The Advent Calendar

So here a couple of things I didn’t think about before buying V1 his first chocolate Advent calendar…
1. Ants
2. Melted chocolates
3. Can be used to bribe V1 top do his Kumon
4. Dog might get to chocolate before any of us

So the calendar will be kept in the fridge and only taken out to open the door, discuss the numbers and look at the pictures. This WILL only happen after the Kumon is done. And we’ll have to be careful not to drop any more of the chocolates!


V is unwell.

He started coughing on Wednesday morning and I started giving him cough syrup immediately.

He threw up a couple of times on Thursday morning and therefore stayed home from nursery that day.  He was in good spirits though.

He started feeling a little warm just before bedtime and after taking his temperature, I realised that it was slightly high.  I told him I’d have to give him some Calpol.

Bloody hell – anyone would think I’d said  I was going to torture him.

He ran around his room, hid behind the curtains, covered his mouth with his hands, all the while screaming and crying and just ABSOLUTELY REFUSED to have the f-ing Calpol.

With the nanny’s help, we finally managed to pin him down and give it to him.  He then threw up.  He got more upset.  He cried more and I started feeling guilty.

I shouldn’t have made him have it.  I should have let him calm down first.

He was beside himself.

None of us knew what to do.

And suddenly I blurted out, ‘Do you want to choose a toy from the toy cupboard?’ (This is where all presents received go before they’re re-gifted or taken out at a later date.)

I regretted it as soon as I said it.

Homer Simpson








I knew it was the completely wrong thing to do.  But it was too late.  He’d heard me.

There were no more tears.  There was no more screaming.  He nodded and said, ‘Yes’.

I told him he had to have the Calpol first.  He did.  Without a fuss.  Then he got all smiley and giggly.  And I felt even more stupid.

I unlocked the cupboard and opened it.  The look on his face was priceless.  I wanted him to choose something small – so directed his attention to a Doctor’s Kit.  But he chose the Fisher-Price shopping trolley.

He went off to bed – happy as Larry.  Smiling and laughing.

He was ok during the night.  His temperature went up and down – but it was never worryingly high.

He came into our room early on Friday morning.  He climbed onto me and said, ‘Mama, I don’t want the shopping trolley.  I want the doctor’s kid.’ (Yes, kid.)  I told him he couldn’t have the doctor’s kit because he already chose the shopping trolley and he had already opened it.  He insisted.  Going on and on and on.  I ignored him.

He spent a large part of the morning whining about wanting a present.  I either ignored him or said things like, ‘Oh!  Is it your birthday?  I don’t think so.’

But I feel so sorry for him – it’s not his fault.  It’s mine!

Luckily he’s not made a fuss to have any of his medicine since then – he could easily just have a tantrum each time, hoping I’ll open the cupboard again.

But now he knows how much is in there.

Maybe I’ll move everything into another cupboard while he’s sleeping tonight!


V’s party was about ten days ago.  I am so, so glad it’s over.

But I do have a problem now.

I have no leverage.

In the three weeks leading up to his birthday and then his party, he would do anything I wanted.  ANYTHING.

All I had to say was, ‘I’m going to cancel your party.’  Or, ‘Vinay, I’m going to tell Miss Liz (the party planner) not to bring the horse!’

And he’d do as I asked.

I realise it’s probably not a good idea to use bribes and threats, but he really doesn’t respond to anything else.

Are all toddlers the same?  Or is it just mine?

Anyway, so now I don’t know how to get him to do anything anymore.  He knows his party is over and that it’s not his birthday for a long time.

So now what?




I’ve been rather anxious, as you know, about V settling into nursery.  It’s only his second week – and I *do* know that some kids take longer than others to adjust to such a huge change.  I thought I’d help him along…

On Monday morning he was a bit teary and clingy in the car.  We were five minutes late, so all the other children were already inside.  The nursery helper came and took him, and he went without any fuss.  When I picked him up, I had a packet of Buttons.  He’s never tried them before.  He’s never had chocolate before (chocolate cake doesn’t count!).  I tried to give him one on the way home.  He resisted at first, but then decided he wanted to try it.  

His face was priceless.  He immediately said, ‘More!’  Dammit.  I should have known better.  

I told him I’d give him another one after he had his lunch (we were back home by now).  He started throwing himself around the room until he got another one (yes, I gave in).

On Tuesday morning, he was a bit fussy again.  I told him I was going to drop him off and go and buy dudu (milk) and yogurt (which is what I tell him everyday).  Then I told him, ‘And I’ll bring you a chocolate when I pick you up!’  No jokes, he was ready to leave in five minutes!

I took the packet with me, as I promised and gave him a Button in the car.  And the ‘More!’ started.  We’d already agreed I was only going to give him one, so what was this nonsense all about?  Repeat tantrum like the previous day.

Clearly the boy didn’t understand bribery.  Clearly I was dumb enough to think he did.

Yesterday I had a brainwave (maybe common sense to others?).  I put three Buttons in a clear sandwich bag and handed the bag over to him on our way home.  He ate them all.  And said, ‘More!’  I made him look at the bag and see they were all gone.  ‘Mama buy more!’ was the response.  I told him I would buy more tomorrow after I dropped him off.

And that was it.  Problem solved.  No more crying or screaming for more!

If only I’d thought about this on Monday.

Now I have to figure out how to stop the Button thing!