Bras, Scarves, and Sibling Rivalry

The children and Dog were in a peculiar mood this  morning. I blame the wind. When we got up the windows were rattling and breakfast was eaten against the backdrop of trees thrashing themselves about outside.

Dog was off her head. After a year of training her to stop jumping up, which had been pretty successful, she seemed to have forgotten everything she had learned and was determinedly levitating herself upward to get attention. She’s also been doing this weird yodeling thing all day.

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Bad Dog

She bought us balls, chews and cushions before sitting amongst her treasures and fixing us with a bright and intense gaze. Such was the urgency of her expression I felt she was trying to tell us some children had fallen down a well and she was getting increasingly frustrated we weren’t understanding her message.

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What’s up, Dog?

She then disgraced herself.

To be fair, I have told my children a hundred times not to leave their half-empty cereal bowls on the sitting room coffee table, so it wasn’t really Dog’s fault that her energetically wagging tail knocked two bowls flying across the room, scattering milk and crusty cornflakes all over the cream carpet.

Whilst cleaning up I was accompanied by the increasing shrill ‘It’s not fair!’ complaint from Son. The night before I had gone to his bedroom to take in his phone. He said he still had five minutes left so I told him to bring it to me in five minutes saying if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have his phone for the whole of the next day.

Half an hour passed with no Son appearing with phone, so, ‘Right!’ I said. ‘That’s IT! No phone tomorrow!’ I told Rob.

This morning not only has Son taken his phone from my bag, he is playing with it in his room instead of putting on his uniform. Livid, I take it from him and remind him he can’t have it all day.

Cue twenty minutes of an intense, unrelenting, carefully constructed and fluently argued monologue on how I favoured Daughter over him and Daughter was always naughty and wouldn’t do as she was told (true).

He even used the point that he was dyslexic and he can’t help forgetting that he had to bring in his phone. Eventually Rob lost patience and made Son leave our bedroom as we were getting ready. We dressed without speaking, trying to ignore Son’s continued diatribe being yelled through the keyhole.

Daughter, in the meantime, having finally deigned to start pulling on some tights seeing as how we had to leave in two minutes, is priggishly informing Son that he needs to ‘get over it’ and ‘Mummy isn’t listening anyway.’

When I dropped them off this morning Son, who hadn’t spoken the whole way as I refused to talk about ‘the phone incident’ (I said I was happy to discuss any other topic), jumped out of the car and just before shutting the door said, ‘I wish I could get a different Mum.’

OH! My heart!

The trouble is, and I hate to say this, my children are as bad as each other but it is easier to punish son as he is obsessed with his phone and PS4. If he’s naughty I can limit his access to these devices; it is an effective way to bring him into line.

Daughter doesn’t give a monkey’s about anything. There is nothing I can threaten her with that makes a jot of difference. Rob thinks her insistence on lying on the floor wrapped in her duvet talking to Dog until five minutes before leaving time is a controlling thing. What do you think? And how on earth do I get her to do as she is told!

Every morning is a shouting match and I feel guilty as it easier to punish Son in an obvious way but I don’t want him to feel I am favouring Daughter as I really do see them both equally. (Equally irritating – ha! But also lovable etc)

Rob and I have talked about saying to daughter,’we are leaving at 10 to. If you’re not ready then you miss school. We are not going to shout at you or cajole you, we will just wake you up in the morning and then you sort yourself out.’

Do you think this is worth trying? What if she calls my bluff!? (She is perfectly capable of it, she has a will of iron that reminds me uncomfortably of my grandmother and she’s still only 9)

My lovely American friend uses the 3…2…1… technique and I  once asked her what she did when she got to 0 and they hadn’t done as she had asked. She looked at me in amazement, ‘they’ve never not done it!’ she replied. Oh dear, it happens to me all the time.

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My beautiful rose and lace pink bra which looked great under jumpers. RIP

The other rubbish thing that happened today was the death of one of my favourite bras. Sob! Yes, as I got dressed this morning I discovered…

I’m heartbroken!  Stupid underwire break out. Does anyone know if this can be cured? Is it terminal? I always spend weeks shoving the wire back into its sleeve when I put the bra on, then spend the day suffering the agony of it emerging and driving itself into the side of my boob. Stitching it doesn’t seem to work either. Any ideas?

