When disciplining goes wrong…..so horribly wrong…

Our 4 year old is testing us. Every minute of every hour of every day is a test. It starts in the morning the minute he opens his eyes and is not happy that I have chosen jeans for him to wear today. He stomps and huffs and puffs in protest and continues to object to every single solitary move I make for the next twelve hours until he is unconsious again. He completely ignores any attempt I make at correcting his wrongdoings and the word “no” seems to trigger his tantrum switch. I know this comes with the territory when parenting a four year old but we still have to kick some of it into touch.

So we have been having the same argument over and over again the last few weeks – What is the most appropriate form of discipline?


We’ve worn out the time out chair and it has lost effect, we shout a lot and don’t get listened to and both of us agree that slapping doesn’t get you anywhere.

So today ‘the most patient man’ had, what can only be described as an epiphany – a ‘Eureka’ moment, if u will. Danny, our first born, was slap bang mid-tantrum about not wanting to come in and have his dinner with us when ‘the most patient man’ leapt off his chair and tore up the stairs. I could actually see the light bulb above his head come on as he took the steps two at a time. He emerged from the boys room holding a tractor.


Now i’m just going to say at this stage, this idea and all matters in relation to this idea were a product of the mind of ‘the most patient man’ and nothing (NOTHING) to do with yours truly!

So the first born was told that the tractor was getting burned in the fire because of his behaviour and he had better shape up or this is what would be happening as a consequence any more.

***queue mommy’s horrified – ‘I told you a million times to discuss your stupid ass ideas with me before you say them out loud’ – glare. But I dare not interrupt while ‘the most patient man’ was “disciplining”. So when he had finished his speech in went the tractor into the already lit fire and it took light. I was a little bit frozen to the spot while awaiting the onslaught of cries and wails that would surely follow.

And then a funny thing happened. The first born, fashioning a peculiar excited sort of a grin which neither of us saw fit for a boy getting his beloved toys burned, ran to the front door to excitedly invite his friends in to “watch daddy burn all the toys”. Realising that this was all going horribly pear shaped, ‘the most patient man’ shot me a ‘wtf look’ to which I responded with a ‘you made your bed you can lie in it’ glare. It would seem we had invented a new spectator sport. One which required the entire neighbourhood’s attendance in my living room.


So were standing there in front of the fire watching this toy slowly burn and sizzle, the flames are doing a lovely gentle dance around each other in the fireplace while the toy melts away to nothing and we all stare at it in silence, Daniel with a delighted smile on his face which I am rather freaked out about.

I am very aware that ‘the most patient man’ has gone about this completely the wrong way and I should have intervened sooner because after this we will inevitably have a 4 year old who will set fire to whoever pisses him off. The ‘most patient man’ is even more infuriated than he was when all this started because a)it didn’t work, and b) it seems to have somehow taken the shape of a new sport Daniel is very excited about enrolling in.

So I decide its time to take the bull by the horns and talk it out. I’ll just explain to him that he should feel distraught at the loss of his precious toy and this is a consequence, the sort of which he will be facing from now on should he continue to misbehave. (Even though I was never ever going to let this happen again but for the next five minutes I had to stay united with ‘the most patient man’ on his shitty disciplining effort).

“Daniel, you understand that you have lost this toy because your behaviour was so bad, right? You won’t ever get to play with it again and that’s very sad so your behaviour will have to improve so this doesn’t happen again O.K?”

“Its not sad for me mummy” he says still watching the burning toy.

My heart literally skips a beat as I accept the fact I am raising a pyromaniac and begin to come up with hiding places for every box of matches we own whilst mentally calculating the approximate cost of a psychiatrist.

“Why is this not sad for you?” I ask, a little afraid of his answer.

“That’s Eoghan’s tractor”.

Daniel: 1    Discipline: 0

An Open Letter to Dads of Young Kids Everywhere…


Thank you for choosing to take on the very difficult and often unrewarding task of fatherhood.

Thank you for doing late night shop runs for whatever mummy was craving way back when she was cooking me in her tummy house.

Thank you for sleeping on only a half inch of the bed so she could have almost the whole lot because I was making her so uncomfortable.

Thank you for being patient every time she cried and fretted about the future. Thank you for reassuring her it would all be O.K.

Thank you for being right by her side through every contraction and every push and helping her bring me into the world.

Thank you for being there every day since, even when some of those days were the most difficult and most testing days you will ever know….you were always present and I will remember that you never gave up on us!

Thank you for changing nappies and making bottles, for chasing toddlers and mending broken toys.

Thank you for leaving your nice cosy bed fourteen times a night for night feeds, toilet trips, bad dreams and strange noises and still getting up in the morning and doing it all over again.

Thank you for going to work and putting in a long day’s graft on 4 hours sleep just so I have everything I need.

