Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rain, Rain, Come and Play (and How to Undermine 8.75 Years of Consistent Parenting in One Fell Shopping Swoop)



I’ve had things down pat on the shopping-with-kids thing for quite some time and then I went and ruined everything. It’s all going to sound tres dictatorial but it works for me and it’s been a long time between checkout meltdowns (mine or the kids). I don’t give in to requests for stuff or treats when out and about* and for ages now, if ever there is one, my reply is the same every time: Does that really work? Do I ever buy anything when you ask or whine or whinge? Nope? Right. Let’s put it on your birthday list then...

A month or so ago, I was out with the small and she spotted a see-through, starry umbrella and she was beside-herself excited and asked if she could have one for her birthday (10 months hence). I took one look. I remembered the pitter patter sound of raindrops falling on my kid-size umbrella. How I would stand under mine in my soggy gumboots, watching the rain plop and drop and drip and dribble and generally marvel at how LOVELY and WONDERFUL it was to have a see-through umbrella. So then I said, Actually I think we’ll buy it right now! and there was an anklebiter jaw drop.



Last week I was out with the same small again. There was a ‘Can I have...?’ question. I got as far as: ‘Does that ever really work when you ask? The immediate kid response? YES! YES! YES! REALLY? HOO-RAAAAAAY!!!!

PS. There was an all-in sibling bug rescue yesterday. Sixty three beetles were rescued from a drenched and certain drowning death.



In some cases this was more of a case of out of the frying pan into the fire.



PPPS. Photographic, irrefutable, evidential proof that I have planted my zinnia seeds from Susie. I suspect this wouldn’t stand up in a court of law but you don’t think the Middle would donate twenty loo rolls for making dirt sushi do you?



* While I fully admit to being a dragon of a mother (mwah ha ha ha) this is not to say that I don’t subscribe to the occasional unannounced and entirely spontaneous kid treat. This will stand up in a court of law – I have receipts.

46 comments:

june at noon said...

That's the thing with kids: they're always taking copious notes. If you're going to break your rule, though, I think you picked good one! :)

MonetPaisley said...

I love it!, the parenting philosophy and the see through umberella.

Madeline said...

That umbrella would be hard to pass up...for even the staunchest dragonesque mama.

m.e (Cathie) said...

i am like that aswell, no kinder surprise at the counter, no ice creams just because but I would break that rule for a see through star umbrella (as a photo prop you see, my gain aswell)
well done on standing strong & giving in maybe just this once. they do take notes.
happy rainy day & bug rescuing ♥

Posie Patchwork said...

Love this post & i'm the same with my children, even when i only had one, i pretended she was part of a large family & wasn't spoilt. They actually rarely ask for anything, especially NOT snack food (small mercy as they have all had to come grocery shopping with me for like, ever).
Try this for role play, i've heard them tut at children screaming for chocolate & my eldest said (aged about 7 at the time) "that's a fast track to type 2 diabetes" & all i could was feel proud of my righteous daughter & not make eye contact with the mother. Oh well, it's true!!
I do buy them craft (tax deductible & it's the gift that keeps on giving & cheapest babysitter around). They do ask me if i really need the shoes i'm about to impulsively buy (hmmm, taught perhaps a little too well).
That is the cutest umbrella though, i'd have said "ok, well we'll share it, so it's part mine" to half take the instant gratification treat away for the next time. Love Posie

Posie Patchwork said...

PS that was a great Mwah Ha Ha on Halloween, you go witchy mama!! Love Posie

Kylie said...

I hear you - it has been so hard the last few weeks with all of the halloween stuff out - the responce from this witchy mother has been "No, we dont celebrate Halloween" At the moment - the wants are going on the Christmas list.
Love the umbrella though - I think that I might have to find one (really wish I could come across a plain clear one:) It takes a great photo too:)

teddybearswednesday said...

63 beetles, that's an impressive effort.
If only smalls didn't always remember....
Word verification- worogick
which i think is what just happened with the undoing of 8 + years of resistance.xo

Kylie said...

