I was in office lost in a spreadsheet trying to find out trend in some data, where none existed. The phone rang and the elder one was on other side, she wanted to know if she can watch some aimless animation on the TV. Without blinking or thinking I said yes, and did not even waited to hear her thanks.
Soon this became routine every other day I will get a call from her and typically it will be about asking to do something, and every time my answer would be yes. Never did I realise what a trap I have fallen into. This continued for some time and I never noticed any trend or pattern in this. Till one day the kiddos phone call was followed by my cool as cucumber Missus, who suddenly appeared to be long lost sister of Saboo of Chacha Chowdhary comics fame (Remember “Jab Saboo ko Gussa Ata hai Kahin Jwala mukhi futta hai losley translated: When Saboo is angry a volcano erupts somewhere!)
I could make out something is wrong and promised to listen to her once back home in the evening. Long story short, there was clearly a trend in this set of data. Anytime the mom will say no to something the kiddo who has just learned my cell phone number will call me in office, and use my nod as a veto against her mother.
Now we were not sure if the kiddo understood what she is doing by escalating matters to me, it was clear I had failed to comprehend the situation. Once she was asleep Missus and I started exchanging notes. Please note you below apply to both me and Missus as some times the kiddo was coming to me and at others going to her mom when I had said no.
“She asked you for watching TV when I said no”
“She asked you for taking one more chocolate when I said no”
“You allowed her to sit in the front seat of car, when I have told her to sit in back”
“You never even think why I said no”
“Well nor do you ever ask me before saying yes to something I have said no”
It continued for some time and the verdict was we were both guilty of letting the kiddo take advantage of the situation. We debated a bit more but could not reach a conclusion if the other person was accepting a request to be the favourite parent of the kid or it never occurred to us to check with the other. But we agreed that this cannot continue any longer and we had to present a joint front of the little one.
Soon some rules were formulated (read dictated to me by the Missus) and any time the kiddo called me in office my pet answer was
“Just talk to your mom, and do what she says, OK?”
And if the escalation was to the mother, she would simply say
“Let me check with your father to find out what you have told him”
Now I am not saying that the kiddo was scheming for all this, but one thing was for sure, subconsciously she had this feeling that NO from one parent was not enough and she can get a favourable answer from the other parent. What she did do or not do was never give full story and narrate the parts that will give her a favourable decision in great length.
But kids learn fast and soon she realised, her little escalations are not working anymore on any of the parents. A few days were hard with lots of tantrums, etc. and one of the days I was declared “Mama ke chumchay”, not sure from where she picked up this expression. But you should have seen the smile on her mother’s face, when the daughter knighted me with the title. But order was restored in the family, with the mom as the undisputed Czarina.
So what is your experience? Do your kids also try to cajole a yes from one of you when the other has said no? And how do you deal with the same?
Sasha and Prasad Np are proud parents of 2 girls whom they fondly call Princess and Pinkette. He wears many hats after taking a break from being corner office critter for a long time. He is now an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, traveler and a potential investor in start-ups with unique concepts especially if they are in travel related business. He blogs at Desi Traveler, and can be reached at Facebook and Twitter.