Discipline Fails


Mumabulous admits that she’s a lousy disciplinarian. She’d never be a hit (pun intended) on the BDSM scene. Let me elaborate.

Definitely NOT Mumabulous.

Definitely NOT Mumabulous.

Exhibit A for the prosecution: The punishment debacle

One would think that we could make the 3 minute car trip between Chez Abulous and the local shopping mall (the very glamorous and salubrious Royal Randwick Shopping Centre – truly a local hub of excitement) without a fracas erupting in the back seat. Unfortunately computer says NO.

I had just loaded everything and everyone into the car when it started.

P2 (aged 5): The first person to poo their pants wins. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrt. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrt!

P1 (aged 8): You’re a baby. You pooed your pants.

It is important to clarify that my youngest child was merely simulating the act of pooing her pants. I note however that various high profile footy players have lost their jobs over less vulgar actions. I thank my lucky stars that neither of them were holding a mobile phone at the time.

Anyhow at this point things escalated.

P2: Thwack!

P1: Muuuuuuuuuuuuuum. She hit me.

Meanwhile I was deep in thought, contemplating questions of great cultural significance like just how hawt Tom Hiddleston would look in snug britches*. I roused myself from my reverie to utter a half arsed “don’t hit your sister.”

P2: But she was teasing me.

Mumabs: You have to admit Wooz** you kinda walked into that one by pretending to poo your pants.

P1 looked around grinning smugly.

Mumabs: You – don’t tease your sister.

P2: But she hit me.

Much like the Sunrise program I was blaming the victim and that much like parliament the argument was going nowhere. It struck me that now was a good time to pull out the big guns which led to a mental image of Clive Standen because Oh My! Big Guns! Nonetheless I managed a coherent sentence.

Mumabs: Wooz you’re banned from Reading Eggs if hit your sister again and Grace no more ABC 3 if you tease Wooz.

Reading Eggs and ABC3 being the girls’ current obsessions. Removing them, I reasoned, would be an effective punishment.

I will encourage P2 to enter the legal profession as she is displaying a precocious talent for finding flaws in my arguments.

P2: But Muuuum, if I am banned from Reading Eggs how can I learn?

Mumabs: The thing is you’re not learning on Reading Eggs. You’re just playing with the avatars.

P2: I am learning. I’m up to Level 7.

P1: It’s not fair that I get banned from something fun and she get’s banned from homework.

Mumabs: Well none of this will be a problem if you dont hit or tease each other.  Easily solved!

I experienced the longest 3 minute car ride of my life as the two girls continued to point out the unfairness of the punishment. I counter argued that if they behaved themselves the unfairness of the punishment would be a moot point.

Later that evening over dinner the girls appealed the matter to the High Court – ie Dadabulous.

P2: Daaaaaaaad. Mum says I’m banned from Reading Eggs and Grace is banned from ABC3.

Dadabs: Banning her from homework is a lame punishment.

The verdict was  unanimous. Mumabs is a idiot. Mind you both the girls have since sought private consultation with me in order to agree upon a more suitable punishment for the other.

Not my kids but you get the idea.

Not my kids but you get the idea.

Exhibit B for the prosecution: The tuckshop-gate scandal

Since starting school this year P2 has been quite impressed with the school canteen. I had a vague awareness that she had been pinching gold coins from my sharpa stash and using it to buy treats and lunchtime. I overlooked the very minor thievery figuring it was giving her a useful insight into the world of commerce.

One day the school Office Manager approached me and said “You know your daughter is so cute. I just adore her. She’s always offering to buy me things from the canteen and I say ‘no darling. Its alright’ but last week she bought an icy pole and gave it to me.”

At school pick up time I said to her “Wooz. I have an issue to discuss with you.” I went into a speil about how I knew she was just trying to be kind but kids don’t need to buy things for adults.

P2 (with a dismissive eye roll): Well I really don’t see what the issue is.

I thought that was an end to the matter but at parent-teacher night the tuckshop-gate scandal reared its head again. Apparently P2 had moved on from buying things for adults and was buying for the other kindy kids instead. One day she’d even brought in $30 – it was quite a party. I don’t know how she managed to get out of the house without jangling.