Fabulous post Tania :) But this is easy-peasy to slide out of Mrs... umbrellas are necessary items in the rainy season! Just change your speech to "Does that really work? Do I ever buy anything that isn't a necessary seasonal item when you ask or whine or whinge? Nope? Right. Let’s put it on your birthday list then..."
:) Kx

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

I am the opposite, I always give in and I always buy her stuff. I am totally crap like that. I know its totally wrong but she doesn't get everything she asks for not even close and really it is usually just a freddo or something. There is no way I wouldn't have bought that brolli. No way. Plus she knows she can have one if she is good in the supermarket and doens't stand in the meat section popping all the plastic on the meat!!!

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

... a freddo i mean.

CurlyPops said...

I'm hopeless.. I always cave. But, then I send them home for their parents to deal with mwah ha ha ha ha!

Tanya said...

squeak- and it's a deliciously deep umbrella too. Great purchase. I had a Hollie Hobby one and was very chuffed with it. My kids don't have umbrellas, so- who's the dragon!

Nikki said...

I am the caved-in parent of a spoilt-rotten child. I think I have to visit you with a pen and notepad. I need dragon-parenting tips.

Mine wanted the stupidly-overpriced Charlie and Lola see-through umbrella.... and got it.

Cass said...

I have to say I would have caved for that brolly too. I used to have one like that as a kid but have not seen them for years. I would definitely by mine one of those

Little Ted Canvas said...

I have the same line, we never buy things 'just because', people think it's hilarious that we go to the toy shop to browse & admire without ever a screaming tantruming "I WANT IT!!!" on our way out the door...so far, at least..touch wood! Oh boy I hope I haven't jinxed myself.

A Peppermint Penguin said...

I like Kylie's get out clause above.

I was going to suggest saying it was a gift for some invented holiday - or that everyone gets one unbirthday per year. But then you'd need to get something for the other two!

So I think the seasonal necessary response is way better.

It's a gorgeous umbrella!

A Peppermint Penguin said...

Oh and well done Middle for the noble sacrifice!

And well done you for planting in hope.

peppermintpatcher said...

I would have bought the umbrella too (and likely one for myself) and my kids can confirm that they are members of the my-mother-is-a-dragon club. You can mix it up a bit and keep them guessing.

Copper Patch said...

Sounds like you are messy with minds and keeping the small peeps on their toes. Keep it up!

Linda said...

that is the cutest umbrella I have ever seen I would love one for myself even if it has come back to bite you on the arse by breaking the rules I am sure it is so worth it, cute as

Umatji said...

yep I woulda done it too. Some things are just too wonderful to be denied. Excellent parenting I say bet you loved it and I suspect you have the backbone to weather out the fallout.
x

Di said...

Well, the virtues of consistency aside, they are bound to find out at some point or other that their parents are fallible human beings and just as capable of lusting after a cute brolly as they are (and with the wherewithal to indulge such an urge).

sophie said...

I am so with you on that - it's that whole consistency thing, you can't do spontaneous if you want to be consistent, it's one or the other. BOO!

Jenny from Ohjoh said...

I hear your evil laugh and echo it back at you!
My kids know that my response is usually "No, they're not for us they're for other people".

Yep, years of therapy ahead for all but it'll give someone a job....

Megan said...

i totally understand why you did it! umbrellas for children are so wonderful and see through ones with stars, oh my!! i remember sitting under mine with the umbrella over as much as me as could fit just watching raindrop rolling down the outside. ahh rain, and ahhh umbrellas!

MJHill said...

love LOVE this blog!

To be sure, they prey on the weak! ;) You're a tougher mama than I! xo

the textured leaf said...

Ummm. Im so sorry but I didnt read your post cos all I saw was 'the myrtle and eunice shop of bits and boobs'! Its late, oops.

Buttons by Lou Lou said...

