I saw, I conquered”)

If someone were to translate my children’s thoughts at this moment in time, I’m convinced they would be saying:

Suffer the children, for we came, we saw, and we conquered, and our parents didn’t stand a chance, for such is the way of things in our house!

Having spent the day at a Christening (Godson #2 and his brother) and had a wonderful time, we decided to get the children fed and ready for bed before leaving as we were an hour away from home – the thought being that they would sleep in the car on the way back and bedtime would be easier than usual.

Our children had other thoughts…

While Spawn #2 actually did sleep for part of the journey, #1 did not. Not only did he not sleep, but the closer we got to home, the more over-tired and upset he got. And for those of you who don’t already know, kids will get upset about the most random things. Spawn #1 got upset because:

Cars were overtaking us.

His favourite song finished and the next song took to long to start.

His food tray was up and he wanted it down.

His food tray was down.

His feet were on the food tray.

His feet were not on the food tray.

The food tray is black.

There were trees outside.

This went on for about 40 minutes. Upon arriving home, we tried to get the kids upstairs and into bed ASAP. While bedtime was later than usual, we still wanted #1 to have his milk and stories. Cue more complaining about which stories he wanted, because the first set of stories he picked weren’t the ones he wanted when I eventually persuaded him to sit down. Tonight, he had ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’, ‘Ten in The Bed’ and ‘Sleepy Farm’.

When stories were finished, we set the Gro Clock to sleep time. (Yes, we bought Firstborn a Gro Clock – made by the same company that sell the perennially unhappy GroBag Egg room thermometers – to try and teach him that any time before 6:00am is NOT an acceptable time to get up. I can safely say that this hasn’t worked as yet.)

Then Mummy came in to say Goodnight. Cue another complaint about whether Daddy or Mummy would sing him his bedtime songs, ‘Castle on a Cloud’ and ‘Summer Time’. Daddy won. Eventually. Not sure exactly why I get to do this when Darling Wife has the better singing voice… Probably something to do with the fact that I don’t have the breasts for comfort feeding a ten month old…

With songs finished, I put the Little Darling down in his cot. At this point, I should probably mention that Spawn #2 had been wailing and moaning since just before ‘Castle on a Cloud’ and when she’s upset, Spawn #1 gets upset too. It’s almost like a one way empathy link. I say it’s one way, because #1 will get all whiny if #2 is upset, but #2 couldn’t give a rat’s rear end if #1 kicks off. Aren’t they adorable!

Eventually, I managed to leave the room and headed downstairs to wash a pint glass in preparation for a well deserved cider. Suddenly, #2’s crying unsettled #1 and he kicked off again, wanting “Mummy. Mummy. Mummy”. Off upstairs I went once more, but this time I had a plan – Situational Manipulation.

As I entered his room, Firstborn threw himself back down from a standing position into a kind of ‘I swear I was trying to sleep and you can’t prove any different’ pose. I slowly stepped to the cot and had the following conversation (translations appear in brackets):

ME: Hey Buddy, it’s sleepy time. (Please, for the love of God, go to sleep!)

#1: Yeah. (Whatever.)

ME: You had lots of fun today didn’t you? (Why the Hell aren’t you unconscious already?)

#1: Oh Yeah. (And I ain’t done yet, Daddy-O.)

ME: But playtime is over and it’s time to close your eyes and get some sleepies. (PLEASE!!)

#1: No. Mummy. (I want Mummy to come in here so I can wind her up too.)

ME: Mummy is busy putting your sister to bed. Can you hear her crying?

#1: Uh. (Mummy or Sis?)

ME: Can you hear your sister crying? (Smart arse!)

#1: Oh Yeah. (That little attention seeking squirt is cutting in on my action.)

ME: She’s crying because she is tired and upset, and all that noise you’re making is keeping her awake. (WELL THEN, SHUT THE F*** UP!)

#1: Yeah. (No.)

ME: So lie down, close your eyes, and Mummy will come in and say goodnight to you when she’s finished putting your sister to bed. (I have no idea if this is true, I just want you to be quiet and go to sleep.)

#1: Yeah. (It’s a deal.) [He rolls over and actually makes the effort to go to sleep.]

ME: Night night, Monkey. (Ha Ha, Sucker!)

I really do love my son. He’s so cute and adorable when he is oblivious to my parental scheming!

P.S. I do not condone lying to a child of any age, but sometimes it’s the only way to get them to do what is best for them.

1 thought on “Situational Manipulation, or Suffer The Little Children

  1. Pingback: A Father’s Duty | Alex Ryde's Blog

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