It’s Not All Mary Poppins

It’s my Christmas miracle

Nissa, as I’ve said before, is a busy baby.

And four-year-olds (as I know I have mentioned previously but can’t find the posts, dammit) have a fondness for the Rules which can make them a tad officious. Little police-men and tattlers of the daycare. Nigel, who is with us today, is very definitely four. He’s always been a bit anal, with a strong tendency to get anxious when things aren’t done PRECISELY as they have Always! Been! Done!!! Put anxiety-boy plonk in the middle of the RulesRUs stage, and you have a recipe for a day filled with tattling, power struggles, recrimination, finger-pointing, shouting, stomping..

I brace myself. Practice my deep breathing. Dust off my practiced anti-tattling sentences. (“Is anyone bleeding? Is it dangerous? No? Then you don’t need to tell me.”)


“No, Nissa, you can’t do that. Let’s colour.”
“That is too small to put in your mouth. You can have this crayon instead.”
“Nissa, I don’t think you’re allowed to stand on the couch.”
“Hey, Nissa. I can put your bib on for you.”
“If you spit out that playdough, I will make you a snake.”

Once in a while, you get that perfect, near-miraculous combination of the Rule-bound 4-year-old who can express the rules with sensitivity and respect (!!!) and a 19-month-old who has stars in her eyes and will do ANYTHING that Big Boy says.

And then, my friends? THEN you have achieved Nirvana. If only for the moment.

December 7, 2009 - Posted by | manners, Nigel, Nissa, socializing | , , , , , ,


  1. awww! that’s so cute!

    Isn’t it? Just made my day, those little sweeties.

    Comment by Dana | December 7, 2009 | Reply

  2. Tactful lad, what a sweetie.

    He’s come a loooong way, has Nigel! But, yes, to my unbounded astonishment (and pleasure) “tact” is now one of his character traits. All things are possible, indeed!

    Comment by Z | December 7, 2009 | Reply

  3. Wonderful!

    Comment by Rayne of Terror | December 7, 2009 | Reply

  4. “If you spit out that playdough, I will make you a snake.” *snrk*

    I had the same reaction to that one. Glad someone else caught it! Heh.

    Comment by Matt C | December 7, 2009 | Reply

  5. impressive!

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | December 7, 2009 | Reply

  6. You forgot the third and vital element of the “perfect, near-miraculous combination”: loving guidance and modelling of appropriate behaviour by attentive childcare provider.

    Why thank you! What a lovely comment. I really appreciate it.

    Comment by Altissima | December 7, 2009 | Reply

  7. “Is anyone bleeding? Is it dangerous? No? Then you don’t need to tell me.”
    – Thank you for that. I think that will be my mantra for a while. We need a similar Christmas miracle with our five and two year olds.

    You’re welcome! You can follow the link in this post to another that deals with tattling more specifically, and if you search the blog, I’m sure you’ll find more. Starting about 4 years old, it’s a chronic issue!

    Comment by Mwa | December 7, 2009 | Reply

  8. Hi Mary, I have been reading for a while and never commented. I love the way you write and your stories about the children. They are lucky to have such a caring and professional child care provider. As a mother of a child who also had wonderful child care in a group setting, I wonder one thing: do any of your parents know about your blog? The only reason I ask is that you write such lovely things about the children and their activities, and I would have loved to have that when I was at work wondering what my child was up to all day! I know I really enjoyed it when the child care workers told me a cute or funny story about my child, but they dried up when the centre got busier and there was not a lot of time at pick up to share stories.
    Phew, this is a long comment, I’ll stop now.

    Comment by Hayley | December 12, 2009 | Reply

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