Gorgeous umbrella. My 4 year old has a kids size umbrella on his Christmas list this year. Hopefully we can find a cute one too.

I'm sure there can be exceptions to the rule - you might just need to slightly modify the 'ever' in the mantra. Good Luck!

Beetle saving - the perfect children's activity.

Great post as usual. Lou.

Amanda said...

Oh how I wish I could say that I am as strong willed as you in this dept. And darn those kids for being so dang sharp in these situations. Love love love the umbrella and rescue efforts haha...So cute!!

flowerpress said...

Planted, and in the toilet roll collection no less!! Very impressed!
That umbrella is being well loved, and it looks like the beetles are too, what beautiful photos of your little one :-)
Looks like you have had quite enough rain.

Christina said...

Fantastic post. So far Cohen is quite happy with the occasional snake lolly or gummy bear if he's been good while grocery shopping. This stage can't last for much longer I'm guessing...

:)

PS. Thanks for the tips on your posts about your crochet blanket. Duly noted.

grrl + dog said...

I just freakin' love your blog...

word verif: blessess

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Yup! As Smitonius would testify , I was tough and mean too . It saved so much disappointment (theirs) and rattiness (mine) , I reckoned it was the least I could do !
Sonata .

Megan.K. said...

Haha, you're cactus now Tania!
But, if you're going to give into an impulse buy, that umbrella is the way to go. Super cute.

p.s Loving the toilet roll planting technique - must give that a go too.

crzylady said...

but sometimes the joy of being spontaneous is getting to go back to being the meanie, right? oh... that's just me ;)
lovely purchase. Quite jealous

silverpebble said...

You have zinnia seeds! Hmm. This means it's Spring at your gaff, right? Despite this giving me a pang of jealousy I'm excited to see them flowering later on. I'm not sure why but they're suddenly my favourite flower. In five months' time I'll be sowing some too.

I'm with you completely on the whinging/rewarding thing but that umbrella Had to come home with you. I have a touch of the green-eyes monster about that too if I'm honest!

Excellent beetle outreach.

Fer said...

I am learning some damn good parenting techniques from you! (the snakes-out-the-car-window would still be my favourite).

But really, the umbrella was totally worth the small lapse!

LeighB said...

Yep, I'm of the same school of thought on shopping with children. Mine knows I will give in occasionally, but that if she acts out, there is ZERO chance of getting anything. In the grocery, she gets to choose one thing (candy, sweet cereal, nasty lunchbox food, no rules), but one thing only. And I almost never take her shopping anywhere with me anyway! But I would TOTALLY have bought that umbrella. SO CUTE!

Bonnie said...

Oh my goodness, that is the sweetest little umbrella ever! I have the same memories as a child too...there is nothing more magical than walking in the rain
and watching the the drops drip down my umbrella in haphazard trails.

Catherine said...

just wondering - how did you manage 8.75 years of consistent parenting - sometimes I struggle to manage 8.75 days (that last quarter of the day is the worst!)... though when Dad and girl last went shopping, and he bought a DVD for himself, she did say "you know you don't really NEED that, Dad..."

Stomper Girl said...

You and I are the same mother, I swear. I think it doesn't hurt to mix it up a little once you've got them really well trained. Makes them love you just that little bit more, you should hear the appreciation I get when I do something like that.

ANd look, it's been so rainy lately, that pretty brolly was actually a need, not a want.

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear so many people with similar dragonesque qualities -- which I just think of as "reasonable", but people are different, eh? ;-) Also, my son has this very same umbrella!

The Clip Cafe said...

lol lol lol!! I love the umbrella and the rain shots :-)

Sally said...

Oh those umbrellas are just so fabulous aren't they? I can understand why you went with it :)
Absolutely.

Lin said...

I just found your blog last week and am working my way through it! I love your sense of humour and approach to life.
I would classify the umbrella as rain gear and as 'necessary' as boots and a raincoat. Even if it wasn't, the only way to have rules is to create, every now and then, an exception that proves the rule.