Thank you for graciously accepting the abusive texts mommy sends you out of sheer desperation because she has reached her wits end with me and doesn’t know what else to do but give out to the only other person who knows how she feels and is not here. Thank you for putting the phone back in your pocket without retaliating, understanding how knackered she is and not mentioning it ever again.

Thank you for dealing with the worst tantrums imaginable and still loving me the very same when I get over myself and calm down.

Thank you for knowing which one of us likes the crust on and which one likes the crust off, who likes yoghurts with little balls and who prefers frubes, which one of us will bounce back up after a fall but which one will need a ‘magic kiss’ to make the ‘ouchie’ all better.

Thank you for looking proud every time I do something right even though this is definitely outweighed by the amount of times I chance doing something wrong.

Thank you for believing in me.

Thank you for taking my little hand in your big hand and showing me the way as I grow and learn.

Thank you for being strong and independant, hard working and fiercely loyal.

Thank you for taking care of the most important thing I have, my mummy.

Thank you for being the kind of man that I will want to be someday.

Thank you for being my Daddy X


Diary of a Demented Mother of a Teething Baby (part 1)

Something funny happened today. I think I was recognised. Not for any of the multitude of things I do like beauty, blogging, writing, socialising, school runs. Nope. This was new.

I ran into someone that I used to know. I was flying by before I saw him and was overwhelmed with recognition and mortification all at the same time when I realised it was 8.30am and I had baby spew on my pants, hair hadn’t seen a hairbrush since saturday and my eyebags had eyebags.

Then the funny thing happened. He kinda half smirked – half head tilted at me as I flew past. Wtf did that mean? The old me would have stopped for a catch up and given myself a chance to figure out what he was thinking when he performed such a manouvre. I kept scooting on however, solely because I was scarlet for me velour tracksuit bottoms that I wouldn’t usually wear to the bog for the last load but this morning thaught were a good idea to throw on to go grab milk. I didn’t stall but the gammy interaction had me perturbed. I couldn’t get the awkward smirk/sympathy tilt out of my head. Was it that obvious? Did I look that bad? Did I need an answer to that? Of course I looked that bad. I was tiptoeing around the house in the dark at 4am singing the chorus of Ireland’s Call to a wailing baby and practising exactly what I was going to say when I rang in the morning to book my hystorectomy.


So he felt sorry for me? Thats when I undertook to stalk him on Facebook and would ya look at that! He too is the ‘demented parent of a teething baby’!!! I click on his profile picture and there is his lovely wife in a pair of velour tracksuit pants all of her own.


Phew! The look wasn’t rude. It was recognition. He clearly knows the haggard look of ‘motherhood’ too well. He was possibly half smirking because we could probably both remember once upon a different life when I wouldn’t step passed the threshold of home without a full face of make up and all we had to worry about was whose round it was next? And the head tilt was a sympathy nod. An ‘I know what your going through’ offering.

So as it turns out ‘the demented mother of a teething baby’ is very easily recognisable. Here’s how you can catch a glimps of one of these common creatures;

She is the one in the mis-matched trackies with spew on the shoulder and snot on the sleeve.

She is the one with hair that looks like she was accidentally plugged in.

She is the one rocking back and forth on her chair even when she is not holding a baby because at this stage in the game its second nature.

You may meet her every time you are in Tesco and she is always holding pain relief and new bibs.

She is the one that makes a cup of tea and has it half drank before she realises she didn’t boil the kettle.

She is the one that nearly signed up to Airtricity just so the salesman would stay and occupy the other 2 kids while she settled the teething baby.

She is the one that hung out a dirty load of washing to dry and didnt realise for four hours she hadn’t actually washed them yet.

She is the one prying a child’s mouth open  and jamming a hand in there in search of the little white bastard that is causing all this heartache.

She is the one parenting her other kids with biscuits just to make it through the afternoon alive. She can be observed pegging custard creams at such problems as tantrums, hunger, boredom, speaking,  moving, breathing…..

She is the one driving aimlessly around town trying to settle her screaming child. If the same car has circled and passed you four times, chances are, you have just witnessed the ‘demented mother of a teething child’.

She is the one thanking God fourteen times a day for sending her a life support machine, more commonly known as her Tassimo coffee maker and can be seen sporting eyes like flying saucers.

She is the one who denied her husband the oppurtunity of ‘the snip’ on the grounds he was too young but seriously contemplates a radical hystorectomy every time their teething baby stirs in the night.


Imagine my frustration at realising that a ‘demented father of a teething baby’ is not as easily recognisable as his female counterpart, hence my confusion when I ran into my old buddy all bright eyed and bushy tailed.

The ‘demented father of a teething baby’ sleeps in the spare room, you see for fear one of his super sperm would jump into one of his wife’s unmanned orifices, impregnate her and put her through this ever again!

If any of you are trying to spot a ‘demented father of a teething baby’ there is in fact only one tell tale sign. That is the giant wheelbarrow that he is carrying his balls around in because they haven’t seen the light of day in more than a while.