Tag Archives: father

Jurassic Girl

J.J. Barnes, Siren Stories, The Lilly Prospero Series, Rose And Mum And More, Mummy Blogger, Parenting Blog

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Velociraptor’s are clever, as any Jurassic Park fan will tell you, and they are known for testing the perimeter fences. They push boundaries, repeatedly test different areas for weakness, and rapidly establish who and what is in control and how they are best taken down.

My two and a half year old daughter is a velociraptor.

The smartest thing you can do, when raising my child, is STICK TO THE RULES. Give in once and she will see that boundary as weakened. She will push it. She will test it. It will take time and dedication to reestablish that rule as strong. She is stubborn, determined and smart and if you don’t match her on all three grounds she will defeat you, and she will take pleasure in doing so.

The thing we are noticing is she seems to need to know where these rules are and she actually doesn’t like them being broken. She will break them, but need the appropriate response. She will ask for it.

One of our disciplinary methods is “time out”. This is used when she is getting herself worked up or she refuses to apologise for a wrong doing. She is sat down, wherever we are in public or otherwise, and informed that until she calms down and apologises, she is to stay put. As soon as she is ready to calm down and apologise she comes to us, says sorry and we ask “what was your naughty?” She tells us and then we have a cuddle. This can take seconds or, if she is in a particularly stubborn mood, significantly (!!!) longer.

Photo Credit Marta Koton

Photo Credit Marta Koton

On occasions, if it is taking too long and we have somewhere to be, I will take her off time out early and tell her what her naughty is and just get on with life. She really does not like it.

“No, mummy! I’m on time out!”

You would think that being taken off time out early would give her pleasure, after all she does hate being on time out, but no. As much as she likes to feel she can defeat these boundaries, if the boundaries are taken away from her it unsettles her. She breaks them down, fine. You take them away, not fine.

Whilst we were on holiday in Spain, the stairs in the house were marble tile and we had no stair gate. Consequently she was banned from climbing the stairs unsupervised.

“Daddy… I climbing stairs!” a little voice rang out, “Daddy… I being naughty!”

The Boy and I looked at one another, nodded a dull acceptance of what was to come, then he stood and approached her. She immediately began screaming out and crying, allowed herself to be removed from the stairs and told off, then sobbed a devastated sorry.

She had not only done something she knew she would be told off for, but pointed out that she was doing it in order to be told off. She is testing, checking. Making sure we are there, making sure we care enough to discipline her, and making sure she knows what the rules are… in order to break them more effectively perhaps, but also in order to feel secure in her own environment.

As much as she likes to velociraptor her way around life, and as much pleasure as she takes from conquering the rule makers, she values the rules and needs us to stick to them. As long as we are sticking to the rules, it means we care enough about her to deal with her when she’s breaking them. As much as she knows we love her when she is being sweet and funny, she needs to know we love her when she’s being a monster.

Rules are made to be broken. Boundaries are made to be pushed. But parents are made to let their kids know when not to break them, when not to push them, and that they are dedicated enough to their children to enforce it.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

 

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Challenge Dad

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

There is a transition process, when a stranger steps into the role of “father”, which goes from being “that guy who we see sometimes” to “that guy who we see a lot” to “daddy” to “father”.

That Guy Who We See Sometimes – this can be anyone, a casual friend, the guy who works in the chippy, a neighbour. It’s someone the child recognises and will smile at or chat to without shyness, but has no real interest or investment in.

That Guy Who We See A Lot – this would generally be family, uncles and grandparents, and close friends. Men the child loves and is excited to see, often asks for, but doesn’t mourn the absence of. Them being there is a bonus and a joy, but not being there isn’t distressing.

Daddy – this is a big leap to reach, but does happen. Daddy is the guy who they mourn the absence of, ask for, love. The guy who tells them off and comforts them when they’re sad. Daddy can look after you when Mummy isn’t around and Daddy is trusted. To become Daddy to a child is a level of investment and trust in someone who was a stranger in their lives which not many men can achieve.

Father – however much Daddy is an achievement, Father is something further. A Father is a level of authority, comfort, importance and trust equal to Mother. A Father is important on the biological level, and for a stranger to become a Father in a child’s life is something else. Something new. You might take on the role of “Father” in a family, but for a child to accept you on that level is no guarantee. It’s not even essential, because Daddy is so very, very important.

Miss Rose is currently testing The Boy. She is testing him to see if he really is up to the challenge of being her father.

