It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Bah, humbug

I love walking the dog. The early morning sunshine, slanting through the trees by the river, the dew on the green grass, the birds chirping, the other dogs bouncing across the field.

It makes me hum with peace and contentment.


This week, I’ve had to add to that list, “the whine of the toddler”. Damn it. There’s a dad who takes advantage of the morning dog-walk to take his baby and toddler for a walk, too. It would be heart-warming if the toddler didn’t whine, whine, whine, whine, whine. Everything that comes out of that boy’s mouth is a grating whinge.

People think I’m a patient person, and I suppose I am in some ways… but not this time. I have zip patience for this, because it’s so unnecessary. And besides, the kid is noise-polluting my zen. I daydream, every time, about approaching the dad. “You know, you can train them out of that. You don’t have to listen to that every minute of the day.”

I think he’s so used to hearing it that he doesn’t even hear it any more. But I do.

It’s time to change the time of my morning walk. I want my peace and serenity back. Dopey kid. Dopier dad.

Grump, grump, grump…

August 10, 2010 - Posted by | parenting, whining | , , , , ,


  1. Uhg. Well, if he’s ignoring it, maybe the behaviour will extinguish?

    Perhaps that’s what he thinks he’s doing, too. Thing is, he’s not ignoring it: he’s responding to it as if the child isn’t whining. Not the same thing at all, because by responding to it, the whining is proven effective. Why would it stop? Ignoring it, in this instance, means pretending you can’t hear the child at all when they speak in a whine, so the whine is ineffective, and the child forced to find another way to communicate. (A way which the canny parent will teach him.)

    Comment by IfByYes | August 11, 2010 | Reply

  2. You do realize that some time soon that father will knock on the door seeking childcare for the whiner? Why not change the route instead of the time?

    I’m safe! This family interviewed with me for their baby. Turns out my curriculum wasn’t “educational” enough (by which they seem to mean systematic drilling in letters, numbers, etc), so they went with another caregiver in the neighbourhood. (Who does worksheets with two-year-olds. Eesh. Oh, well. Different strokes…)

    Can’t easily change the route, in any case. This is the best off-leash dog park in the area, and it’s CLOSE.

    Comment by jwg | August 11, 2010 | Reply

  3. How frustrating. My zen is mowing the lawn (riding mower) and it really disrupts me when my weekly zone time is taken away by a well meaning husband. It’s the only time NO one talks to me or climbs onto me or asks anything other than what I’m doing.
    So I can imagine the frustration of that peace being broken.

    Comment by Dani | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  4. Poor little brat, he doesn’t sound too happy and it’s not surprising if he has worksheets inflicted on him from the age of two. Father deserves all he gets, but you don’t!

    Comment by Z | August 13, 2010 | Reply

  5. Worksheets at two??? Sheesh. I’d be whining too.

    I’ve actually quietly left a friendship or two because of whiney children. I cannot tolerate it and it is so unnecessary.

    There should be law about morning zen time being spoiled.

    Comment by Maisy | August 13, 2010 | Reply

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