On a positive note, I was given an early birthday present.

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It’s the most beautiful blue scarf which has these lovely lighter panels which give it a wonderful lift. I think it goes brilliantly with my cashmere – such-a-pale-grey-it’s-almost-white – cashmere jumper from The White Company. I found the jumper in last year’s sale and have worn it loads. It works over jeans, with a suit and over a skirt. It is also lovely and warm and soft. They still have similar ones on their website.

Sorry today’s post is a bit of a problem page! But I know there are some wise people out there and any thoughts you have would be hugely appreciated! 🙂

Yodeling Dog trying to get my attention…

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20 thoughts on “Bras, Scarves, and Sibling Rivalry

  1. SierraRose🥀Health

    I’d love to see a video of dog yodeling!
    My oldest son is easy to punish with taking away video games, too. Another thing we do is that we have a chore chart and her earns money for doing chores and doing well in school AND he loses money for arguing, talking back, being disobedient, etc. When he starts arguing we just walking over to his chart and start crossing check marks off. That shuts it down quick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. middleagedwarrior

      Yes that’s such a good idea and works like a charm on Son – Daughter genuinely isn’t moved by things like that. She’s a self-contained little thing, always has been and Judy shrugs off our disapproval! Son would hang onto my legs when I dropped him off at nursery, Daughter couldn’t wait to get rid of me! 😂

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  2. Juliet

    Your daughter sounds like our 22yr old daughter – not entirely sure what to suggest as she is impervious to threats/bribes/reason… As a small child she was the one to come home with a weeping Chinese burn and a weeping friend – the friend wanted to see how long Madam would last (all the way) and the friend started crying when madams skin started to break, whereupon Madam commanded small snivelly friend to carry on to the end. The boys – easy – food, generally the junk end of food and a cuddle although I cant remember ever getting really cross with them. All I can suggest is that the only thing you can do is manage yourself (I try to remind myself I have created a strong and powerful female – it helps when I feel like a doormat) and stay consistent – I have told Madam if she wants anything to tell me well before I leave on the bus in the morning (like the evening) – the other morning she wanted bus fare, at the bus stop. I ignored her so I have no idea what time she got to work and quite frankly I don’t care. Madam is also late if we get a lift with the OH, he would never leave without her and so she can take her time, that is why I often prefer to take the bus and then leave them to it 🙂

    (Oh, and when you have survived another set of “moments” give yourself a treat – lippy or hand cream work a treat)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. middleagedwarrior

      Thanks Juliet your comment about ‘managing yourself’ is SO TRUE as that is the only thing you can control. Trouble is sometimes she is so completely adorable I forgive everything – and secretly I love her strength as long as it’s not directed at disobeying me!! She can drive me absolutely nuts. Hey ho, that’s the joy of parenting. Will try to keep call and carry on as they say. Have absolutely no problem with treating myself! 😁

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  3. ceri

    Try looking at The Parent Practise website. They are based in Clapham and run courses in London but they do have some very helpful articles on their website about encouraging independence and co-operation. I wish I had found them years ago.
    I’ve survived childhood and adolescence with 3 (!!!) and have the scars and badges to prove it. I remember years of screaming in the hall at No 1 that we were leaving and she would be late for school — she paid no attention and managed and manages still to just make everything by the skin of her teeth, leaving everyone else stressed and emotional with the tension. Just try catching a flight with her!
    I am now embarking on grandmothering — much easier so far although mothering a mother is hard work.
    Good luck

    Liked by 1 person

    1. middleagedwarrior

      Thank you so much for this advice – I will definitely have a look at that website. It’s so reassuring to find others with similar experiences – you always think it’s just you being a terrible parent! Interesting that girls seem to be the main culprits! I wonder whether it’s a mother daughter thing? It really rang true when you described them being all causal and laid back while everyone around was grinding their teeth! That’s exactly what daughter does. I need to do as husband advises and just relax, letting her make her own mistakes. So hard though!! On the other hand I love that we are raising strong independent women who aren’t going to take any nonsense!

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