The Power Game


Dearest Mummy,

I’ve noticed lately that you’ve changed. I’ve seen you trying to exert some sort of authority over me and almost believing that you’ve done it. Well… er… you so haven’t.

You might think I am not fully wise to your tricks but what do you think we talk about all day at pre-school? I was only regaling my crew with your predictable tactics the other day! It seems you need it spelling out…

Counting to three
What happens when you get to 3? Yeh – nothing.

No Pudding
I may have eaten all my tea for a lousy fromage frais if I hadn’t already pilfered 2 custard creams and a chocolate hobnob. FYI I am growing upwards towards the biscuit tin.

I know that every time we go out for a meal you fill your handbag with treats. I also know that I don’t need to behave to get them, in fact firing cutlery at people’s heads is much more effective. I see that look of desperation in your eyes and we all know what desperation means don’t we? Yeh – lollypops. AND there’s no point even trying to bluff that you don’t have any, cos well… lets just say I’ve been doing zips since 2011.

The naughty step
How can you possibly think spending 3 minutes sitting on a step is a suitable punishment for playing British bulldog with the cat? You see, the naughty step is what you make it – I can sing, chat gibberish, laugh hysterically to myself. Sometimes if I’m bored I might just empty a box of cereal on the floor and go and sit on it myself – you are so easy to wind up!

How very dare you. After last time you know not to go here again right?

This is my favourite as we both know you have totally lost it at this point! I feel particularly proud of myself if I manage to break you down in public as other people’s stares really are the icing on the cake. To top it all off it usually ends in an apology from YOU! #winning.

So it’s an E for effort and a big fat F for originality. I know you’re better than this, please try harder.

Your ever loving son F x



P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


53 thoughts on “The Power Game

  1. Jem

    My mum always said you should never count up to 3, 5, whatever because kids know you can go higher. You should always count DOWN because once you get to 1 that’s it.

    I never did discover what happens at 1, I was always too scared to push it that far. I don’t think you’re supposed to parent using fear these days though…

  2. jojoka1963

    Hahaha I love this. It’s like reading something that Lily would write!
    The fromage frais pud comment made me laugh. I do the counting thing and stall terribly at 3…saying things like, “Don’t make me get to 3”! One day she will turn round and say it for me!!
    I do have the upper hand on one count only, and that is the naughty step. In this house it is punishment (for now). Lily hates it and begs forgiveness ;)

  3. notafrumpymum

    Haha, I wont go out for a meal unless the bag is fully stocked with all manner of treats/stickers books and usually some sort of helicopter. Not had to use the naughty step yet, but seeing as O takes himself to the bottom step and locks himself in using the babygate I’m not sure it would be a punishment anyway!

  4. 3yearsandhome

    Bizarrely, I’ve just been talking about something similar with my mum. CK, at just turned three, has started weighing up the consequences of his actions and deciding to go for it anyway. Cheeky monkey. I saw him about to cut open the bean bag and told him he would go straight to bed if he did it. And he bloody did. And then said, ‘I’m off to bed now, mama.’ At 4pm! How am I meant to deal with that? He was so happy that he cut the thing open that he was willing to take any punishment. It’s laughable really.

  5. Jess @ Along Came Cherry

    Haha brilliant! They are such little monkeys these toddlers! Cherry followed me round the entire supermarket with some bit of Hello Kitty crap the other day trying every trick in the book to get me to but it for her, by the end she was like ‘ come on mummy, it’s what we DO ,we BUY things’ and then decided to lie on the floor. I nearly caved but I managed to convince her to hide it for Father Christmas to find, haha, I won that round ;) x

  6. thenthefunbegan

    I wish I’d read this yesterday – would have considerably lightened my mood after JJ had the most godalmighty screaming tantrum in a crowded Costa! Probably the least wise choice and awful bit of parenting I’ve done involved taking them home and breaking down in frustrated, angry and emotional tears. That one certainly worked though as JJ was very apologetic and sweet after that and actually apologised! I don’t think I can really recommend this as a tactic though :-)

    1. thenthefunbegan

      Oh and by the way I did still go ahead and buy him the Babyccino – it was the only way to get him out of there! I have had some more effective “lets get it for christmas?!” moments though, like today in Sainsburys when he started to put forward his argument for a bumper pack of jelly babies…

  7. Carie

    Kitty’s another one who likes to weigh up the experiment she wants to run versus the possible consequences, and still go for it – very frustrating but it’s a thought process I want her to have as an adult so perhaps it just means we’re doing something right!

  8. josandelson

    Brilliant! Sometimes I think they are little trolls who programme us to love them. Great description of the shouty bit meaning you’ve lost it. Sometimes think kids would be sacked as guards for being out of order at Guantanamo Bay.

  9. Actually Mummy

    Oh goodness – you should totally marry wallybubba when you grow up. Your mum could drink gin with @wallymummy while they snivel into their socks with the failure of it all! ;)

  10. jennypaulin

    goodness this made me laugh, nod my head in agreement and sympathise in equal measures! I am also relieved to know that I am not alone in having a child/children who rule the nest so much. i just wish i could one thing which actually worked *sighs*
    brilliant post x x

  11. Luci - Mother.Wife.Me

    First off… British Bulldog, rah, what a blast from my past, though I used to play it in the playground with other children, never played it with a cat…. but there’s still time.
    Second off… just generally AGGGGHHHHH KIDS!!!

  12. helloitsgemma

    Omg!! This! Yes. I have a 5 year old. I can’t offer any words of wisdom. Gave up on the time out chair, after he took to throwing everything within reaching. Insult to injury. Totally lost it in the apple store, very frazzled. Crowded. Broken computer. He decides to complain he’s hungry, I think win! I have sandwiches. He dumps sandwiches on the floor. You are not alone. Wonderful post!

  13. Notmyyearoff

    Hehe this is really funny (because I can completely relate, not because I take any joy in parenting attempts in trying to discipline little ones). I tried counting to 3 a few times and it didn’t work one bit. My friend does it really well. I’m so jealous of her :)

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  15. beckiee

    I wish I had seen this yesterday! I have 3 kids under 3years.. CD wouldn’t walk to school .. JL had an ear bursting high pitched screaming fit in the playground for no reason.. DJ did nothing but moan for attention! Safe to say I wad happy to get home!
    My girls get sent to their room rather than the step and that seems to be working (for now) as they soon start begging for forgiveness lol.


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