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Dad learns to Discipline

I am ‘Mommyeeee’ to an intelligent, almost-rebellious 9 year old, and an innovatively naughty, hyperactive 4 year old. While I am mostly a ‘cool’ Mom, there are days when I throw all caution to the wind and resort to the earliest form of discipline known to mankind – also known as ‘Because-I-told-you-so’

Dad learns to Discipline - Meena Bhatnagar

More than once, I have caught the siblings enacting their favorite dictator; namely me. My daughter perches a pair of glasses precariously on her little nose and in a high octave that would put an opera singer to shame say, “Because I told you so, and I am your Mamma……” to her brother literally ROFLing in pure glee.

While happy that both my kids show such a bias towards fine arts, I would definitely not like to be the villain of their lives all the time! That’s when I decided enough is enough, and their father would not get away with being the good cop forever.

Evening saw me sending the kids into the living room, with a treat that was rare in our household – Maggi, Coke and Chota Bheem, with a smiling threat to “stay in front of your cartoons till you are called.”

As an incredulous husband watched on, as I proceeded to shut the door of the master bedroom.

Ignoring the naughty glint in his eye, I said, “OK. Your turn now. I’m done being Hitler. I am done being the butt of all their jokes. You do the discipline thing now, or let them grow up to be Indian cricketers or something. Can you even imagine what they would tell their friends about me? And when they grow up, all they will remember about me is that I was mean. And then they will tell their spouses, and their children, and I will be the worst grandmother in the history of grandmothers – all because of you!”

He started tugging at his tie like he somehow willed the tie to strangle him out of this new situation. But I think he must have realized that being mean was better than being dead, so he said a very unconvincing, “Okay…. But I thought you liked…..”

He stopped short before he could damage his windpipe any further. But I think I heard a faint “Hail Hitler!” as he left the room.

And thus it was settled. G (my better half) would discipline, and I would pamper. Role reversal of sorts, which I couldn’t wait to start ….. All my mollycoddling instincts would be honed and my grandkids would know me as a graceful, loving, pampering person. Perfect.

Day 1

I woke up G and reminded him that he was to get the kids ready for school. I’d help him ofcourse, (there was no way my kids went to school looking like they just woke up from bed!) but he was to do the waking up, the ‘hurry-up-with-that-milk’ routine instead of me.

He went to the daughter first, shook her sayingthings like “Woo…hoo…. I am the ghost of the black riverrrrr…… and anyone who does not wake up when I count to fiiiiiiiivvvvve, will be tickled till they cryyyyyyyyy……..” with me standing next to the door, tapping my feet impatiently.

Daughter dearest woke up laughing, and the two of them did a five minute wake-up jig for the son as well. I was not going to let discipline be so much fun!

“The school bus will be here in half an hour and I will not beg the driver to wait for you!” Ofcourse G made sure the kids were ready a good ten minutes before the bus arrived – record time.

With a smirk that said, “Gotcha!” he went right back to sleep.

Evening was the same story. Kids at the study table, G telling them to study and interspersing study time with hilarious stories of his school.

“They are not going to remember anything if they study like this.” I called out from the kitchen. And G said in a high pitched nasal voice (now I know where daughter dearest gets her mimicry skills from) “Better study fast or you will not get any dinner,” to squeals of uncontrollable laughter from the kids.

I stormed out of the kitchen into the bedroom. G walked in while I sulked and said, “What? I took them off your hair, didn’t I? And what harm is a little fun?”

“You were supposed to make me look good,” I hissed. “And you really think all this is a joke, don’t you?”

Oh,” he said as realization struck him. “Ok…. Let’s do this again.” He said, with an air of mischief, as he stepped into the living room.

“Papa, what do plants give out when they make food?” That was nine year old, scrunching her eyes at the science book.

“Umm….. I think if they are like Mom, they give out orders?” as he guffawed.

“Papaaaaa! I have to study this for tomorrow’s quiz.” Clearly, this wasn’t working.

“No, sorry dear; that was a joke. Actually, I have no clue. Ask Mom. Mom knows all that stuff. And you need to sit with her for atleast an hour everyday so that you can learn all that. Also, we all need to follow all the rules. And then, we have fun. Deal?”

She nodded and came to me with her science book – happily.

Ditto with 4 year old monster. He was behaving well, the promise Papa had made lurking in his little brain. Uneventful Evening. No. Actually…. happy evening. They even kissed me goodnight. Sigh!!

Day 2

Looks like I am going to be the villain any which way. But atleast I lost to a deserving competitor.


Meena Bhatnagar is a mother of two, with a passion for the written word. She dabbles with fiction, a couple of them finding their way into published work, is an avid blogger, and works as a corporate trainer to pay for all the damages. She blogs on parenting, social issues and humorous incidents of her life at  and on hotel & restaurant reviews and corporate training at