It’s Not All Mary Poppins

It’s Tough to be the Centre of the Universe

Little Zach is thrilled by a new toy he has discovered.


he declares, trembling with excitement. My ears ring in less than excited response.

“Yes, that’s a new horse. Please don’t shout in the house, sweetie.”

Arthur’s face appears round the corner, eyes narrowed with indignation,

“I’m not shouting!”

October 4, 2005 - Posted by | Developmental stuff, individuality, the things they say!


  1. But who else would be “sweetie” but Harry?

    Comment by Haley | October 4, 2005 | Reply

  2. I’m not sure how many times a day I have that same “shouting” conversation with my son. 🙂

    Comment by Cheryl | October 4, 2005 | Reply

  3. Haley: Exactly!

    This kid really is something for the self-centredness, though. Far and away more than the average 3 year old. Not that he’s nasty at all, he’s not! But every good thing that happens should be happening to him; if it’s not, he’s right in there, trying to make himself the centre of it. Lots of kids to that. But he even does it in instances like this – with the bad stuff! Even when he wasn’t in the room where it occurred! Thankfully, he’s generally completely oblivious to what goes on in his surroundings, unless it’s very carefully preceded with a clear “Harry?” This would be unusual, for him to pick up on something from the next room like that. And yet representative of the boy!

    Cheryl: There’s a device out there that I am trying to source, which is used in several kindergarten classrooms. Looks like a headset, but its purpose is “auditory feedback”. In other words, the child hears himself, at just the volume you hear him! A teacher friend of mine says that the results are dramatic. I’ll bet they are: suddenly, there’s someone bellowing in your ear! (And the teacher or parent sits aside, smug and evil, thinking: “Now tell me you’re not yelling!”) Bwah-hahahaha.

    Comment by Mary P. | October 5, 2005 | Reply

  4. My device deosn’t need batteries. It’s called a serious look and a little chat with daddy. Works pretty well for me.

    Comment by Simon P. Chappell | October 5, 2005 | Reply

  5. Maybe Harry has heard Stop shouting! so many times, he is justified in assuming you’re talking to him. When you say I love you I never look around to see who else is in the room.

    Comment by Q | October 5, 2005 | Reply

  6. Simon: By and large, that’s the method I use, with laudable success. There are, however, children who just don’t seem to have the standard volume control/awareness, and while they can be taught to moderate their volume, it’s never natural to them, and it comes very slowly. It also doesn’t help when their parents are also – lovely folk though they may be – are also LOUD. And in this case, of course, Harry wasn’t shouting!

    Q: LOL You’re absolutely right, my dear. Of course! From that perspective, his response makes perfect sense!

    Comment by Mary P. | October 5, 2005 | Reply

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