Amy Condon is a mum to 3 kids, who are all under 3! Yes, you heard us right. Each week she tells us all about the ups and downs of bringing up 3 children so close in age. This week Amy talks about the way her girls can wrap Daddy around their little fingers…
‘Fathers and daughters. It’s an age-old truth that however strong and intelligent a man is, give him a daughter and he melts. Just imagine what 3 of the little mites do to one.
My husband is a highly intelligent, good-looking, charming man (well, he might be reading this you know…). He’s a hard-worker, used to managing a team of equally strong-minded adults and getting great results. He can fend for himself and stand up against authority when required. As long as that authority isn’t a 17-month-old who’s just discovered the power of his name.
As soon as the twins arrived, my husband was mush in their hands. Over the past 3 years, they’ve learned which parent to focus their charms on when they’re on the quest for sweeties or cartoons or anything else Mummy frowns upon. They look up at him with those big, beautiful eyes, place their tiny hands in his… and get whatever they want. And now, they have an accomplice.
After tea the other night, Daddy treated himself to a chocolate pudding, and we let the girls have a small piece each. T wolfed down hers, while G ate the top then lost interest and wandered off. That just left M. She gulped that pudding like it had been dropped before her by the angels. Her eyes wide with wonder and joy, she shovelled and grabbed and licked until her bowl was clean. Then she looked up.
‘More pudding,’ she requested, eyeing up Daddy’s plate. With a guilty glance at me, he dipped in his spoon.
‘Just a tiny bit,’ he said defensively, as he leant across the table.
‘More chocolate pudding,’ said M, before her father could sit back down. I could see him cracking. ‘No, honey,’ I explained. ‘That’s Daddy’s.’
As he spooned in the last few bites, I could practically see the sweat forming on his brow.
‘More pudding there,’ M informed us, spotting G’s bowl. ‘No, that’s all gone,’ I said, motioning for Daddy to swoop the bowl away. But I was too late. M had been learning.
‘More pudding please,’ she cooed, widening her eyes just enough for her father to fall in. ‘No baby, all gone,’ I insisted. But she’s a good student. A great one. She’s been studying at the school of G and T, and has a degree in Daddy.
‘More chocolate pudding please Daddy. Please Daddy, please.’
The killer blow. Even I had to relent. Not for M but for my husband. She had pulled out the ace and he had folded.
As M happily smeared far too much chocolate pudding over her face, I looked at the broken creature who looked a bit like the vibrant young man I’d married, and shook my head. I’d lost my last ally. All 3 girls now knew the secret. Daddy might look big and tough, but he’s powerless in the face of a toddler pleading with him by name. That word, when used effectively, has the power to reduce a grown man to mush. ‘Daddy‘. It’s not like M hasn’t been saying it for months, but now she knows how to use it properly.
Since the pudding incident, M has been turning on the Daddy charm every chance she gets. She was riding on his shoulders earlier, when I saw him grimace in pain.
‘Enough now, sweetheart,’ he smiled, delicately manoeuvring her down and massaging what was obviously a tender joint. But it’s no pain, no gain as far as M’s concerned.
‘Again,’ she demanded, reaching her chubby little arms upwards. ‘Please Daddy, please.’
Not sure that poor man will ever walk again. And it’s not just M. As they’ve grown, although the twins still know how to charm their father, their technique has lapsed, with tantrums and huffs and backchat hindering their progress. Having seen M work her magic in its purest form though, they’re back on track. Eyes wide, arms outstretched and plenty of use of ‘Daddy’… It’s 3 against 1, and Daddy doesn’t stand a chance.
For Mummy, it’s not too bad. I’ve spent so many days saying ‘no’ so many times, that they eventually stop bothering to ask. I’m not worth the effort. Not sure if that makes me relieved or sad. I don’t want them to eat sweets or watch too much TV… But if they are going to occasionally, maybe it’d be nice to be the one who got the credit of dolling it out. I know I have to stay strong though. If they learn how to use ‘Mummy’, we’re all in trouble…’
Do your kids get away with more with their daddy than they do with you? Tell us about your experiences in our comments section below or on Facebook.
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