Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

April 6, 2010

Turning a blind eye

There have been some 'incidents' in the Hot Cross household recently which reminded me of something I promised myself. That I would never become a boring mother. In my continual efforts to instill a sense of discipline, respect, good manners, an understanding of right and wrong, battles over vegetab...(yaaaaaaawn), it's too easy to forget about the fun stuff. And then these things happened ....

'The muddy puddle'
It started innocently enough with a bit of paddling about in a small puddle of rainwater on the grass. Then someone (I suspect the smaller one) enlisted the help of watering cans to pour gallons more water onto the grass, make a MUCH bigger and muddier puddle and do loads more splashing. And the best thing about this game? They thought I couldn't see them and didn't know they were doing it. 'Boring Mother' wanted to stop them, "You're ruining the garden. Daddy will be cross. Look at the state of your trousers, they were clean on this morning, rant, rant, rant...." Luckily, their squeals of delight prevented her from emerging. So I turned a blind eye and let them at it. Daddy, as it turned out, wasn't cross at all.

'The Curious Incident of the Missing Easter Eggs'
"Where could they have gone?" asked my four-year-old, wide-eyed and proudly holding up the empty 'easter basket' which several mini eggs had been lovingly displyed in on the hall table just moments earlier? "They've completely disappeared!"

"Hmmm, that's very strange. You didn't eat them did you?"
"Are you sure?"
"Honestly, I didn't."

Now, 'Boring Mother' would have started a sensible conversation about theft, taking things without asking, and the importance of telling the truth. But how can you do any of that when the chocolate-smeared mouth doing the blatant lying is the absolute essence of childhood innocence?

(For the record, the two-year-old was also spotted pilfering chocolate eggs, but yet again, his brazen trail of foil wrappers leading from where the eggs had been to where he was sitting was just too brilliant to question).

Now, I'm not condoning theft outright, or raising an army of pickpockets (I hope), but these small things reminded me that sometimes it's alright to let the naughty step stay empty and leave 'Boring Mother' behind.
I've just convinced my four-year-old that I actually do have eyes in the back of my head and that I can turn them on and off. I think I'll leave them off for a while. It's much more fun!



  1. Brilliant! I love these little childhood moments of naughtiness, reminds me of the "my naughty little sister" books. Nurture and encourage it in subtle ways, its all part of being little.

  2. Excellent! I have a similar approach. Four year old kept stealing mini eggs over the weekend and I pretended not to notice, it's important for them to have their victories. The boys always get covered in mud in the garden and I have to bite my tongue with that too. They're only clothes which wash (more work for me but never mind). Toddler was wandering around the garden waving a big fat worm at everything. I just had to let him get on with that. We weren't allowed to get away with anything growing up!

  3. I hope I'll turn a blind eye. I want to be consistent, and all of that, but I want Moo to have fun, to enjoy her childhood. It only comes once (unless you relive it through your children...)

  4. We've had fring thta has been cut, yet no one will admit to it. Hmmmm. A few eggs missing too.

  5. Sometimes they need to get one over on their parents, well, to THINK they got one over:) They will giggle about it for years :D Jen.

  6. I do this too, all the time! Mostly it's so that I can get on with something else in peace while they are creating potions upstairs or somesuch. I'm not always great at not yelling about the mess afterwards, but I try!

  7. Ha, I love how kids tell such obvious lies and totally think they're going to get away with it. I know when my boy gets to this stage I won't be able to keep a straight face.

  8. Cute, cute! I have to say I'm still eating chocolate eggs and denying them - and am a little over two! So it's probably better to just them at it alright:)

  9. I'm with you, boring mummy's are, well, boring ! I try my best to live by the rules that when it comes to playing outside that 'everything can be washed'... as for pinching chocolate I'm afraid it's par for the course in my house!


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