Of Mice and Toddlers

>> Saturday, 3 May 2008

So it seems The Mouse has gone to ground. It made some cameo appearances on Thursday, and again in front of Husband and my mother-in-law (the spiteful little rodent) on Friday, but since I put the poison down at lunchtime yesterday - nothing.

No scuttling across the floor, no nasty little trails, no piles of poo, Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I am not foolish enough to think this the end of it, especially after the comments left on my previous post, but am hoping against hope that all the doomsayers (you know who you are) were wrong and it was just the one. Much more likely however, is that the Mouse Family is rustling about under the floorboards with blueprints of the electrical wiring circuits and and are working out which fuse to attack first.

We'll see...

In the meantime, I am preoccupied with the subject of discipline. Namely, with the subject of discipline with reference to Boy #2.

Disciplining his older brother has never really been a problem. Of course, he's had a few tantrums along the way, and could win medals for his whining abilities (particular commendation would no doubt be given to his 'early programme' of whining with intent first thing in the morning, before we've even made it out of bed - and thanks Rotten Correspondant for the Olympic theme, by the way). But overall, he's fairly easy to handle. When things get too bad, and even Time Out isn't working, you simply use the following phrase:

"Any more of this and there will be no television this evening."


"No tv. AT ALL."

End of conversation, end of problem. For at least 10 minutes, anyway... (And to all the mummies out there who shudder at the thought of losing their time alone with a cup of tea whilst the kids are swept away by Charlie & Lola, Bob the Builder etc, don't worry. I have not yet had to carry this threat through - well, not so far, anyway).

So, that's Boy #1 sorted.

But Boy #2 is a different kettle of fish.

He's usually a very content little chap who just gets on with things, but if life isn't going his way, we all know about it. And dealing with the resultant outbursts is challenging to say the least, since he steadfastly refuses to take any form of discipline seriously.

No television? Well, who wants to watch it anyway.

Time Out in my cot? Great, I could do with a nap - and turn out the lights as you leave, will you mum?

Watch this link, because if I didn't know better, and despite the fact that he can't really speak yet, I would think that Boy #2 has been taking lessons from Catherine Tate. (The mouthy school girl, for the uninitiated).

And then you might understand why I struggle to keep a straight face when trying to discipline at 2 year old who, if he could talk, would lie in his cot during Time Out, saying "Am i bovvered?"



ped crossing 4 May 2008 at 04:25  

I am constantly amazed at how different two children from the same gene pool can be. It's enough to drive a poor mom over the edge.

Tracey 4 May 2008 at 12:49  

(Love the Catherine Tate "Am I bovvered." reference. Big fans here.)

If it makes you feel any better all three of our girls have presented different disciplining issues, and #1 has worked hard on that sort of approach, only with the huffing and puffing that often comes free with the preteen and teenage package. She's the one who'll fight back. The next one buries her head and doesn't respond at all which can be equally as frustrating. #3 used to fly into such tantrums, but you could reason with her later - unlike #1 who would just explode again.

Ah, such fun. You think that by the second one you'd have ironed out the faults in your handling of it, and they throw individual differences in your face. Pffft!

Potty Mummy 4 May 2008 at 13:20  

I know Ped. Not sure why I expected the same approach to work for both of them, especially since they are so different in almost everything else, but I did. That will teach me...

Hi Tracey, glad I'm not the only one, though of course it must be far more challenging with 3 than it is with 2. And girls - well, I guess that brings it own set of problems. I could handle most things, but being subjected to the type of wardrobe critique that my friends with daughters have to go through every time they set foot outside the door would be too much!

Grit 4 May 2008 at 23:00  

oh i'm laughing now! boy#2 sounds exactly like squirrel; she has a smart-answer tongue! we hold great hopes she's going to be a prosecuting lawyer! good luck & if you get any bright ideas about how to cope with that, let us know!!

Tracey 5 May 2008 at 00:11  

It's funny what you get used to PM. I look at boys throwing themselves around and think "eeek". So far I've had to deal with a bit of the girlie stuff, but fortunately my eldest, at least, so far, is quite scathing of people that follow the crowd, so there's that to be thankful for. And I've had some influence as she hates make-up! She's quite handy actually, I've started consulting her on whether I what I'm wearing looks okay!! Plus she has accepted me for the dag that I am. Poor kid, certainly doesn't have a yummy mummy.

I always reckoned this same child (with hints of your #2) would actually make a great defence lawyer, because she'd argue black was white, and wrong was right.

Iota 5 May 2008 at 13:26  

I instituted "time out" with number 2, explained that he would have to go into our downstairs guest bedroom with no toys, where there was nothing at all to do. He said "oh cool!" I thought "just you wait, we'll see how you like it in reality". The first time I put him in there, he had a whale of a time, in the rich world of his own imagination. I lost heart in the punishment after the 2nd or 3rd time when he was still enjoying it, sitting in an empty room on a lone bed.

