Chalk and cheese children

It’s a funny old game, bringing up kids.  Take Amber, for instance.  This week she’s regularly driven us from helpless love to gritted-teeth rage in the space of just seconds.  Basically, she’s a bit of a handful just now.

Tuesday morning she jumped out of her bed, ran into my room (the Lovely Melanie left for work at 5.30am) absolutely desperate to show me some toy mermaids.  She was so excited she was jumping up and down on the spot.  Completely adorable.

Ten minutes later, I was downstairs with Millie eating breakfast while Amber remained upstairs, kicking, screaming and shouting “Stupid meany Daddy!”  All because I’d told her (five times) to put the mermaids down and get dressed.

Ten minutes after that she was back downstairs quietly eating her breakfast.

Five minutes later she was once again on her back kicking, screaming, etc., because that first tantrum hadn’t left her enough time to have a second bowl of cereal.

Thus did the morning pass.

Part of the problem is that she’s quite different in temperament to her sister – the methods and tricks we used to use on Millie to discipline her bring her up properly don’t tend to work on Amber.

Millie was quite a placid, easy-going little thing most of the time.  But when she did occasionally get angry…whoa, you better watch out.  The Lovely Melanie and I were laughing last night, remembering the times when a benny got out of hand and we would shut Millie in her bedroom until she calmed down (you don’t pay any heed to children having tantrums, otherwise they learn that a tantrum is a surefire way to get them attention).

Locked in her room, Millie would go absolutely feral for anything up to 20 minutes: shouting, screaming, throwing things, smashing things – she would completely lose her frickin’ mind!

And then, worn out, she’d come back to us and we’d have a chat about how silly this was, what a mess she’d made – but that we still loved her very much, we just weren’t going to put up with anyone in the house having a benny.

And that would be it for a couple of months.

Amber on the other hand… Amber Amber Amber…

Amber can flip in and out of a benny like most people switch a light on or off.  She’ll know she’s being naughty, but doesn’t seem to grasp the consequences properly, no matter how many times we warn her.  Then, when the consequences (surprise!) kick in, she’ll cry and shout and pout and call me a “stupid meany Daddy”.

But she doesn’t go feral.

She’ll quickly recover, smile and go off to do something else…and five minutes later is back on the floor, kicking her legs in the air and grizzling “I want [insert thing that is wanted]!”

It’s all rather tedious and time-consuming.  I hope she puts two and two together soon, and notices that all these bennies aren’t getting her anywhere


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