Ineffective parenting

There is talk in my household that this child…

…is my favourite.

The other children have decided this because this kid has a bed like this…

…but ends up falling asleep here…

…in my bed.
Every night.

He does eventually get carried back to his own bed.
But one day, he won’t weight 45 lbs.

I’m constantly being accused of babying this kid.
Here’s why though.

This afternoon I was driving with the kids.
The cute seven year old in the pictures above was wearing a hat with a pom-pom on the top.
My smart-ass, yet witty, 14 year old was sitting next to him, pulling on the pom-pom.

The seven year old says, “Mom, Wyatt keeps pulling on my hat.”
So I say, “Wyatt, leave his hat alone.”
Wyatt does not leave his hat alone.

So I say, “Wyatt, if you don’t stop, I’ll make you sit in the back of the van.”
Wyatt replies, “Well, then I’ll actually have easier access to his pom-pom.”

Good point.

So I say nothing more. Because what more is there to say, right.

Apparently there is much more to say, because the 14 year old goes on to proclaim, “Admit it, Mom, you think it’s funny when I torment Terran.”

It is funny. But I don’t admit it. Out loud. That would be wrong.

So as we’re driving along and the seven year old is slumped in defeat against the seat while the 14 year old continues to pull at the pom-pom, the 14 year old says, “Mom, you’re kind of ineffective.”
“What do you mean ineffective?” I ask.
“Well, you didn’t really insist that I stop bugging Terran. You could have taken away my computer priviledges, my cell phone, ‘My Name is Earl’, but you didn’t.”

Ok. Taking away any of those would only mean that I am the one dealing with the annoying 14 year old.
I’d much rather the cute seven year old have to put up with him.
So in turn, I make it up to the seven year old by letting him sleep in my bed.
Fair trade, I think.

Later on in the day though, the 14 year old is in the seven year old’s bedroom.

I hear the seven year old saying, “Wyatt! Get out of my room! You take too much room.” Wyatt is a big boy “You’re just a big piece of poo!” Wyatt is not a big piece of poo

Once the use of words used to describe excrement are flung as a means of self-defence, I know my work is done.

Wyatt comes to my room and says, “Mom! Did you hear that? He just called me a big piece of poo. Are you going to put up with that? You should punish him. Take away his ~insert any or all video gaming equipment~ so he knows that is not appropriate.”

I reply, “Sorry Wyatt, it would seem I’m too ineffective.”

The 14 year old slumps back downstairs and turns on the TV to watch ‘My Name is Earl.’

Ineffective ineshmective!

~Just an aside: it would seem I accidentally quoted a song by Chicago in my last post and gave credit to Billy Joel for it. Yeah yeah sure sure, so I never claimed to be Casey Kasem…I may have also quoted the lyrics wrong…shuddup…~

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86 Responses to Ineffective parenting
  1. Monkey Man
    January 6, 2011 | 4:54 pm

    I always wanted to be the first person to comment on your blog. Now I suppose I should go back and read it.

  2. Lisha @ DeLovely Life
    January 6, 2011 | 4:58 pm

    Bwahahaha! Ah, the joys of being ineffective. Gotta love the irony. And I personally completely approve of using excremental terms to insult others. Poo is funny…C'mon. You know it is.

  3. Thisisme.
    January 6, 2011 | 4:59 pm

    Brilliant end to that story!!! Serves Wyatt right. I'm afraid I'm always going to be on the side of the cute seven year old!!!

  4. Booyah's Momma
    January 6, 2011 | 4:59 pm

    Touche, mom!

    I can't wait until my kids are old enough that I can try to out-logic them. Sadly, I fear that may backfire, though.

  5. Oilfield Trash
    January 6, 2011 | 5:01 pm

    I remember those days.

  6. Gigi
    January 6, 2011 | 5:02 pm

    Yes~ I love that you threw his words back at him.

    So…14 year olds still tattle about being called poo? This discourages me. :)

  7. Monkey Man
    January 6, 2011 | 5:03 pm

    If you ever want to farm out Wyatt, give me a call. I think he would fit in just fine with our family. My Name is Earl, tormenting, smartass comments…works for me. Now it's off to write and read poetry. ;-)

  8. Heather
    January 6, 2011 | 5:04 pm

    Love it.
    The unspoken rule in my house is that can annoy each other all they want until they start to annoy me!!

