Friday 6 June 2014

Fawlty dad

Clearly, through my twitter feed I portray myself as a Dan Hughes/Bryon Post über dad.

This is a thinly veiled facade.

A recent interaction.

Me: Flossy, I understand that you're angry, but if you don't stop calling me names I think we're going to have to cancel football. (Dan Hughes voice)

F: So, your going to take football off me? Stupid (Shouting, with a hint of sarcasm)

Me: Only if you don't stop calling me names. (Bryon Post voice)

F: Why should I stop, you've just taken my football off me. You're the worst dad in the world. (Shouting)

M:No, I said "if you don't stop calling me names" I'd take it off you. (Bryon Hughes voice)

F: You did not, I've lost my football, waaaaaaaa, I wish I didn't live with you, I wish I'd stayed with birth mammy.

Repeat the last two interactions 5 or 6 times. It felt like more.

Flossy leaves, I am left alone, exasperated. That crazy ambivalent/disorganised blend.

My inner Dan Hughes crumbles.

And with no audience for comedic effect I scrunch myself into a ball and make a writhing, primeval sound and my outer Basil Fawlty prevails.

Strangly, I feel better.


  1. Oh, I have had those conversations so many times :-S, and it is almost impossible to come back from them. Hiccup is adamant that he is not allowed to do the activity that I was using as the threat and I am left feeling like a really mean Mummy as no amount of explaining will turn it around.

  2. As you say it is so hard to de escalate as in their minds the consequence has been initiated. Reading all the books cannot prepare you for the mind bending level of frustration.

  3. Yeah, been there. Probably got there before you did! Not that I'm competing or anything!!

    1. Yeh, well I didn't want you to feel bad but this has been happening for like years and (Teenager voice).

  4. Maybe the behavior modification approach just doesn't work with your son. Sounds like he isn't able to understand that he can avoid the consequence by controlling his behavior. Are there other kinds of positive and negative reinforcement that work better?

  5. I have to say that we do use several methods and try to tailor them to the situation. We had guests at the time and the build up to the described interchange had been long and ugly.
    Mostly we try to discuss consequences after the incident is over and the waters have settled. Trying to talk to her when she's raging is futile she's unable to process the information. This interaction was a last ditch attempt at halting her the old fashioned way. We did not want to use more creative methods when guests were in the house and perhaps not used to seeing a child behave like this.

  6. Thanks for your humorous rendition of a scene we play out on a far too regular basis! Need to get in touch with my inner Sybill. 'Oh, I knoooooow'.

    1. You made me laugh.
      I beginning to feel like my entire life and household is becoming like a bad '70 sitcom.