My Kid Chaos: Introducing Brutus, Rent-a-Kid and Madame Buble

The toddler, Brutus, as we affectionately call him, is a heavyweight. He weighs a ton, has a very good aim and doesn’t know his own strength. Strong minded, particular and yet incredibly cute. Typical toddler tendencies. They are constant source of ‘entertainment’ at this age, and Brutus knows it. As youngest of three he is staking his corner, kids love physical push me, pull, chase me type play. They want to be ‘got’ and understandably they want to ‘get back’ but the boundaries must be tricky to fathom out for a toddler. Who must be thinking: If I do that, I get a reaction, and it seems to work, really well. Brutus currently holds power over the older kids, by trying to bite, and now pinch them. He switches off their TV when they’re being boring and not playing with him, if they still don’t do anything he goes in for the kill, forcing them to get up and do something. Not a bad tactic really, it works but it hurts. And also a form of affection!

I’d like to know how other parents view the biting stage. Did your kids go through it, not all of them do it? Rough and tumble is a default method of play, between parent and child, it’s affectionate and physical and fun, til the parents had enough, after the high is the low. But it has to stop at some point. But I’m not a fan of ‘play fighting’ between kids. The noise veers from shrieks of laughter to shrieks of ‘pain’, it goes too far. I don’t wish to be involved. Play fights up until now have generally been followed by telling tales, one-upmanship and blame issues.

When you’re trying to get on with something, or hungover, laughing and having fun is still noise and can be nearly as irritating as winging and crying. So noise is an indicator of a volatile situation in my book, it could go either way. If you let them, how far should it go before you intervene? Whether it’s considered play or not is irrelevant, kids fight. Before the toddler came along the fights were mainly about possession. Well Brutus has messed that right up for both of them, he couldn’t care less whose it is, he just wants to get involved, and until they involve him he sticks to fucking it up instead! So they have even less inclination to play with something other than a gadget, which I refer to as default. On the whole, fighting is testing how far you can push someone, what you can get away with if you are the older sibling. The younger one likes the attention they are getting until they realise the fun is used as bait to trip them up and have them over. I know this; I was the eldest of four. My daughter is Miss Piggy in the middle of two brothers, with a four year age gap each. The eldest, jokingly referred to as Rent-a- Kid as he lives with his Mum and back then we were only parenting on a part time basis. The dynamics change in several ways when he’s here, the jump from 2 to 3 kids seems a much bigger deal. 3 channels of demands. 4 incoming channels, my amp often blows up at weekends! I hate to use these words but Madame Buble stands accused of ‘acting like a girl’ or should I say, playing the victim, when it comes to mucking about with both brothers. Rent-a-Kid tests his powers of manipulation, and its chase me / don’t chase me whilst squealing like a pig with Brutus.

Well there goes my current rant out in the open. Made progress on the matter slightly today by reminding them of other forms of physical play. More proof that one of the many forms of impact computers have on society. We are forgetting how to play, and so are they. This is a running rant that will frequently crop up in this blog.

About Jacqueline Hammond

Contemporary British artist, Jacqueline Hammond, is renowned for producing strong, punchy images that are rich in texture and colour. A prolific painter and multidisciplinary artist, she exhibits widely and is commissioned by individual clients, collectors and high profile brands. Jacqueline’s inspiration comes from direct observation: subject matter is plucked from the world encountered every day. Some ideas evolve, others are reactionary. Thought-provoking themes explore today’s society, the media and cultural theory. Whether inspired by the street or the sea, Jacqueline’s work has an edge: her paintings are consistently striking. Her natural disposition is to let the paint dictate the creative process, trusting the medium and her mind’s eye to translate the vision.
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