  9. Holly Ruggiero
    January 6, 2011 | 5:08 pm

    Seems pretty effective to me.

  10. Cheeseboy
    January 6, 2011 | 5:09 pm

    This post is so funny.

    I secretly think it's funny when my younger one torments my older. So you wouldn't blame me for encouraging it a little, right?

    You know, that is a pretty sweet bed.

  11. twelvedaysold
    January 6, 2011 | 5:12 pm

    I was the baby. How I miss the days of falling asleep next to my mom and then my dad carrying me to bed when he came to bed. I see now why mom let me do that for so long, with three tormenting, much older siblings. It's a good reward, don't worry.

  12. Constar
    January 6, 2011 | 5:26 pm

    Hahahaha! inleast you told the 14 year old to stop. in my house its “deal with it yourself!” oh right, actually it was deal with it yourself until you pick on the youngest…. seriously the oldest = a shitty card! let the 14 year old yank on the pom pom! he's the one whose suffering!!!

  13. Queen B
    January 6, 2011 | 5:28 pm

    1) It's important to show favoritism to keep the others on their toes

    2) one day they will realize that mom is so much wiser than they are

    LMAO at “then I'd have to deal with him”

  14. Big Fat Gini
    January 6, 2011 | 5:33 pm

    You always crack me up!

    This reminded me of an incident over the weekend. Andrew was tormenting one of his little brothers. I grounded him from the computer from the night and he says, “it's not like it's I was going to use it anyway.”

    So, I said. Oh, okay. Hand me your iPod. That pretty much got the message across.

  15. JUST ME
    January 6, 2011 | 5:47 pm

    I used to torment my younger brother mercilessly.

    I'm not sure he's ever quite forgiven me for telling him he was found under a cabbage leaf and then adopted by my mom.

  16. Nicole MacDonald
    January 6, 2011 | 6:09 pm

    Sounds like normal sibling stuff to me *grin*

    The Arrival, on Amazon NOW!

  17. Renee
    January 6, 2011 | 6:10 pm

    Hahaha! Oh, how the tables have turned.

  18. Lanie Painie
    January 6, 2011 | 6:11 pm

    Funny story.

    This is what I don't get, though. Why let anybody treat any of your kids that way? If Terran was on the bus and another kid was messing around with his hat annoying him, wouldn't you want to kick that kid's ass? And if some other kid called your Wyatt a piece of shit, wouldn't you expect some retribution?

    I don't understand when siblings are allowed to treat each other with such disrespect. It sets up the expectation that family has a free pass to berate and torment one another.

    Just my 3 cents.

  19. anSeL
    January 6, 2011 | 6:12 pm

    this always happen in our house.
    girls bugging my son. poor son…but sometimes he takes advantage of it.

  20. Fizzgig
    January 6, 2011 | 6:27 pm

    I'm not a mom, but I am someones kid, and I think that every mom has a favorite, and you should just admit it.

    I have a favorite cat. i think its perfectly normal.

    My mom wrote me some erma bombeck poem to put in my senior year time capsule called “my favorite child” it ended up that we were all her favorite.

    i didnt buy it. my sister was always the fave.

  21. KittyCat
    January 6, 2011 | 6:34 pm

    I think it shows that your an awesome mom , since the word “poo” was used and not jackass.

    : )
    Mine are 16 & 20 and they still tattle on each other.

  22. Ashley
    January 6, 2011 | 6:38 pm

    sounds like good parenting to me and fair all the way around =) My parents had a similar approach when it came to stuff like this when my sister and I were growing up. good job, Mom! ;)

  23. ~ Darla ~
    January 6, 2011 | 6:49 pm

    Ahhh, how I love being the mother of an only child. She used to fight with the cat, but that I could handle.

  24. Rebecca
    January 6, 2011 | 7:00 pm

    It's the yen and the yang (use that one you'll get a laugh I'm sure) of parenting. What comes around eventually goes around, amiright?

  25. becca
    January 6, 2011 | 7:17 pm

    omg you go mommy use their own words against them loved this

  26. Patti Murphy
    January 6, 2011 | 7:19 pm

    Wyatt, hoist in his own petard (WTF is a petard anyway?)

