Stubborn and uncompromising

No, not the children.


With the constant adaptations in behaviour that the little people demonstrate it’s impossible not to constantly think about how to deal with the different, and new, kinds of behaviours.

Being on holiday for a week with other family has been interesting because the way I deal with The Boy has been on show and so subject to ‘peer review’ if you like. Talking about the way I deal with The Boy and his various behaviours made me realise I’m using my own trademark stubborn and uncompromising stance to deal with him.

Coupled with a few principles, it actually seems to be working well.

I don’t pander to any whining he does when things don’t go his way. I just leave him to whine and ignore him. Eventually, he realises he’s getting nowhere, stops, and finds something to entertain himself.

When I sit him in front of some food and refuses to eat I just leave him there. If he leaves his chair I ask him to get back on and swiftly return him when he doesn’t. He stays, and he stays until I let him go or he eats, and he generally eats in the end.

Sometimes it feels too easy. But that’s kind of the point. Part of why I do it the way I do is to not stress myself out. I want him to eat well, and be happy, but I know that to get into a battle with him multiple times per day is worse for our relationship.

I tell him, or instruct him, and if he chooses to play up, he gets upset and I just remind him of the boundary and carry on with my own thing. He gets nothing from me in those situations, and now quickly gives in and accepts that I’m boss.

Which is lovely.

I’d make a great dictator.

Disclaimer: it is not all roses.

Stubborn and uncompromising

New experiences

The other week I was trying to decide what to do with the boy on that weeks ‘designated day out’.

All of the usual places went through my mind but I just want really feeling any of them.

Then I remembered I had a list!


I’d started this list months ago and although we’d done a few already, I hadn’t looked at it in weeks.

A light bulb flicked on in my mind – this list needs to be huge! It’s my job to introduce The Boy to as many new experiences as possible, as often as possible.

And now I’m even more excited about our days out, too 🙂

Where else should we explore? What else should we do?

New experiences

Father’s Day

My second Father’s Day as a father, and my first as a single parent.

The court guaranteed me time, thankfully, and I took The Boy out for the day. We had a wonderful time 🙂

One thing I’ve certainly missed out on is the benefit of having a partner. The Boy’s mother didn’t do anything to mark the day, and so I had to make my own day.

While we had a fantastic day, it’s nice to have surprises and when they’re this young, a little help from a partner to make it that bit extra special is certainly welcome.

Father’s Day

Children are a drug?

Being a reluctant Dad doesn’t change the fact that my two little people are by far and away the best ‘things’ to happen to me. As I’ve talked about before they’ve brought me joy like I’ve never known before.

Now that I’m single and no longer worrying whether I’ll see the kids or a court case I’ve been wondering whether finding someone new to enjoy life with. At 30 years old though many ‘potential suitors’ will be thinking about having kids and so I’ve been thinking about that too.

What if I do find someone who coaxes me away from the freedom I’m enjoying being single, and that person wants kids of their own?

Since The Boy came along I’ve suffered from depression, and I sometimes wonder how much more I would have enjoyed that first two years had I been in a trusting, loving relationship.

I’m missing out on a hell of a lot with The Girl now, and I think back to how wonderful it was to watch The Boy grow and learn every day. I want to experience that with her. I want to play with her every day and see her learn new things all the time, but that’s impossible in just the few hours I get to see her each week.

While I was a reluctant dad, I’m certainly not reluctant about being a father to my kids. On the contrary, I find it exciting and rewarding and wouldn’t give it up for anything.

But I may even be developing a desire to have more children. The prospect of being in a good relationship with someone I love and can trust and with whom I can raise a child every day and enjoy that incredibly rewarding experience is definitely appealing.


Children are a drug?

Waking up

Last week a couple of colleagues were discussing alarm clocks to encourage the wee ones to not get up ridiculously early. It just so happened that the boy had woken up at 5:30am that day so I quickly ordered this toddler alarm clock on their recommendation.

Funnily enough The Boy woke at a more normal time this morning but whereas he usually plays for a bit then finds me to demand milk he took himself back off to sleep! We didn’t get up until 10am!

Waking up

Never say no

How to say no to a toddler has a good take on saying no to a toddler.

I’ve tried to be fairly easy going like that with the boy from the start. (Though I’m conscious having read that post that I may have become less so recently.) I cringe when I see the parents who are constantly telling their children not to do things.

Baby B is 14 months though so I think Dad Without A Map might find it trickier to hold back the no as Baby B starts to build his personality and become more assertive, as I’ve noticed The Boy do as he moved up to and past two years old.

Two things I’ve tried and realised are definitely non-starters for us are reason and bargaining…

It doesn’t matter if more Sarah & Duck can be had tomorrow. Dictators live in the right now! And when that toddler sets their mind on something, trying to change their mind is like trying to get them into a pushchair during a full-on tantrum.

“Pick your battles” is a phrase I’ve always kept in mind, because ultimately when you tell your toddler no and they don’t like it, you might as well have declared war! I ask myself “does it really matter?” and guess what… most of the time, it doesn’t.

Never say no

Battle of wills

One thing I learnt from my siblings is ignorance.

Not the bad kind, though. The boy has been having plenty of tantrums and this past weekend involved two fairly significant tantrums at dinner time.

After a difficult time getting him into his high chair, he spent about five minutes having a tantrum rather than eating his dinner. Maybe I’m a bit tough, but I found it fairly easy to just ignore him (it may have something to do with eating my own dinner!) and after a while he finally started eating.

Not only that, but he ate better than usual!

I’ll be honest, it felt like a victory 🙂

Battle of wills