Good cop, bad cop is a strategy we use all the time in disciplining the kids. From the onset, we agreed that we’ll rotate the roles so that it’s fair and we both get to be the good cop at some point. Because nobody wants to be the bad cop. Besides sociopaths, that is. Or masochists with a sadistic streak. But well, neither of us fall into those categories.
Unfortunately, it’s becoming quite apparent that daddy is emerging as the resident bad cop. Why? Because mommy has no backbone and she can’t keep a straight face when it comes to discipline. Also, it’s terribly weird to talk about myself in the third person.
The kids seem to sense that weakness and they have been exploiting it. They do their cute I’m-so-sorry-didn’t-mean-to-do-it move and I feel bad about being upset because they’re obviously just babies and innocent and all puppy dog eyes looking at me. That makes me immediately forget about how they spat out food all over the floor 30 seconds ago. WHILE I’M STILL STANDING IN THE SPITTLE. I’m such a cliche.
So now whenever we do good cop bad cop, Kelvin gets to be the bad cop while I dangle bribes of ice-cream and Yakult. It never works though and I don’t even know why I bother.
Me: Tru, if you finish your food mommy will let you have a scoop of ice-cream.
Tru: ICE-CREAM!!! GIVE ME ICE-CREAM! GIVE ME GIVE ME!!
Me: I meant you have to FINISH your food first.
Tru: I’m all done. Give me ice-cream!!!
Me: No, you’re not done. You can’t be done if you haven’t even started.
Tru: ICE CREAM!!!!
That goes on for a while until he grabs his head and slumps onto the table, which is his sign for “I don’t care about your stupid ice-cream anyway. It’s not worth having to swallow this broccoli for.”
That’s me wasting 15 minutes of my life trying to bargain with a two-year-old.
So it’s the cue for bad cop to step in.
Kelvin: Tru, open your mouth, say ahhhhh.
Tru: No, don’t like.
Kelvin: Do you like the naughty corner?
Tru: No, don’t like.
Kelvin: I’m going to count to three and if you don’t eat by the time I get to 3, you know where you’re going to. 1…2…
And it works like a charm. Once in a while he tries his luck and ends up in the naughty corner. Daddy says it’s about consistency, which I have none of. I keep trying to find excuses to cut him some slack, to not have to put him in the naughty corner because it breaks momma’s tender little heart to see him cry.
If this goes on I’ll be the kind of mother that has to leave the discipline to their husbands and the best they can do is pull out their killer phrase “wait till daddy gets home” whenever the kids start becoming bratty. But that won’t work very well for me because by the time daddy gets home, I’ll have a VERY LONG list of things, some of which I’m likely to forget.
I think I better start lessons on being a bad cop before Kirsten gets smarter and I get eaten alive by TWO kids with innocent baby eyes.