When it gets argumentative.

Oh yay, the three-nager appears to have reappeared.

It started the other week, when he was off colour.  I tried to be sympathetic, after all he wasn’t just “off colour”, he was boy “off colour”.  I tried to be understanding when he said his cheerios hurt his throat, when he said that the Yorkshire Pudding’s made his “tummy jumpy”, however, I drew the line when he suggested perhaps a hot chocolate with marshmallows would be “just the right medicine”.

So we’ve had a bit of a rough week with food, but are starting to get back on track.  However, the attitude hasn’t gone.  The suddenly slow when it comes to stripping down for the bath, the sudden selective hearing when I say “five more minutes until we go” or the sudden argumentative stroppy response of “NO IT’S NOT IT’S SUNNY” when I’m trying to explain that he can’t wear “high up sleeves and shorts” because it’s too cold. I would also like to point out it wasn’t just cold, it was peeing it down outside.

I know, I KNOW, this is what having a toddler is all about.  I know they’re “trying”, that they’re “a handful” that they are “little characters”.  But OH MY GOD am I the only person who just sometimes just wants to have a melt down?  I have been stressed and hormonal laid back and chilled all week, so it’s to be expected a total surprise that The Beast has managed to rub me up the wrong way.

Tuesday was amazingly the worst. By amazingly I’m not sure how, when I only picked him up from Pre-School at 3.30pm, and went for tea with his friends so got home for 5.30pm.  That means approximately one and a half hours of time together.

In the morning we started off well, he got dressed nicely, got in the car nicely (albeit, his new method of having to climb on the tyre and swinging in on the seatbelt Spiderman style is starting to get slightly tiresome), trotted up to his new pre-school room (he’s in the BIG class now – *sob*), didn’t get upset waved me goodbye.

I picked him up at the end of the day, he was a bit chatty and slow at putting his shoes on, but I put it down to the fact he was excited to tell me about what he’d been up to, especially that he’d had to use a knife to use the interactive whiteboard because he was too small (yes you read that correctly a knife – on further investigation it turns out a plastic toy one but it didn’t sound good did it?).  He was excited about going to Heidi’s and I was looking forward to a brew and a chat.

He was a bit clingy “play with me mummy” which I feel bad about becuase Larry had had a melt down and was collapsed on top of me on the sofa.

We got home, they both had a snack and I spoke to my mum on the phone.  This is where it all went wrong.  I was on the phone and he brought his toys to show me, I was just saying goodbye and told him I would be with him in one minute, pop it on the sofa and I’d be right over.  He threw it on the floor, I told him not to do that, he kicked them.  I was irritated.  I didn’t shout but I got a bit stroppy.

We went upstairs to the top floor to play in his room while before and while I was running the bath.  We played a bit, but when it was time to get undressed he wouldn’t, he didn’t want to.  He refused to strip down.  I stripped the fat one down and dumped him in the bath, I tried – probably in a bit of a lacklustre way – to coax him again.  He refused, just DOWN RIGHT IGNORED ME.  He’d been allowed to play on my phone, and I’d told him if he got in and out of the bath quickly he could have another go while we were waiting for Daddy to get home to read the story.

He ignored me.  So what did I do?  Did I pin him to the ground and strip him down throwing a screaming child in the bath?  No.  Did I send him in the hall? No.  Did I continue to attempt to coax and bribe? No.  I couldn’t be bothered, I was just too tired.

Instead, and I’m not proud of this, I gave up.  I got the Fat one out of the bath and put his PJs on.  I let him roam about the room, watch the end of the bedtime hour, I sat on the sofa in his room.  Briefly making a half attempt to pretend I was going to ban the bedtime story.

He obviously guessed I was a bit miffed at him, as he started bringing his toys over “HELLO MUMMY” <his chin on his chest in his best pretend voice> “HELLO MUMMY WILL YOU PLAY WITH ME?”

“no Theo.  I don’t want to play with you, you’ve been naughty and made me sad as you wont get in the bath like I asked you too”


“No darling, you’ve been naughty”


“No, and unless you’re going to get in the bath you can go and sit over there as I don’t want to talk to you” (classy)


“But I don’t want to talk to you”.

This went on for some time, until Matthew got home.  He managed to sort it as I sulked on the sofa until The Beast apologised.  Then of course I had to apologise as I wasn’t very nice either.