    You've hit the nail on the head–following through on consequences punishes mom the most, so it's best not to have any.

    It's also best when having now consequences punishes each guilty party equally.

  27. Ginger
    January 6, 2011 | 7:29 pm

    Wyatt doesn't like being called poo?? thats a laugh.
    Terran is definitely assembling a great arsenal of vocab from his mom.

  28. Kim
    January 6, 2011 | 7:31 pm

    this is what I read: My children will forever be falling asleep in my bed and I will forever be moving them to their own bed when I want to sleep. Super. I have 3. They fight every night over who's turn it is to be in my bed. There is no end in sight. ;)

  29. Linda Medrano
    January 6, 2011 | 7:33 pm

    Wyatt is not a big piece of poo. But he is behaving like a big piece of poo. God love him. Get that boy some porn so he will leave the baby alone.

  30. Snake
    January 6, 2011 | 7:35 pm

    Yeah, it was Chicago, and I wasn't going to say anything, 'cause I'd never correct anyone on their own blog . . . lol Really, it's the norm for a 14 yo to torment a 7yo, but they'll grow out of that in two decades . . . BTW, he sure does look like you! Long train runnin' . . .

  31. Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal
    January 6, 2011 | 7:51 pm

    Of course you baby him. He is your baby. My baby is 17 and I still get accused of that by his brothers. They're always whining that he gets stuff they didn't. Wah, get over it. I'll help you google a good therapist. I am the baby and got away with lots more then my siblings. It's the way of the land, the circle of life, they better get used to it.

  32. Jojo
    January 6, 2011 | 8:14 pm

    Congrats! Your 14 year-old has a wonderful command of language. It would have made me proud if one have mine had used the word “ineffective.” Instead I do recall hearing “you don't know how to control your own kids,” fairly regularly from my kids when they were teens. It's basically the same thing…I think. Great story.

  33. The Adorkable Ditz
    January 6, 2011 | 8:16 pm

    Oh do I remember tormenting my brother and him tormenting me. We were totally evil towards each other for a while. Oh memories.

  34. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun
    January 6, 2011 | 8:22 pm

    It all works out! ;)

    I don't look forward to the fighting days between the 2 kiddos.

  35. Colleen
    January 6, 2011 | 8:22 pm

    Oh how I hope I'll be quick thinking enough to outwit my kids in an instance like this one. Quite funny. Love the post.

  36. Corey
    January 6, 2011 | 8:35 pm

    i was him. i still am. i am never to be found in my own bed! lol

  37. Melissa
    January 6, 2011 | 8:39 pm

    OMG..this is too hilarious! Big piece of poo! So let me get this right….Wyatt is not going to be punished for tormenting younger sibling…but said sibling should be punished for calling Wyatt names??? I love how the minds of children work.

  38. McKenzie
    January 6, 2011 | 9:13 pm

    Haha, teach him to tell you that your punishments were ineffective!

  39. Bouncin' Barb
    January 6, 2011 | 9:44 pm

    Haha, love you methodology. It's just pure and simple. What a cutie that little one is.

    You know, I knew the song was by Chicago but so what. You made a slip. And I knew there'd be someone who couldn't wait to point it out to you! Hugs and love!!

  40. Nicole
    January 6, 2011 | 9:45 pm

    Taking away “My Name Is Earl” is punishment?

  41. twilightgazing
    January 6, 2011 | 9:54 pm

    Ineffectively effective. I just love visiting your family.

  42. Kristina P.
    January 6, 2011 | 10:15 pm

    I wonder if had any kid who was a teenager, if they would be my favorite.

  43. StephanieC @ Seriously?? Really? Seriously?
    January 6, 2011 | 10:22 pm

    I can't believe the 14 year old would whine about being called poo.
    You'd think he'd have a crapping behind the couch reference in its place or something!

  44. Jessica
    January 6, 2011 | 10:31 pm

    Of course your 14 year old is witty, he's your kid right? Takes after his awesome mom. :)

  45. blueviolet
    January 6, 2011 | 10:38 pm

    Your 14 year old is going to grow up to be one savvy daddy.

