5 Things My Children Do To Keep Me In My Place

Sometimes I like to go a bit wild, and get ideas above my station. You know, like the idea that I am the most important person in my children’s lives. Or that I’m making their world a better place. Or that I can cook.


It doesn’t last long, though. Oh no, this is a strictly time-limited situation. You see, within about 3.2 seconds, the children can put me straight back into my place. With less than 5 words.

Here’s how.

1. I Want Daddy

I’m sure this one will not be an unfamiliar scenario for most of you. I find this comforting. Because if I didn’t know that most kids do this, I’d be pretty sad right now.

This is Little Girl’s favourite at the moment. She’s going through one of those clumsy phases. She’s had a growth spurt, her legs have got longer, and she has all the grace of a recently birthed foal.

So she stubs her toe, or trips on the rug. Or the worst, she stands on a Smurf. That’s gotta sting.

She collapses on the floor sobbing. And Little Girl doesn’t hold back on tears. I’m talking full blast, sodden face, drippy nose tears. The kind that you recoil from slightly because you can feel your eardrums vibrating.

I do what any parent would do. I make sympathetic noises. I open my arms wide and offer her a soothing cuddle.

She accepts and clambers, snivelling, onto my lap. I fold my arms around her, kiss her forehead and rock her gently. Then, obviously, I kiss it better.

She carries on crying. I’m telling you, Little Girl’s got some stamina.

I rock some more, and stroke her hair. Surely this will fix it. I am her mother. For over 3 years I have held her and soothed away her pain. This will work.

Suddenly, she sits up. She pushes her hair out of her eyes, wipes her nose on her sleeve (ick) and looks up at me. I smile and kiss her. All better!

Then, she utters three words.

“I want Daddy!”

And on she sobs.

Thanks, Little Girl.

2. The Kiss-Slap

Don’t you think it’s cool when babies learn to kiss for the first time? I mean, it’s disgusting as well. There’s nothing quite like the sensation of a warm, open mouth smeared DSC_0700with drool planting itself on your cheek. Still, awwwww.

Squeak has just mastered this. She started out by blowing kisses at bedtime, which was freaking adorable. But now she’s doing her best to kiss everyone. Of course, she often misses and you have to dodge the rock-hard forehead flying towards your teeth. But come on, she’s a baby. Let’s not judge.

It’s beautiful. She is learning how to outwardly express her love. Every time she does it I feel my heart melt a bit, and I can’t help but smile.

Apparently, that is not cool with Squeak.

She has come up with a solution, though. And it’s a great one. It’s efficient, simple and it really gets the message across.

She leans in for the kiss. Then, before I’ve even had time to break the spit-string that joins us together, she lifts her hand and slaps me right across the face.


Good feeling is gone, Squeak. Good feeling is gone.

3. Rejection

You know that moment when you have the best idea ever? Your brain is hit by a flash of inspiration and you are excited.

I get this a lot. Especially relating to things to do with the kids. Maybe it’s too much time on Pinterest, or maybe I really am a complete genius. I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

Frequently it’s crafty stuff. Something like this or this. Soooo awesome. Could you resist?

I can’t! So I gather up equipment and children. I tell Big Girl all about the activity we are about to do. I show her pictures on the computer of what will happen. She makes all the right noises, “Oohs” and “Aahs” and suchlike.

This face is optional.

This face is optional.

I am definitely awesome right now.

We sit down at the table, ready to create. And Big Girl turns to me and says:

“Can’t I just play out?”

Yes, of course standing around in the street is as exciting as making your own lava lamp.


4. Simple Honesty

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I try to cook pretty good meals for the kids, on the whole. And apart from my insistence on throwing mushrooms in almost everything (sorry, Little Girl), it’s stuff I know they like.

So knowing this, when I sit them down at the table I’m usually sure they will eat what they’re given. At a push, maybe they’ll even enjoy it.

But for some reason, I always make the same mistake.

I ask them what it is like.

Now, you may be scoffing right now. I would be, if I was someone other than me. If they like the food and they’re eating it, obviously the answer would be positive. Wouldn’t it?


If you think this, then you really haven’t been reading my other stuff.

Come on, you know kids are out to screw us over. You do, right? I must have said it at least 87 times.

At least.

This is how the exchange plays out in my kitchen:

We sitting down, eating our meals. The kids are tucking in with at least a little enthusiasm. All is good. I take a pause from my meal, put down my fork and smile.

And I say, “How’s your dinner, guys?”

Big Girl jumps in straight away with a loud, “Amazing!” This makes me happy. I love to see them enjoying their food.

Without fail, Little Girl then interjects with a simple, “Yucky.”


5. Silence, Mother

I love to sing. I spend a lot of the time I am in the house playing music and singing along. The time I’m not spending creeping around a sleeping baby, anyway.

I tend to only do it in secret at home. It’s just how I roll. I’m not that bad though, if I do say so myself.

As an aside, I do a pretty good Heather Small impression as well. I know that looks like it would be improbable, to say the least. But it’s true.

Irrelevant, but true.

So it’s accurate to say that the children are subjected to my tuneful tones fairly frequently. And Little Girl has shown great skill in picking up song lyrics. (As evidenced when she got undressed yesterday and sang, “I’m naked and I’m far from home!” That’s contextual singing, that is.)

If I’m lucky, they like it. But more often, this is how it pans out:

Here’s me, doing whatever needs doing with a song. Just call me a regular old, slightly messed-up Mary Poppins. Little Girl is playing a confusing game involving My Little Ponies and a pizza cutter.

Suddenly, I hear, “Sshhhhh!”


I turn around, and a frowning Little Girl says to me, “You hurtin’ my ears, Mum.”


That’s me brought down to earth with a bump, then.

5 thoughts on “5 Things My Children Do To Keep Me In My Place

  1. That’s the hard one isn’t it. I love to sing aswell and have been in choirs over the years. So can hold a tune but my little one was always shhushing me and asking me to be quiet once he could talk. Damn cheek! Why can’t we express ourselves too !!??

  2. Ahhh, my kids are exactly the same. I will have them for the weekend and the two eldest (13 and 11) will do everything possible to get out of the house with their friends, and will then moan when the younger two (9 and 7) get £1 each for cleaning the flat!

  3. You nailed this!

    My daughter’s most effective way to keep both me and her dad in our places: when she’s with me, she wants to be with him. When she’s with him, she wants to be with me.

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