24 Jul Good Cop, Bad Cop – Tales of a Disciplinarian Mum
7 years old and the little bugger has an answer for everything.
Niamh seems to need to get in the last word every time and it is starting to grind my gears.
As adults, we learn to value the power and efficiency of keeping quiet, the poignancy of the pause.
Not this one. She bulldozes through an argument with deflections, blames and screeches.
Then come the tears.
Not tears of upset but tears of FUME as I match her stubborness for the last word and refuse to bow down to a child that should know better than to be disrespectful to her elders.
I know that this is all normal and when she is in bed at night, I go up and look at her angelic face and give those perfect cherubic lips a little kiss, the cheek that was coming from them earlier but a distant memory.
The biggest problem we have in our house is our Good Cop, Bad cop roles that we have assumed.
I am BC obviously as it’s my booming voice that is heard in the morning, coaxing, pleading and then blackmailing everyone out of bed so that they are all at school, nursery and work on time.
Sometimes I wave Niamh off at the gates and the shouty morning leaves a knot in my tummy that can only be eased when I see her smiling coming out again.
I’m the “put your socks on! How many more times?!”
“You’ve been in the bathroom half an hour! A poo doesn’t take that long!”
“Eat your breakfast!!!!”
Neil is the affable Good Cop, sauntering downstairs with a weary yawn and a stretch and a good ten minutes outside to himself to gather his thoughts before getting ready.
Every now and again, just to really make me look unreasonable he will throw out a “Hey, what’s all the racket?”
I have to bite my tongue, simmering with resentment as he had slept through his alarms and turned off over a dozen snoozes.
Then there’s the evening.
I am the “You can’t have pizza 4 nights in a row!”
“It’s homework time! No you can’t leave it till tomorrow!”
“What do you mean I have to make a robot costume for tomorrow?!!?”
Neil opens the door like the hero cowboy entering the saloon, chocolate from the shop in hand and the grin that says ‘come on kids, I’ll save you from the crazy lady…..’
Then there’s the occasional undermining.
This weekend, Niamh was giving Neil attitude in front of her Grandad and I was so angry that she was playing up to her audience so I had to show that I won’t allow her behaviour.
“Niamh you do NOT speak to your parents like that! Now go to your room and stay there until I say otherwise”
Neil who had only seconds before been in full argument flow with her suddenly turned to me and said:
“Aw but does she have to? She’s crying though. Awwwwwwwww”.
Niamh was looking at him like she was a puppy that had just been given a toe bung by its master.
I saw it through however and got the apology I wanted later.
See, whether it is getting Daddy to pardon their naughtiness, weedling a chocolate treat out of him or rinsing him for a £24.99 Lego set every time they go to the shops I think it’s safe to say that he is wrapped ridiculousy tightly around their little manipulative fingers.
I’m thinking of getting her to ask him for a dishwasher for me…….