It was however comforting to learn that P2 was not the only one. The entire class was at it apparently. They’d organised their own crime syndicate – stealing parental coinage and buying up tuckshop contraband in bulk. I can’t say whether P2 was the ring leader but she was deeply involved. Needless to say the sharpa stash has since been moved out of reach.

A member of the kindy canteen syndicate.

A member of the kindy canteen syndicate.

Exhibit C for the prosecution: The inappropriate video

When you’re five years old and beginning to read and write a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. This is especially so when you apply your new found skills to Google. One recent evening when I was distract by housework and Dadabs was distracted by video games important business P2 typed “poo” into Youtube. The result was a minecraft animation in which the keyword was being used (very effectively) as a weapon of mass destruction.

Dadabs: Mum. Come here and have a look at this.

I entered the office to find the three of them laughing at the video of chaos and mayhem in the streets due to flying poop. Sure it was disgusting but it was also very comical and I had seen way worse on South Park.  I let out a hearty laugh.

Dadabs: Fine example you’re setting by laughing at this.

Mumabs: You knew I’d laugh. Why did you call me in here?

Dadabs: So you could apply some discipline.

Meanwhile Dadabs was having a hard time containing his own giggles.

Mumabs: Turn it off now Wooz. It’s inappropriate for kids.

P2: But its funny.

P1: Muuuuum. How are you going to punish her for watching inappropriate videos?

Have you experienced any discipline fails lately?




* Pretty darn hawt – move over Mr Darcy (but don’t move over too far Mr Darcy!)

The only problem I have with these britches is they're a bit too loose.

The only problem I have with these britches is they’re a bit too loose.


** My nickname for P2

NB: In case you are blissfully unaware Reading Eggs is an educational program for Primary School kids.


11 thoughts on “Discipline Fails

  1. This is great. I get home from work, kids are already at each others throats. By the end of the day I am like you, just a half hearted “stop it please” and the kids know I am not serious.

  2. Oh how funny Mumabs- my eldest went through a similar thing in kindy- not the thieving but the insistence on money to buy everyone else something. She even went to school in Randwick! Maybe it’s a thing? My discipline fail is laughing when my little one swears. Or not noticing when the big ones do. Ah well.

  3. Argh – that sounds like my whole life at the moment. Especially the hitting and teasing one. It’s exhausting.

  4. I’m impressed with your daughter’s generosity. What a lovely little girl. My son used to buy a big bag of Whiz Fizz from Crazy Clark and sell the individual packets after school for a profit until he was caught and I received a phone call from the office. It didn’t bode well for his future, really. You know, selling small packets of white powder…

  5. Love Reading Eggs! I always find that banning them from the tuckshop is a good punishment, what is it with hitting and fighting in cars! My 3 have been diabolical recently – and being so sick I haven’t been drinking to help calm my nerves. What is the world coming to? x

  6. I love Exhibit B… that’s hilarious. And generous. If not a bit weird that the whole class is in on the thing! 😉

  7. Great post! All I can say is: yep, yep, yep, to all three incidents. I know it’s too late to do anything about it, but I feel I’d better warn you that it doesn’t get any better when they’re teenagers. Car rides in particular.

  8. “Dadabs: Banning her from homework is a lame punishment.” BAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHA! Unfortunately he’s got you there: game, set and match. We had a bit of a fail here the other day. I found $5 in my kids pocket which he clearly stole from me, but I had no evidence to prove it was him. I felt like the lamest prosecution lawyer of all time. My cross-examination was an impotent piece of shit.

  9. My youngest is TWO and he already likes to stand just that fraction closer to his sister than is acceptable to her. He will inch closer and closer and as soon she tenses he moves in closer. Then the yelling starts and they both point to each other. I am CLUELESS as to how to deal with it!

  10. Yes the old “nick money from purse/coin jar/brother’s birthday money and spend at the canteen” trick. Generally speaking all my attempts at discipline are a fail. My technique is best described “as anything for peace right now” with a chaser of “they have to move out of home one day, right?”.

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