Mrs. Robot-o

NS April 23rd, 2009

I have discovered that if I talk like a robot, The Noble Child will do whatever I ask.

Yes, seriously.

This came about in another of our epic battles to get her dressed and her hair combed, wherein, in desperation, I summoned up my best authoritative and monotonous voice and said “Sit. Still. Please. Robot said so.” Automatically, TNC stopped wriggling and crying and allowed me to part her hair and put them in “hairtails” (pigtails/bunches to you and me). She grinned every time this new voice asked her to do something (put on socks, do a wee, etc..) and said with great enthusiasm, “Okay, Robot!”

The rest of the day was spent issuing orders in a mechanic overtone.

“Pick. Up. Your. Toys.”

“No. More. Milk. Today.”

“Time. For. Bed. Now.”

I patted myself on the back. How genius was this robot act?!

Turns out, not that genius.

In a shop yesterday, TNC wouldn’t stop running away and touching things on the shelves and I was in a rush to get back home in time for our online food delivery time slot. As I perused the aisle for an appropriate birthday card and jiggled a whiny TNB on my hip, I caught sight of TNC about to pick up a very delicate and breakable item.

Now, every parent knows that cat-like reflexes enable us to spring into action the moment a child puts their grubby little paw on something breakable (and expensive, no doubt) in a shop, but in 0.2 seconds I furiously calculated the time-distance equation and came to the conclusion that the only way to reach her in time would involve dropping TNB on his head and performing a running round-off back handspring reminiscent of a 14-year-old Romanian Olympic gymnast with glitter in her hair and thigh muscles that could strangle a grizzly bear. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I possess neither.

I knew the only thing that would make my daughter stop dead in her tracks was Robot. She’d never listen to Mummy but Robot…well, she’d only been around for a couple days and hadn’t had sufficient time to be deemed a nag or a killjoy and subsequently ignored every time she opens her mouth.

And so it was that I had to say, quite loudly, “Put. That. Down. NOW. For. The. Love. Of. God,” complete with jerky arm movements. The shopkeeper looked at me in complete befuddlement and a nearby customer (a teenage boy, no less) sniggered. I stared straight ahead as I walked stiff-jointedly towards TNC, figuring that I might as well play the role completely and convincingly if I was going to do it at all. There would be no half-assed robot acts here!

I looked down at TNC, who had calmly placed the item back on the shelf, and said in my monotone: “Let’s. Go.” She grinned beatifically, took my hand and said “Okay. Mummy Robot” in a very impressive robot imitation for a three year-old. We shuffled out of the shop, hand in hand, pushing Baby Robot in his RoboPram.

I’d have loved to be at that shopkeeper’s dinner table that night.

18 Responses to “Mrs. Robot-o”

  1. Anji says:

    “Put. That. Down. NOW. For. The. Love. Of. God,” complete with jerky arm movements.

    You know how people often try to describe how funny something was by saying they’ve sprayed miscellaneous drinks all over their keyboards?

    Well um, I really did have a big mouthful of tea. I didn’t spray it thankfully, but I did dribble it all down my top as I tried desperately to swallow it while laughing. ;)

  2. OMG! That’s the funniest story I’ve heard in a long time. Rock. On. Mummy. Robot.

  3. Krista says:

    Awesome! :)

    For a while there, I could convince C to eat whatever healthy (and, most distressingly in her eyes, non-dessert) food item I’d put in front of her by pretending to be Dora the Explorer and telling her I love _____________ and it’s delicioso!

    Whatever works, I say. :)

  4. That is very funny! We had to use hand puppets for a while. Rosemary wouldn’t do anything we asked, but if snake told her to get dressed, eat her dinner, go to sleep – bam, she did it. And there was a point when I carried him around in my pocket to use when out and about. If it works, forget about the embarassment, the tantrum/fight would be far more embarassing.

  5. andrea says:

    i would have loved to have seen that display in the shop! you rock, mummy robot.

  6. A Free Man says:

    Do you remember that 80′s song, Mr. Roboto? Can’t remember who it’s by but it’s now stuck in my head.

  7. emms says:

    LOL…I love it!
    Poppy only responds to unicorn things currently. Alora repsonds to Louis Armstrong…no matter how hard she is screaming stick on Louis & she’s happy & dancing again :o )

  8. Mon says:

    LMAO. Oh shit, I think I peed myself a little.

  9. Chloe says:

    HAHA! It’s rare that I laugh out loud at anything but this really got me chuckling… well written, I could totally visualize it!

  10. Cave Mother says:

    Priceless. I am squirrelling this advice away for when my little babe won’t do what I ask.

  11. Little L is definitely to small, but it might work on the husband as well? Especially paired with jerky arm movements, HAHA.

  12. katie says:

    this is fantastic. i am also filing it away.

  13. Ruxi says:

    this is one of the funniest posts i’ve read in a while. i’ll be keeping this in mind for when the now 4-month-old baby who makes baby raptor like sounds gets a little older.

  14. NS says:

    Your other ally in making toddlers do things, besides Voices, is Puppets. Which I guess falls under Voices because you have to put on a voice as well, but your hand will be stuck up a cat or giraffe’s ass as well. Only use in emergency though as walking around with a puppet on your hand *and* doing the voice might get you beaten up or taken for a psych evaluation.

  15. Iota says:

    Hilarious.

    At least she played along. What would it have been like if she’d just smiled and picked up the object (and dropped it), or cried, or just given you a withering look?

    Visiting your blog from Potty Mummy’s choice of you as Blogger of the week. I’m you in reverse – a Brit expat in the US. I always find it fascinating to see how life is for those who make the journey in the other direction.

  16. [...] The Potty Diaries brought our attention to an interesting little get-your-kid-to-do-anything technique. Here’s what Noble Savage had to say: I have discovered that if I talk like a robot, The Noble Child will do whatever I ask. Yes, seriously. This came about in another of our epic battles to get her dressed and her hair combed, wherein, in desperation, I summoned up my best authoritative and monotonous voice and said “Sit. Still. Please. Robot said so.” Automatically, TNC stopped wriggling and crying and allowed me to part her hair and put them in “hairtails” (pigtails/bunches to you and me). She grinned every time this new voice asked her to do something (put on socks, do a wee, etc..) and said with great enthusiasm, “Okay, Robot!” The rest of the day was spent issuing orders in a mechanic overtone. “Pick. Up. Your. Toys.” “No. More. Milk. Today.” “Time. For. Bed. Now.” Read the whole post here. [...]

  17. [...] The Potty Diaries brought our attention to an interesting little get-your-kid-to-do-anything technique. Here’s what Noble Savage had to say: I have discovered that if I talk like a robot, The Noble Child will do whatever I ask. Yes, seriously. This came about in another of our epic battles to get her dressed and her hair combed, wherein, in desperation, I summoned up my best authoritative and monotonous voice and said “Sit. Still. Please. Robot said so.” Automatically, TNC stopped wriggling and crying and allowed me to part her hair and put them in “hairtails” (pigtails/bunches to you and me). She grinned every time this new voice asked her to do something (put on socks, do a wee, etc..) and said with great enthusiasm, “Okay, Robot!” The rest of the day was spent issuing orders in a mechanic overtone. “Pick. Up. Your. Toys.” “No. More. Milk. Today.” “Time. For. Bed. Now.” Read the whole post here. [...]

  18. Tee hee. This story had me in stitches. Though I feel I should use a more mechanical turn of phrase. This story had me in soldering tacks? Sorry … This. Story. Had. Me and so on and so forth.