  46. Lightning Bug's Butt
    January 6, 2011 | 10:41 pm

    Man, that's a cool bed!

  47. SkippyMom
    January 6, 2011 | 10:55 pm

    Off topic – but can you PLEASE write a post on people that get geeked out about writing the first comment on a person's blog. I don't get it. Are they aiming for favored child status.

    Oh – wait – that might be on topic. ;D

    I am the baby in my family – well I was – and my kids accuse me of the same thing with Wallene. I just tell the older ones they were “practice children” and now that I have it right Wallene is being raised the correct way. Sorry for the fail twenty somethings! Mommy loves you.

  48. Opto-Mom
    January 6, 2011 | 11:01 pm

    I'm apparently ineffective, as well. My daughter and her cousin are destroying her room, but I'm not doing a damn thing about it. I'm not supposed to walk without my boot on (broken leg bone near the ankle), and I currently have it off because my foot was sweating. So, I'm just yelling ineffectively from the living room.

    They even laughed at me when I yelled, “Just wait until your dad gets home!” BRATS!!!

  49. Kimberly
    January 6, 2011 | 11:06 pm

    Battle of wits…
    In this corner we have a prepubescent 14 year old weighing in at 3 cans of coke, 1 bag of Doritos, and 4 packages of twinkies he hid from his mom
    In the other corner we have Mom who kicks ass in a bikkini and never mind how much she weighs…
    I'd like to see that on UFC.
    PS my captcha code thing word was “tight”…made me giggle on so many levels

  50. Sparkling
    January 6, 2011 | 11:49 pm

    Ya know, I didn't think Billy Joel sang that but then I wasn't sure who did, so I thought maybe you were right. However, I can't really hear Chicago singing it either. I might have to consult with Mr. Kasem and see what he believes….

  51. GigglesandGuns
    January 7, 2011 | 12:00 am

    I am so enjoying reading about your family — because they are YOUR family. I no longer have to deal with these sorts of things. Your family makes sure I don't miss anything! LOL

  52. caterpillar
    January 7, 2011 | 12:12 am

    HA and a HA HA….dear old Wyatt seemed to have had it this time….lol…

  53. Snuggle Wasteland
    January 7, 2011 | 12:19 am

    I really think you should write a book filled with parenting advice. You could be the next Super Nanny!

  54. myevil3yearold
    January 7, 2011 | 12:34 am

    My rule is if no one is bleeding I am not getting involved. It is effectively uneffective.

  55. Mamma has spoken
    January 7, 2011 | 12:37 am

    I know what you are going through. All the sons are grown now and I STILL hear so and so is your favorite!

  56. Carri
    January 7, 2011 | 1:13 am

    HA. See, you snotty little 14 year old… Mom will ALWAYS be smarter than you! BOOM

  57. Brandy Rose
    January 7, 2011 | 1:37 am

    Smooth move! Don't you love it when you out smart the smartasses in your life? :D

  58. Julianna
    January 7, 2011 | 1:41 am

    I'd like to be ineffective… just once please.

    Oh, and in case you miss it, the post re: my ex-hole is now up… “The makings of a super villian” :)

  59. Geekin' Hard
    January 7, 2011 | 2:20 am

    lol; I remember doing the mental math trying to figure out if punishing X was actually going to cause me more work than it was worth.

  60. Impulsive Addict
    January 7, 2011 | 2:40 am

    LOVE this post!

    I was first born and I was trouble from 13-20. No seriously. I was HOR-I-BLE! My younger brother, I felt, was the favorite and probably still is. However, since I only have one child and I freakin' adore her, how will I love my second child to the same degree? It scares me but I can totally see how a mom could prefer one over the other.

  61. Impulsive Addict
    January 7, 2011 | 2:42 am

    BTW, I would LOVE to have 972 followers. Teach me! I'm drowning over here!

  62. Making It Work Mom
    January 7, 2011 | 3:03 am

    Ha! My children always claim I have favorites. I find though that when one is getting into “big trouble” the other ones tend to be super good. Hence my favorites.

    And I am all about being ineffective. I just call it letting them “problem solve”.

  63. dbs
    January 7, 2011 | 3:05 am

    I am totally going to threaten to take My Name is Earl away from my 14 year old. Thanks. And kudos for your ineffective effectiveness.

