Jan 21, 2010

I'm a Big Fat Jerk...

Do you know who Jo Frost is? If you have children, you should. She's none other than the Super Nanny.

I watch her in awe as she slaps lame parents into submission leaving the whole family whipped into ship-shape-perfection.

Recently, my precious baby passionate toddler figured out that if he screams loud enough, pulls firmly enough or throws hard enough, he gets his way within seconds.

Well, giving into Oliver's demands has become quite a vicious circle. My poor toddler-negotiating skills have bitten me straight in the ass. Just like that, I've become one of those lame parents who needs the Super Nanny more than Conan needs better ratings.

So before I write to Super Nanny and invite Jo and her cameras into our home, I figured I would try out the skills she suggests on the show.

First, I ignore the screaming so I don't feed the tantrum. Second, if Oliver throws the sippy he will simply not get it back. And third, when he breaks house rules, I activate the naughty spot.

But how do I do this? Oliver is 16 months and he can't sit in one spot! So the next day I walked clear across town and bought a Pack n' Play. Then I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond, another long trek in the other direction, and purchased a kitchen timer. The whole naughty spot expedition took 2.5 hours and guess what? Oliver behaved the whole time. Not a cry, not a whine, not a tantrum.

"Hmmmm," I thought, "....What is he up to?"

When we got home I set up the Pack n' Play and timer so I would be ready for the notorious witching hour. But tonight would be different. I'm ready!

5:00pm: Oliver sat and played with his puzzles while I prepped his dinner.


6:00pm: I put him in his highchair and he ate everything nicely and neatly.


6:30pm: After dinner he happily grabbed his favorite books off the shelf and read to himself.

"What? That's it? No screaming? No pulling? No throwing? But I'm ready for you! I'm ready! I wasn't before but now I am!

Oliver was now the spitting image of a perfect child.

And, every day since the naughty spot adventure not once have I had to do anything but enjoy him.

Memo to Super Nanny: Either my child is Yoda reincarnated or you're so good that the very thought of an impending time out made Oliver behave!

Thank you Jo.

As Mr. Costner says, "If you build it, they will come."


  1. It's funny how kids just seem to "know" when to not act up...

  2. seriously! oh, love the snuggie. ha!

  3. The invisible hand works wonders! Sounds like you have trained a good baby!

  4. I wish that worked for my kids. Some days, I feel like I really could use a Super Nanny. Or any Nanny for that matter.

  5. Oh, Let me tell you C(kid things) There are days I NEED the super nanny's advice more than anything in the world. And I KNOW its a matter of hours before I put that p&play into use!

  6. Kim O'BrienJanuary 21, 2010

    So, where again is the "Big Fat Jerk" part of this story? :) You are a very wise woman/mother to start teaching Oliver good listening habits and manners now and your family will love the balance that will exist in your home. There's a big up-front investment during the learning-the-system period for everyone but maintenance down the road is SO much easier than trying to start later. And that "warning" thing is like a magic pill, bringing instant order I tell you!


    I look forward to keeping up with your blog (I really enjoy your writing voice) and watching how the "naughty spot" adventures play out.

  7. Thanks Kim! That meant so much! And thanks for the thoughts on the discipline...this is uncharted territory! yikes! time to fasten the seatbelts, it's launch time. And, just an update, we had two time outs this afternoon!

  8. LMAO! So my kiddo is 15 months, which is one reason I adore your blog, I feel like we are going through similar stuff as first time moms. I resorted about a month ago to sending my son to his room when he would start to tantrum. I never shut the door, he was just required to stay in there until he could compose himself, he learned pretty quickly what was up when he had to do the walk of shame down the hallway. He is trying less and less of these behaviors on me... My husband is a whole 'nother story, this week when the kiddo was mad at me and he raised his hand to hit me, he thought better of it and he walked across the living room and slapped his dad instead. I shouldn't laugh but it is good for the hubs to realize now that he needs to do more follow through... plus I felt like a rock star... my kid isn't effing with me!!! It is the little victories!

  9. You're so awesome Missallizoom! You're child respects you so much! It's so hard to do and the fact that you did it is yuuuuge! Too funny about your husband! I would have had to go into another room to laugh. You're child is SMART! I love that our kiddos are so close in age!

  10. ROTL

    I consider parenting nothing more than psychological warfare. He is keeping you off balance. He will wait to strike when you are walking out the door and don't have time to follow your plan of attack. Toddlers...the master manipulators! Good luck. I would like to say it gets easier, but having a 4,8, and nearly 11 yo I know better than to make such a foolish statement! LOL ;)


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