Photo credit Dagon

Photo credit Dagon

He has been Daddy for some time now, but we have noticed a couple of changes recently.

On Sunday we were assembling the children’s beds. The Boy and I were in a different room to Miss Rose and suddenly a little voice rang out, “Daddy! I spitting!” followed by the sound of very wet raspberries being blown. When that got no reaction, it was “Daddy! I eating books!”

Both The Boy and I have been trying to stop both of these behaviours, Z and Miss Rose spitting at each other to the point of soaking one another is gross, and Miss Rose’s bizarre insistence on gnawing on her cardboard books is pretty gross. We both shout at her for them, we both try and stop her. Yet it was Daddy she called for. Daddy she challenged to come and deal with the problem. We realised that she has been doing it more and more, waiting until I step out of the room before playing up.

Then, last night, she was almost asleep whilst I was reading to her and woke herself up having a coughing fit. When she tried to lie back down again she bumped her head on the wall, not very hard, but hard enough. When I tried to comfort her she pushed me away and wept “I WANT MY DADDY!” Once The Boy appeared in the room, she patted the bed beside her and he sat with her and soothed her, then she calmed down and was ready to go back to sleep.

She has, effectively, laid down the gauntlet. Subconsciously she is saying, “Think you’re up to the challenge? Prove it”

Her bio-dad leaving broke her tiny baby heart. For a long time she was a real mess. She cried, she acted violently, and she had panic attacks. It would appear those scars, though buried deep in her subconscious, as still living on. She is testing The Boy. “Love me when I’m cute? Then let’s see if you love me when I’m naughty, love me when I’m sad. Father me. Step up, take the challenge, and deal with me like you’re my father.”

So far it would appear he is rising to her challenge and proving himself. No evidence of this is so clear than when exploring a theme park together, and Miss Rose is riding in the arms of her beloved nanny who she will prioritise time with over all others, myself included, than watching her lean away from nanny to be in the arms of daddy.

I cannot say for sure that The Boy will prove his worth to her, and make fully that transition from the Daddy he is so good at to the Father she so wants… but he’s determined to and she wants him to, so I would say it’s a good bet to place.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

Separation

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

My husband and I have separated. The emotional impact of his unexpected departure from the family home has been felt both by myself and Miss Rose.

I had hoped that her young age, and the fact that her father has regularly been away from home, would mean she wouldn’t feel his absence too strongly. Unfortunately I was wrong.

When I found out he was leaving I tried to keep my reactions to a minimum. I didn’t want her to see or sense any distress. I gave her lunch, took her for a walk and played games. She had her usual dinner, her usual bedtime routine, and the usual laughter and smiles and love.

But she knows.

It has been ten days now. Over the days she has become increasingly clingy, increasingly sensitive. Whereas she would charge around playgroup barely noticing my presence she now checks in frequently, climbing into my lap and having a cuddle. If she bumps herself she cries a pitiful cry and needs comforting. In the swimming pool, which she loves and usually swims lengths of alone with just the aid of a foam woggle, she now clings to me, whimpers, and rests her head on my shoulder.

She’s still Rose. She still charges around, climbs, crashes and smashes. She still barges into groups of toddlers and steals from them. But she’s different. She’s anxious.

Having Daddy’s side of the bed to herself has not only been frequent, but preferred. She likes to stretch out and has been known to kick him repeatedly when he’s there. I had hoped, naively assumed, that daddy not being in the bed would be considered a bonus. For the first few nights I was right. Unfortunately a few nights ago she started feeling around on his side, reaching out and patting and then crying “daddy daddy daddy” in a horrible desperate cry. I pulled her to me, kissed her cheeks and tried to comfort her but the “daddy daddy daddy” got more frantic.

I calmed her down eventually and she settled back to sleep snuggled into me with her head against my cheek. But gosh it was hard to bare.

I don’t know if we will resolve this. And I am not going to discuss the reasons why we are now living separately, nor how i feel about it. I don’t think it is fair as he has no right of reply and anything I say will purely be my side and I don’t believe that in any such situation one person is entirely culpable. Suffice to say his absence is felt.

He intends to have regular contact with her and has been true to his word. So far has seen her twice, both times she was delighted. The first time she delivered each piece from her jigsaw draw to him with a proud “daddy” each time she handed a piece over. Today was the second and she lead him around the soft play centre with great excitement and joy.

Miss Rose has always been a daddy’s girl.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!