Toddler Discipline: The fabulous phrase my girls fall for.

All clever moms lie to their children… especially to toddlers. (I do…. I’m pretty sure Scary Mommy still does when she can get away with it.) This chocolate isn’t what you think it is, it’s really mommy’s medicine and tastes really yucky. This iced tea is also very very yucky. The Guy’s gonna come and shut down the beach. 

What, you haven’t heard about The Guy who comes to shut down the park swings, lock the pool up, get little boys and girls out of the bath (when it’s time to get out of the bath and they refuse) and close down the kitchen at nighttime? Sometimes there’s even a few Guys (depending on the situation and how much patience I have left). I’ll break it down for ya: The Guy/Guys only come after I try the whole logical It’s-time-to-go-now-sweetheart-just-like-we-talked-about-before-we-got-here thing a few times. The Guy is my last resort, but he always works best. I credit my new trick to my little sis (aka Auntie). Last time we visited my mom’s house and LadyP refused to get out of the pool (in a screaming and bratty toddler way that I was sooooo over), Auntie busted out with “Hurry! The Guy’s gonna come and lock up the backyard and we can’t be here when he gets here! We’ve got to get out now!” I’ve never seen LadyP scramble to get OUT of a pool so fast… ever. Even LilMiss looked alarmed. My idea of early toddler discipline.

Check out The Guys a few tables over...

Check out The Guys (behind us).

So it’s official: “The Guy’s gonna come!” is working like magic. Moms in my neighborhood can now hear me talking about The Guy almost everywhere… the grocery store, the swings, at any given restaurant. With some of them I exchange winks, while others probably think I’m just some tightwad who needs to relax and not have such rigid time-limits. Guess what: I don’t care what I sound like. The Guy is proving to save me time and sanity in the most hurried of situations.

Related:  A New Mom’s Promise: No $#*!-talk!

Sometimes I will even point out The Guy (Look! There’s The Guy!) if I see a distinguished gentleman in our view that looks like he could possibly have the power to shut down a situation. LadyP gets quiet quickly and then looks him up and down (LilMiss even stares him down). And ahhhhhhhh, order is restored. The Guys are everywhere, always at your immediate disposal. This is FABULOUS, I tell you. If you don’t have a Guy yet, you gotta get one. NOW.



  1. Y-Antoinette Echols says:

    I always say, I am done talking. Of course you have to have the ‘tone’ & the ‘look’ :-{(
    As for dining out, my parents made sure to teach us proper etiquette. It is quite unfair to be around parents who do not require their children to respect the experience for other diners. I have seen children allowed to touch the dishes and flatware of unseated tables without the parents informing staff. Please exercise common courtesy, your exceptional child is not a part of my meal. Parents with special needs children I have been there. Give yourself a break get a sitter now and again. God bless.

  2. Oh, we did this alright! We used ‘The Policeman’ as the ultimate disciplinarian! So, any person having even a vague outfit that looked like a uniform became The Policeman for us!

  3. Denise G. says:

    I have a new one!! After we eat in a restaurant and I’m trying to finish my meal I give my daughter a wipe and tell her to wipe the table “so THEY let us come back here”… distracts her from throwing everything off the table 🙂

  4. Courtney says:

    We say I’m going to get the manager. Or here comes, sir!


  1. […] The guy’s gonna come and kick us out. You may’ve already read my explanation on that one. It pretty much always does the trick. Probably my best work […]

  2. […] this fun?” “What should we buy for Papa?” “Stay by Mommy. Stay right by Mommy or else The Guy’s going to kick us out and we will never get to shop for more food again.” And on… and on… and on… and on. I […]

  3. […] then the country club evacuated and shut down the pool (this time, The Guys were real). It happened (as I’m sure it’s happened to someone else there before, and it […]