Trying to Keep a Straight Face

Ahh, the delights of having a five year old.

We’ve had it quite easy, if I’m honest, as far as behaviour goes. Bean has always been pretty easy to handle, but over the last 6 months or so he’s been finding his independent streak, and the battles are beginning. It’s good to see in a way, because of course, we all want our children to develop independence, appropriate to their age. On the other hand, it’s very tiring to have to constantly explain that he doesn’t make the rules.

Today, Bean had watched far too much TV. I asked him to turn it off. I was, at the time, chained to the sofa feeding Plum, and he refused. He looked at me, crossed his arms and said “I won’t!”. I asked again. “I won’t do it!”, was the reply. So I dug around in the limited space I could reach and found the remote for the socket – it switches everything off at once, so nothing is on standby over night. That was that sorted.

Except that Bean threw himself on the floor and had a tantrum. In between the faux crying, there were choice phrases such as “You’re so cruel to me, Mummy!”. I imagine I was supposed to be shocked, maybe even a little upset, but I’ve always had a hard time taking him seriously when he has a tantrum, so I smiled and nodded, knowing it wouldn’t last. It didn’t.

But then he asked if he could play on the Wii. I said no, wanting him to do something that didn’t involve a screen. Screaming and shouting ensued (from him, not me!). I asked him to sit on the stairs. More refusals. So, I resorted to soemthing I don’t normally do. I texted my husband, who was in the workshop and asked him to take Bean to sit on the stairs. He did, and left again. Bean then kept up a commentary

I don’t want to be in prison anymore. Please let me out of prison. This isn’t a fun place to be!

And then he said something else, several times, but I couldn’t understand him, so he poked his head round the door to let me hear properly.

Sometimes I’m naughty, and that’s just how life goes.

How do you keep a straight face when they say these things? I agreed. And added that when that happens, he has to sit on the stairs, and that’s just how life goes. He decided that he would be ready to be nice in two minutes and went back to the stairs. A minute later, he came back in, pleasant again and asked if we could play Scrabble.

Normal service has resumed!

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