Hoist by my own petard

The Bean has been up to something naughty. I don’t want to punish her or talk to her or scold her or whack her because I’ve tried every one of the options and they don’t work. So I try something new. I play the adult parent who is sad and disappointed by the choices her child is making.

I kneel next to her, hug her and talk to her. My face is buried in her hair and my voice is breaking. It works. She is repentant. She is sorry that she made me sad and that I am crying. Her voice breaks too and she is sobbing. I feel like a piece of shit. How horrible of me to emotionally blackmail a recalcitrant four year old. This must end now.

So I push her away from me, push her hair out of her face and am ready to apologise to her – until I realise that her eyes are clear and her face completely dry and devoid of tears.

The pupil just bested the master.


I recently picked up velcro hair curlers. My hair is in long steps and I thought I’d curl it up at home while Β going about my business. Of course that didn’t happen. The kids are now playing cricket with the curlers. That is, when the Bean is not sticking them in her hair like burrs.


50 thoughts on “Hoist by my own petard

  1. I thought I am the only mom on Earth to blackmail my 4y old….I’ve tried everything too….whacked her and felt like shit. Are they nastily naughty, this generation? Have you stopped? Is something working?

    • nope, they get a whack for dangerous crimes like running with a fork which i’ve told them a 100 times not to do. but everything else is dealt with with a mix of deprivation of fave toys, time outs, scoldings etc.

    • Very sorry – I don’t check that id very regularly which is why I put a disclaimer in my blog. That I am sure to respond, might just not do it promptly. I will read and reply by tomorrow.

      • if your regular, personal id is gmail, there is an option to pull your mails from your madmomma id and label them as “mad momma”(or something like that), so that you can have it in one place.

        • It is – and I didn’t know I could do that. But I get such a load of madmomma mails that I prefer to let it lie till I have the time to check it. Otherwise I get involved in that and my regular life comes to a standstill. but thanks for educating me every time I hit a tech speedbreaker:)

  2. Move over, Ranbir Kapoor – meet my new Rockstar. I love this child.
    Please tell me Delhi winters last till the end of March. I wanted to meet this child again in all her pretty- sweatered, winter-ed, woollen, roller-ed glory. (Ermm, if you noticed, I invited myself over.:D)

  3. hush woman. she was just being considerate. the bean must have seen through your act, and yet, she decided to go with it rather than disappoint you. why aren’t you singing songs in her praise?, an ardent, puzzled, bean fan wants to know.

  4. wasn’t she taught by her mother and brat ‘not to waste’?..she is just making use of it..chilax MM!

    man, blackmailing..i don’t want to do it too..but at times I ran out of all my cards with my 4yr old girl:)

    • he isn’t in the least bit brattish. one of the best kids i’ve ever seen. but i have a feeling that the moment i change his name he’s going to turn into one. i think i just crossed the line over into superstitious!

  5. I have tried the ‘I am so upset with you, I feel like crying’ trick on the 20 month old. He just gives me the ‘You are doing such a poor job of being upset’ look and grins even more!
    Now I am reading “How to talk so that kids listen” and feeling like a nincompoop!

  6. what got me laughing this morning when getting ready, was the desi twisting of the new phrase i learnt from your blog title. ‘Hoisted by my own pattaka’. beanie is pattaka!.

    thanks dipali for the wiki link

  7. Not sure if you are checking comments on this site, however can’t go to themadmomma.in..says you have exceeded your bandwidth limit ????

  8. Bandwidth Limit Exceeded
    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.

    Apache Server at themadmomma.in Port 80

  9. Please leave a post on this site once themadmomma.in site is up. Have been checking everyday, but same error. Have been missing your post

  10. You have one grt daughter thr. I still do it with my mother coz she has this method of getting me do things her way coz f the crocodile tears. And coz i love her i act like i think the tears r forreal. Sweet one!

    M new to bloggin n it b grt if u cud give a shoutout or follow my blog and help me start the initial traffic. Pls do check my blog.

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