Sometimes I don’t think I’m grown up enough to be a Mummy, and I think that conversation may prove my point.  Please please PLEASE tell me I’m not the only person who has petty silly arguments with a child who isn’t even CLOSE to teenager age?



  1. lynnebell75

    I love this post. I frequently enter into arguments with Matthew when I should be the bigger person (ie an adult!!) but nope, sometimes there are just days where being fair and patient just doesn’t really happen! x

  2. Jenny

    Love it!! They are all monkeys. This week at mum’s house i sent K to “his”room. He refused to go so i took him up. Whilst putting him in there he said “mummy why can’t i just go on the naughty step” I explained that at Nanas house the naughty step is in the living room where we all sit and his punishment is to leave the room. He replied with ” well I will sit on my step and you can all leave the room then” hmmmmm. they are far to clever!

  3. Jordan Frost (@Jordanfleet)

    I do this on a fairly regular basis with Tom – i just haven’t ever admitted it!
    It drives Stuart (my other, far more grown up other half) crazy, as he regularly has to ‘referee’ this to-do’s we have.
    I just see it as ‘coming down to his level’, as you are so often advised in books and by ‘specialists’ – or, is that not what they mean? 😉

  4. biscuitsarenothealthybutwhocares

    Have to say I don’t tend to argue with A, but I think I am stricter than you in this respect. If A had refused to get in the bath I would have just revoked his bedtime story, this would have produced tears and I would say he could have it back if he got in the bath right now. (I don’t particularly like storytime so no skin off my nose)
    However I regularly allow them to watch TV whilst having breakfast as I can’t be bothered to engage at that time of morning. Please don’t tell Mark.

    Also, don’t argue about clothes, seriously if he wants to wear t-shirts and shorts let him and put a jumper in your handbag. It’s not worth the wrinkles.

    1. theperfectbadmummy

      LOL RE: TV!!! Usually I would have stripped him of his clothes and his magnet (which means no treat at the end), but I really couldn’t be arsed!

      Oh god, no, clothes is my big thing. It’s nothing to do with being cold etc. It’s the fact I’m not having him going out looking like a perished chicken. Plus, I’m pre-empting the September argument where he will have a uniform, and I will need to have him out of the house earlier. If he knows now he HAS to wear what I tell him, come September it should (hopefully/naively) make my life easier. LOL.

      1. Helen

        Ah I see, I honestly don’t care that much what they look like. However good point about school uniform in september, I do anticipate a day I carry A into school wearing pyjamas.

  5. deborabora

    That sounded like a very common argument in this household between C and me!!! And we are having the short sleeves (“cold sleeves”) and shorts debate daily!!! We have compromised on the t-shirts by putting the short sleeve t-shirt over the top of a long sleeve one…so technically getting my way (imo) – the jumper versus coat one I’m yet to win…he wears the jumper and I carry a coat around with me all day!!! As for the shorts, he wears trousers when out but changes himself into shorts as soon as he is home when I’m not looking!!!

    1. theperfectbadmummy

      I’d love your compromise, but T doesn’t buy it. I have no idea where he got so stubbourn. *cough*

      I think I said earlier, it’s more about what he looks like rather then if he’s cold/hot. Yes. I’m that shallow :s

      1. Claire

        I am just as shallow….i just won’t have my kid going out looking like an eejit 😛 …i’m a bad bad mother aren’t i…..i have arguments with Iris about hair clips coz the ones she want don’t match her outfit so i won’t let her wear them….the more i write the worse i sound don’t i!? I constantly hear “but their kids so who cares what they wear” from the other half….but i care!

  6. Sue

    ‘Three-nager’ I love it ! I have honestly forgotten the toddler tantrums now. But don’t worry about the ‘not being a grown up’ thing, as someone else said, when having a row with a teenager I am always the least mature person in the room! you’re doing a great job and dont forget it !!! x

  7. Karen H. (@thedailymum)

    So relieved to see that I’m not alone. I constantly wonder if how I got be a mum in the first place. I too have ridiculous conversations with the children where I end up sounding like a selfish and petulant teenager.
    If I had to pass tests to qualify as a mum, I’m damn sure I wouldn’t make it!

  8. @somethingblue_2

    I recall a situation once when I was nannying where I wondered if it was more pathetic that I was arguing with a 3yo over the colour of a Teletubby . . . or that I knew I was right! Still haven’t decided! (T’was TinkyWinky btw, he’s definitely Purple!) x

Leave a Reply to theperfectbadmummy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.