  64. Holly
    January 7, 2011 | 3:07 am

    This sounds so much like my boys… Sad thing is, they are 12 (Terran's role… but doesn't go to sleep in my bed… LOL!) and 13 (Wyatt's role… also a BIG BOY…) and NOTHING is effective with said 13 yr old that I've found… GAH!!!


  65. Rumour Miller
    January 7, 2011 | 5:07 am

    Seriously love this. So funny!

  66. Yvonne
    January 7, 2011 | 6:06 am

    Muahahahaha! Perfect! I love, love, love reading your posts! Your sense of humor is wicked and your writing inviting! :)

  67. The Mrs.
    January 7, 2011 | 6:13 am

    I have one that I “baby” too…I know it's true. Really, I do. BUT I will never, ever admit it. Ever.

    I had a brother like Wyatt…Wyatt should know: his is coming. Little brother won't be little forever ;)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving me some love. I love receiving comments…I'm sleazy like that. Oh! Those cupcakes…make them. You HAVE to…soooooo good!

  68. Mamarazzi
    January 7, 2011 | 6:50 am

    LOVE this post…seriously LOVE.

    different rules for different kids..that's just life. better to learn the lesson now, life ain't fair!

  69. S.I.F.
    January 7, 2011 | 8:34 am

    Oh this is absolutely hysterical!! Ha!!

    And I am going to make a point to call someone a big piece of poo tomorrow. Just because now, I really want to.

  70. The Girlie Blog
    January 7, 2011 | 9:40 am

    Looks like you have your hands full with a teenager and a 7-year old. I think it's nice to have such a dynamic family.

  71. Alex
    January 7, 2011 | 12:32 pm

    Love this post. So funny.

  72. knitwit
    January 7, 2011 | 1:57 pm

    You are my parenting role model.

  73. Florida
    January 7, 2011 | 2:31 pm

    I love your kids already! :) Your blog is awesome, please visit mine at Thank you.

  74. Just Plain Tired
    January 7, 2011 | 2:45 pm

    Sometimes ineffective works out to be quite effective. ;)

  75. meleah rebeccah
    January 7, 2011 | 5:30 pm

    Im an absolutely ineffective parent as well. And, that works for me!

    You're family is so much fun!

  76. Jill from Killeny Glen
    January 7, 2011 | 5:36 pm

    Ha! Funny how a big piece of poo is QUITE insulting! ;)

  77. Nick
    January 7, 2011 | 8:34 pm

    I was a little skeptical in the begining of your story but at the end you had me laughing. That is fantastic! To a certain extent its a good idea to let kids deal with each other. Nothing worse then coddled kids that grow up to be smashed by the big bad world.

  78. Colleen
    January 7, 2011 | 8:34 pm

    You are hilarious! I laughed while reading your children's antics! It doesn't sound as though you ever have a dull moment!

    I just wanted to say too that I like your description of who you are on your profile. It's so important to keep on seeking who we are!:) And I am a Manitoba girl myself…very cool.:)

  79. TheBabyMammaChronicles
    January 7, 2011 | 8:53 pm

    Such a sneaky yet effective plan :)

  80. My Big Secret Blog :)
    January 7, 2011 | 10:18 pm

    You're a way cool Mum than the 14 year old can ever hope to have!!

    January 7, 2011 | 10:54 pm

    my kids haven't accused me of that but they do say I “baby” one or two of the boys ;-) wow that is a neat bed with steps!! i'm so glad i inspired you to (think) about doing sit ups – lol!!

  82. Aleksandra Nearing
    January 8, 2011 | 12:49 am

    LOL i love your ineffectiveness :) But man, Lily's going to miss out being a Lonely Only (the Mother In Law came up with that).

  83. Jill
    January 8, 2011 | 2:26 am

    That little Terran is cute. He'd be my favorite too.

  84. Kimber Leszczuk.
    January 8, 2011 | 9:32 pm

    I love how you handled that one. :)

  85. Kelley
    January 9, 2011 | 6:28 am

    You're making me feel so much better about being ineffective with my own children. You're the best!

  86. Denise Kline
    January 9, 2011 | 3:16 pm

    Hi Sandra! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm following you back.

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