It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Nigel, Nigel, Nigel

Nigel is feeling obstreperous this morning.

We go to the park. We sit at the edge, the five of us, digging in the sand. Nigel has a bucket and shovel, like everyone else. His bucket is, apparently, far better than the other four identical buckets. He is indignant when the other children do not acknowledge his superiority. Worse, they don’t even care!

Nigel trundles off with a bucket of sand, ascends the stairs on the play structure, and proceeds to dump his bucket of dirt down the slide. Damp dirt, as it’s a rather chill and damp day.

“Nigel, it’s fun to play with the sand, but we can’t dump it down the slide. People want to sit on the slide, and they will get their bums all dirty. You can dump the sand on the table in the play house, if you like.” I explain as I swipe the slide clear of dirt.

Nigel trundles down the steps and gets himself another bucket of sand. Which he proceeds to dump down the slide.

“Nigel. What did I say about the slide?”

“Don’t dump sand onna slide.”

“Exactly. Now come clean the slide off.”

He does. With a scowl. Then gets his little bucket, fills it with sand, AND DUMPS IT DOWN THE SLIDE. And scowls at me.

“Okay, Nigel. Come off the play structure. No more climbing for you.”

With another scowl — this is threatening to become permanent — Nigel stomps down the stairs. Stomps across the dirt. Stomps back to the others, who are still digging, chattering together, peaceful little companions to each other.

“Hey! Timmy! Get outta my spot!”

Seems like Nigel is going to have One of Those Days.

October 23, 2007 - Posted by | aggression, Nigel, outings


  1. Wow, I learned a new word today! Obstreperous. What a wonderful word.

    Comment by BookMama | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hi–sounds like Nigel may be developing a negative attitude in these circumstances (smile). When I’ve seen our little ones act like that, I’ve begun to understand that they are actually uncertain about how to shift to a more joyful mood.

    At least in this mood he’s still cooperative (smile)!

    Comment by The New Parent | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  3. Bookmama: Isn’t it great? And so very useful, when you have toddlers!

    New Parent: Yes, I know. I was being deliberately facaetious. Aiming for a laugh, you see.

    Comment by MaryP | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  4. New Parent:
    I think you’re uncertain about how to shift to an appreciation of MaryP’s sense of humour. Don’t be so darned earnest!

    Comment by Stephen | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  5. Yeah, New Parent. Lighten up. Mary’s been doing this for about ten times longer than any of the rest of us. This post is for laughing, not advice.

    Comment by Laura | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  6. When my son has one of these days, one part of me is outraged that he’s being such a little terror, but the other part? Wants to crack up soooo badly! *g*

    Comment by Kat | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  7. Bahahaha…”Hey! Timmy! Get outta my spot!”

    And I had to look up obstreperous…nice word. 😛

    Comment by Sheri | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  8. I did know this word–but that is probably because I’m a bit obstreperous myself, these days!

    Comment by LoryKC | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  9. Kat: They’re so funny, aren’t they? Sometimes you just don’t know what’s going on in their heads; other times, you know exactly what’s happening — either way, it’s usually funny!

    Sheri: Yup. The entire, 15 metre by 15 metre sandbox, and he needed THAT piece of it inhabited by Timmy’s bottom. THAT’s obstreperous. (And isn’t it a great word??)

    Lory: Still waiting on that baby, are we? I well remember those days. (And I’m glad they’re over!! LOL) I’d say “hang in there”, but you don’t have a whole lot of choice on that one anyway!

    Comment by MaryP | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  10. Oh, sigh. Some days, there is just. no. winning.
    That’s the days when I decide to just not engage.

    Comment by kittenpie | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  11. Oh, we’ve had more and more of those days with Maya. She hits a morning once per week or so (perhaps even twice now) where she simply cannot be in a good mood or agreeable about anything.

    I’m learning to just sit back, grin, and wait until the storm passes, as long as she’s not a danger to self or others. Three is so…three.

    Comment by Allison | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  12. I’m a little confused by New Parent’s comment. Why does Nigel need to shift to a “joyful” mood? If I was in his shoes, I wouldn’t be joyful. Do children need to be “joyful” all the time?

    Oh, and, “Hi, Mary!!”

    Comment by MiM | October 24, 2007 | Reply

  13. I know about those days. Unfortunately Ian seems to be having several days in a row like that. Ugh.

    Comment by mamacita tina | October 25, 2007 | Reply

  14. Are you sure his name isn’t Alexander?

    Comment by Matthew | October 26, 2007 | Reply

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