The Horrible Home for Naughty Girls . . .

I should’ve known from the high-heeled trainers and inch thick make-up that this particular lady and I weren’t going to have a whole heap in common – least of all parenting skills. Life’s funny like that isn’t it? Just as you’re doubting your ability as a parent, some f**kwit Mum throws in her two penneth of moronic advice and makes you feel like Parent of the year. I know – I bang on about us Mums sticking together, not bitching, supporting each other, but this particular (lady?) has truly astounded/horrified me. Not only that, she had to NERVE to tell me how I should deal with my daughter. I’d best explain:

Shopping with the Giblet has become a bit of a chore. In fact it was getting pretty much impossible as it would seem to my daughter that a supermarket is a billion times more fun to run around in than any soft play centre or park. I only have to look away long enough to put something in the basket and Woooooooosh – she’s tearing off down the isle. The weekly shop with Grace is a constant struggle between riding out the screams and thrashing that ensue if I put her in the trolley seat, or letting her down and trying to persuade her to stay with Mummy and help. The latter is favoured as it is less demanding on the ear drums. Anyhoo – we got her a miniature, Gibby-sized shopping trolley from the toy shop. It even has a baby seat to put dolly in, and so far, it’s working a treat. Yesterday, she trundled happily along beside Mummy: her with her trolley and I with mine. She carefully selected her very own carrot and placed it in her trolley. She then went on to add a pack of baby wipes and a tin of spaghetti hoops. She politely encouraged other shoppers out of her way with a “Beep beep please!” and proudly showed her wares to the checkout lady. “Look, Gracie’s cerret. S’mine.” (For some reason, she pronounces the word “carrot” more poshly than the Queen.) It all went wrong when we got to the car park and I had to empty her trolley. This upset her greatly and she ran off. Toddlers running on car-parks, I hope you’ll agree, is not a desired scenario and I BELLOWED at her to stop. “DANGEROUS Grace! Stay with Mummy!” She was swiftly picked up kicking and screaming and wrestled into the car seat.

“Here y’are let me help you love.” Aforementioned annoying mother appears at my side and lifts the toy trolley into the car for me whilst I’m faffing with seatbelts. “Do you mind if I say something? There’s no point shouting at them, it doesn’t work. I just ignore our Mia.”
Our Mia is sat on her hip looking vacantly at me.
Why did I respond? Why was I so polite? Curse my good nature! “I do try to ignore her when she’s having a tantrum but not when she’s on a car park.”
“Oh I would. Honestly.” I’m face to face with her now.
“On a car park??!”
“Oh yeah!” She taps the side of her head knowingly. “Got eyes in’t back of me ‘ead me, I’m like, dead tuned in.”
Oh for F*** sake go away.
“Right well, I don’t think I’m brave enough to risk it – but thanks for your help” and I walk round to the driver’s door.
“I tell you what else works . . .” she’s tottering after me to make sure her wisdom is thoroughly imparted. “Watch this . . .” The conversation that followed between her and her toddler daughter is the bit I find the most incredulous:
“What happens when you’re naughty Mia?”
“Police come.”
“And what do the Police do?”
“Take me away.”
“Where do they take you Mia?”
“Horrible home for naughty girls.”
Spoken together in unison: “And I won’t see Mummy EVER again.”
Honestly true. Good God.
I have a friend in the police force and I ran this by him. He told me it was really common, that he’d often get parents pointing him out on foot patrol and telling their offspring that he was there to take them away if they’re naughty.
When she’s old enough to understand, I’ll be drumming it into Grace that Policemen and women and there to HELP. That: God forbid, if she’s ever lost, or if something happens and she sees the police, she should go to them, not be terrified that they’ll abduct her.
Am I on my own with this?


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11 responses to “The Horrible Home for Naughty Girls . . .

  1. Jenny Gawne

    Pha ha! I love it! I am now an official candidate for supermum!

  2. Im with you, I hate this sort of thing. Same in a shop I always taught mine if they get lost inside a shop to find somebody that worked in there and talk to them, uniforms are friendly
    Its like people telling kids if they are naughty Santa wont come

  3. iotamanhattan

    I think that is trading long-term trust-building for short-term compliance. Anyone can scare a child into immediate good behaviour. But you’ve got a lifetime ahead of you. I go for trust-building and relationship-building every time (in theory…).

    I love the idea of Gracie’s “cerret”.

  4. I’m so with you on the Police thing, the first time we saw one outside a supermarket I drummed into DD that if she was ever lost or in trouble she should always look for a policeman or woman and tell them she needed help. Hopefully it will never happen. Incidentally, I find lollipops help in the trolly department… 🙂

  5. That is atrocious! I hate it when people scare children into submission, and I hate it even further when they tell children that police are there to be scared of or hate.

  6. Good grief! My twin sister is in the force and she has had daft mothers grab her by the arm and ask her to do the same. Thankfully she has been able to get down to child level and chat to the wee one who was by then distraught!… And the schools wonder why we are getting more and more disturbed authority hating children through the system! I have on the other side done what the lady in the advert has done and thrown myself down to do the same as my little ‘darling’, bet your mad woman would have like that one! Good luck with the tempers Minty, it does get easier…. until they get hormonal.. oh dear lord lol xx

  7. That is unbelievable! The very worst thing to teach children, to be scared of the police. What a great way to terrify your small child.

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