Would Supernanny approve of a disco ball?

Supernanny is on the Style Network every day now, and I tune in every day despite how terrified that show makes me. No. Seriously.  Before I had Kendall I used to laugh my ass off at that show, now it truly, deeply, emotionally disturbs me, and yet, I can’t look away. It’s not so much the episodes that feature the dimwit parents who are so obviously screwing up their kids that get to me, it’s the ones where the parents appear to have just lost their way. It seems like they started out trying, but just… gave up. Those are the ones that haunt me in my dreams because, in all honesty, that could be me one day.

So I’m taking this whole raising a button-pushing toddler to become a well-behaved child thing pretty seriously.  I feel like I’ve got to jump ahead of him, be ready for the first big tantrum in the mall, be ready for the first time he bites someone. I refuse to be the parent who gets so overwhelmed they just give up. I can’t have “that kid” that haunts me in my dreams. DO NOT WANT. Yes, I get that no matter how much you discipline or re-direct, you can never avoid these meltdowns. It’s not that I’m looking to avoid them, just preparing my arsenal so that I’m capable of dealing with them.

The problem is, well, nothing I’m trying is really working. First I bought Happiest Toddler on the Block by one of my true loves, Dr. Harvey Karp (who taught me how to get my colicky baby to sleep with his first book, Happiest Baby on the Block). Everything was going well until I actually tried to speak Toddlerease (basically you are speaking to your kid like a caveman… no, really, that’s exactly how it’s described) to Kendall when he broke down and had a little fit when I would not let him have the box of fruit leathers I tossed in the cart at Target.

“Kendall’s MAD. Kendall wants snacks NOW! Kendall wants that box. right. now!”

::man pushing cart coming toward me looks at me with eyebrows raised::
::flash smile to man who thinks I’m crazy::
::fight back uncontrollable urge to laugh out loud at myself::

Kendall was still fussing for the box, and I know Dr. Karp says that at that point I needed to be a little louder, a little more enthusiastic with the Toddlerease, but I just… I just couldn’t demoralize myself like that in public anymore, at least not with a straight face. I handed Kendall the box of fruit leathers and went straight to checkout. FAIL.

Okay, clearly we are going to need to try another method. So I fell back on the mental notes I’ve been taking from Supernanny and decided to designate a “naughty corner” for timeouts. That’s right. I will be putting my 16 month old in timeout, and before you go laughing at me for being so ridiculous (just like I laughed at myself for contemplating something so ridiculous), I will just say that I’ve heard from many moms that they can actually get their 16 month olds to sit in time out for up to a minute. They insist it just takes persistence the first few times. You have to keep walking them back to the timeout spot you’ve designated until they learn to stay where you put them.

After climbing up on the spinny office chair for the 50th time in one day last week (this was pre big amazing gate called George), I decided it was the perfect time to try out timeout. I warned him three times that if he climbed on the chair he would go to timeout, and he laughed at me and ignored me each time so I took him to the corner.

“Kendall, you are in TIME OUT because you didn’t listen to mommy and.. Hey! Come back here!”

::Kendall runs away, cackling like an evil warlock, looking over his shoulder with glee::
::chase him, bring him back, start over::

“Kendall you are in timeout because you didn’t listen to mommy and climbed on the dangerous chair,” said, really, really fast this time with one arm sticking out so as to stop him from running off again.

He tried to break free probably three more times. Then, just as I was trying to tell him that I would let him out if he stayed in the corner for 10 seconds, Kanye West’s “Heartless” started playing over surround sound and Kendall breaks out in a serious rump shake. I’m talking some straight up clubbing moves. I swear, I really don’t know where he got it… really.

He gives me this look as if to say, “Whazzup mom? A’ight. I’ll just stay here and get low, low, low, low.”  Operation Be a Serious Mommy who Means Business flew right out the window as I laughed so hard I literally had to cross my legs to keep myself from peeing, all the while trying to get out, “Kendall…no… I’m SERIOUS… no… stop…timeout…be…what are you doing?!”

But, he DID stay there and dance for at least 10 seconds, and when it was over he totally forgot about the spinny chair and instead ran to the stereo and signed “please” while saying “boo boom!” (which meant that he desperately wanted to break it down to some “Boom Boom Pow”)… so that counts, yes?

I’m thinking I just need to throw a disco ball over the “naughty corner” and maybe pimp it out with some black lights. I could really be on to something here, OR I could just be setting myself up for a really embarrassing visit from Supernanny. This is probably also a sign that I should select my Ipod playlists more carefully when it’s not naptime.

Kendall is 16 months and one week old

50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
Available now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


  1. Michelle Nolan on

    I SOOOOOO wish I could see a video of his little dance. I was trying not to pee while picturing this! I wish I had a solution. Caroline just laughs at me, no matter what I try, too.

  2. I swear outside of the blogging world we would be best friends and so would our kids. My Jude was born on May 8th, so he and Kendall are almost exactly the same age. The kid LOVES music and pounds the beat out on his chest – which is his own baby sign for music if he does it when there is no music playing yet. He falls asleep listening to The Beatles (of course), but in the day he will do ANYTHING for Heartless. It’s hisfavorite song on the planet and we even bought the video for our Ipod. It was a lifesaver on the 50 billion airplane rides we’ve had to go on, but a little embarrassing when people would ask us what he was watching. I think they expected to hear us answer with Thomas the Train or Go Diego Go or something, but we said with a straight face, “Kanye West” as Jude in the background with his dad’s oversized headphones is bobbing his head to the beat.

    And his booty pop (as we call it)!! You’d think he had some funk in his blood, rather than the whitest of all white genes that he’s got!

    The best is when he booty pops in his crib while holding onto the crib rails. It looks like a little baby strip club (not that I would know).

    I love him!

  3. And this is one of my biggest fears – that I’ll be too busy laughing to enforce any real effective discipline. Wish I could have seen it too. 🙂

    By the way, to be on Supernanny you need to pop out about 4 more kids. At a minimum.

  4. I don’t think I have ever laughed as hard as I did when reading this! I’m laughing with you, not at you I swear because I could have written this post pretty much word for word!
    I have no idea how to actually discipline my child. I just can’t do it (I also will be appearing on Supernanny someday). He and Kendall probably send some sort of toddler signals to each other all day because he sounds exactly like my son. Your blog cracks me up…glad to know that there are other moms out there who are in the same situations!

  5. OMG! You need to put up a warning for the seriously hilarious posts. I’m about to pee my pants at work.

    Seriously… Sitting at my desk, trying to figure out how to tell my boss I need depends.

  6. You won’t have “that” kid because you don’t want “that” kid and are trying your best to discipline him appropriately. The difference between the parents of those wild kids and the parents of well-behaved kids is that desire. Without that feeling present, all bets are off. A lot of parents either don’t try to discipline or don’t have a clue as to the proper way to communicate with kids. It sounds to me like you have a good handle on it, and are just dealing with the typical temperamental toddler. No panicking, you’re doing a great job!

  7. Oh my goodness!! That is way too funny!! I absolutely love it. I think that being aware that it might be you is the best way to keep yourself from being them. And what I found is that if you let your kid throw themselves on the floor and throw a fit (and do not try to placate them because it is embarrassing – and BOY is it embarrassing) and then do not give them what they want they outgrow the stage really quickly.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.