Potty Mummy 5 May 2008 at 13:46  

Hi Grit, don't worry, if I come up with something that works I will be shouting it from the roof tops!
(Time-out 3 times during dinner yesterday evening, all because he insists on spitting out lumpy food. I don't mind his not eating it but spitting it out goes too far...)

Hi Tracey, not sure having a yummy mummy is such a good thing - sounds like she's doing just fine with you as is!

So Iota, how do you discipline 1 & 3? (And 2, now that Time Out is a distant memory?). I'll take any hints. Any!

aims 5 May 2008 at 17:00  

You've always got me stumped when it comes to making comments about children - and I am hanging my head in shame about my comments on the mice...the little darlings.

Expatmum 6 May 2008 at 03:25  

I thought I had cracked all that with my first two. Ask them to do something (without shouting - a challenge I know) and tell them you're going to count to three. When you get to three, you make them do it any how - put their coat on, come over here etc. For some reason, because they knew it was coming, they put up little resistance and eventually started to do it themselves. They knew "it" was going to happen under their steam or mine. At 15 and 12, they know if I start counting I mean business, and even though they roll their eyes, they do it.
My 4 year old - starts counting along with me!!! What can you do?

Jonny's Mommy 6 May 2008 at 21:13  

I am also having trouble disciplining my children. The one who is 18 months, the other 30.
*sigh* It really can be a challenge.
Hang in there with the mouse. They are disgusting little creatures, I don't care what Disney says.

Pig in the Kitchen 6 May 2008 at 22:18  

Ah Maman du Pot! Merci mille fois pour cet extrait de Catherine Tate! J'ai rigole comme une folle!
And well thank the lord that there was just the one mouse. Phew. (pig is incredulous at the self-delusional prowess of Maman du Pot).

Discipline. Always a tricky area. two words; wooden and spoon.

GoneBackSouth 7 May 2008 at 00:25  

Hello again! It's very inconvenient that what works with one child is hopelessly ineffective with the other. It's a bit like how a great day out for one is unbearable torture for the other. What's a mum to do?!

Carolyn 7 May 2008 at 06:06  

Boy #2 sounds a lot like Csilla. She'll put herself into time out if she thinks she's made a mistake. I don't even have to ask. What am I supposed to do with that?? It's a little hard to displine a kid who doesn't mind it...

Milla 7 May 2008 at 11:18  

Being child 2 is hard I think. I was the oldest (bitter, twisted) as is my husband (ditto). Our oldest is a sweetie, easy, funny, Gets It. Our youngest is mental. Funny but deranged, and his determination is SCARY. I blame his father, obviously. You'll have to start being careful what you threaten ... whistles insouciantly. Just don't let the little puggers win.

Metamorphic Sweet Wood Irene 7 May 2008 at 16:50  

I still think a quick death with a mouse trap would have been better.

Tattie Weasle 7 May 2008 at 19:01  

Sounds like Boy 2 and The Littlest have been in cahoots! The Boy dead easy NO TV then all quiet on the western front - The Littlest on the other hand just gets what he wants as no form of discipline works - however BRIBERY on the other hand works a treat!

jeanie 8 May 2008 at 02:10  

Boy #2 does sound like my daughter. She had a week of punishment (it was a large crime) but also has a problem of taking after me with the "am I bovvered" response.

Actually, during a week of no tv we discovered lots and ended up learning about the world and ourselves.

The best thing about kids getting older - the punishment can include playtime with school friends. Now THAT hurts!

Potty Mummy 8 May 2008 at 11:29  

Aims, don't feel sorry for the mouse - see my next post, yet to be written, I know, but still. It is probably having a party right now...

EPM, I have no idea what to do. Am sticking with time out until something better turns up, but it doesn't seem to have that much effect!

J's Mommy, those 30 year olds can be tough. Not sure it gets any better either - though you could always try confiscating the remote...

Pig, you are a show-off. And as for wooden and spoon, something tells me that you talk the talk...

Hi GBS, that's so not what I wanted to hear... I was hoping to hear something more like: hang on in there, it will all change any moment. For the better, of course. No?

Carolyn, put herself in time out? No that has got to be annoying.

Hi Milla, always blame the father. The are invariably at fault.

Irene, you're right of course. But what if Pig is too? One mouse trap only works on one mouse - and we're not there right now to reset it...

Tattie, we have to stop them plotting together right now then. Any ideas on how we can do that? I've tried bringing him to Australia but so far that hasn't stopped them...

Hi Jeanie, thanks for the visit. And am desperate to know, what was the crime?

jeanie 8 May 2008 at 13:01  

She deliberately "forgot" to go to after school care, causing a bit on angst. She was safe and I was here (working) but I could as easily have been at a client's place.

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