A new level of mean

I’m sure I’m not the only parent who despairs at their kids – at least those who have learnt to adequately express themselves and who show some ability to think rationally – apparently considering crying as an adequate response to any problem they encounter. It drives me nuts sometimes! And I have less and less patience for it as Ella grows older.

When I found Ella in tears last night when I returned from doing something outside, I first thought something “serious” had happened. Something that I should have been there for, right near her. You can hear the guilt process starting, can’t you. So when I finally managed to decipher her sob-soaked explanation and realised that she was only crying because the computer she was playing a game on “did something wrong”, I was NOT happy. I quickly decided that for once I did not want to resort to speaking angrily, or yet again trying to explain to her that crying never fixes anything, that every problem has a solution and that crying prevents us from thinking straight and therefor coming up with an effective course of action; only for her to then defend herself with the standard “but I forgot”. No, it was time again for a dose of sarcasm. Not in the least because it makes ME feel better.

So my response to Ella’s crying over her computer game disappearing was to say – in a sugar-sweet voice: “Oh! Did the naughty computer make you cry? I can fix that right away”. I walked over to the computer, sat down and… switched it off. “There, the naughty computer has gone to sleep and can not make you cry anymore.”

I must say that the reaction I got from her was not as strong as I’d expected. I think she was too stunned. I also believe that – after initially thinking that I really totally misunderstood her (oh how ignorant grown-ups can be!) – she recognised my twisted version of the natural consequences tactic.

The end does justify the means sometimes. With the stress on mean mum.


Yes we can!

Ella can ride a bike…

And I can knit…


Me – Did you check the freezer door to find an icy pole?
Ella – No icy poles here, mum. Mum, I’m thirsty. And there’s a bottle of frozen water here. I’m going to drink some nice cold water.
Me – NO! That’s vodka!

Random conversations

Me – I can’t do that that fast, Ella. I’m not a machine!
Ella – Oh, but I wish you could turn into a machine!


Ella – Mum?
Me – Yes, Ella.
Ella – I can’t decide who I’m gonna marry.
Me – That’s ok. You’re way too young to marry anyway.
Ella – But you’ll have to write it up. (she means ‘write down’, it’s a Dutch-ism)
Me – Write down what?
Ella – Who I’m gonna marry. So you can read it, no I can read it when I’m growed up so I know who I’m gonna marry.
Me – You don’t have to decide now, you know. Why don’t you just decide when you’re old enough to marry? Is that a good idea?
Ella – Ok.

Princess emancipation

This morning when I dropped Ella off at daycare, we spotted the new puppets that had just arrived. There were the usual suspects: princess, prince, dragon, knight…

Ella picked up the princess, so I picked up the dragon and made it say: “I’m going to eat you, princess!”. Next I picked up the prince and said: “I’ll save you princess.”

To which Ella casually replied: “You don’t need to.” and carried the princess a safe distance away from both dragon and prince.

Go girl! I am pretty sure this was somehow related to Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree books that we’re reading at the moment. I felt obliged to have a talk to her about the constant mention of the girls needing to be looked after by the boys. Even if the boys are younger than them. I tried to explain to Ella that the book was old-fashioned and that we of course know that girls can look after themselves just as well as boys can. I’m glad she embraced that thought and doesn’t get influenced by the stereotypical view of girls/women being the weaker sex!