Lifestyle, Mommy Musings

Mommy Musings Monday- The Dark Room

January 25, 2016
The Dark Room 2

My toddler suffers from nyctophobia. Before I get you alarmed and commiserative about her condition, let me highlight that it simply means that she is terrified of darkness. Extremely terrified. I did not know how bad her phobia was until recently.

While at grandma’s over the holiday, she pulled a fast one on me. One morning, I was having my breakfast of kings as highlighted here, while carrying the baby on my laps. Suddenly, she came running from outside, skidding to a halt next to me. She bumped into me with all the might a three year old can muster causing half my tea to splash out of the cup, splattering on the carpet. Luckily, I have learnt to always hold my hot drinks far away from the baby, if I have to have them whilst carrying her. No one got hurt. I let that slide despite the fact that I had told her severally to always watch her step and avoid running while inside the house. Just like I have told her to shut her wardrobe doors and push back her drawers after use quite often. I have told her to put her dirty clothes in her basket countless times, and park her motor bike and scooter at their respective spots. Sometimes she will do it, and when she does, she will come to my bedroom wearing this fierce look of accomplishment and give me a small lecture about tidying up! “Can you take the newspaper to the pantry?” Or “Can you keep your books on the book shelf” the best one is “Can you make your bed” when I am actually still enjoying my sleep. So yes sometimes she tidies up. But most of the times, her bedroom is like a crime scene, one that you can almost always guess who the culprit is. Funny thing, between ages 1 and 2.5, she absolutely could not stand seeing things not being in their rightful place and would always put everything in its place after use. Which leaves me wondering if all kids sort of regress when they pass the three year mark. Or when they get siblings.

Anyway, back at grandma’s place. Immediately after the tea splashing incident, she started playing with the baby, poking her chest and lightly caressing her face while singing her favorite rhymes to her. She has learnt to be very gentle with the baby. Or so I thought, until she asked her if she can bite her fingers. All the while I was busy cleaning up the mess and the baby was resting on the couch. I ignored her knowing too well that no sane person would bite a baby’s fingers, more so when the baby is their sister. A sudden realization hit me a split second too late just as the baby let out a piercing cry. I had trusted my toddler around the baby too much. Luckily, she did not inflict any serious injuries on her. I calmly explained to her that her sister was not a toy and she should refrain from doing to her what she wouldn’t want done to herself. Of course I spared the rod as a result of grandma’s intervention. So when we were back in Nairobi a few days later, she bit her sister’s fingers again. This infuriated me so much and given that the naughty corner and spanking no longer seems to work for us, I needed a punishment that would instill fear in her. That would make her think twice before attempting such a horrendous act again. So I dragged her to my bedroom, told her to stand behind the curtain, turned off the the lights and closed the bedroom door (she is too familiar with her bedroom and would probably just get into bed and sleep). Boy did she scream, and apologize for all the sins she has ever committed. Without being prompted! “I will not bite Xia’s fingers again. I will not disturb you in the sukumarket. I will not pour water on my bed. I will not cry all the time. I will behave myself.”

And just like that, I had found an effective way to punish my toddler. It’s been almost a month and she hasn’t bitten her sister’s fingers again. Though I find that she nowadays mostly breaks the laws during the day!

Let me know what punishments or disciplining methods have worked for your toddlers. Also, subscribe subscribe subscribe to the blog if you love the posts! I can’t say this enough, because one too many times, I read comments saying “I don’t know how I missed this post!” Well if you subscribed to the blog, you wouldn’t miss a thing. Submit your email at the top right corner of the website.





hahaha…..I forgot to read this one… so funny. Jeff likes to force his brother to play even when poor Ry still cant move. He tries football and then insists on playing catch and just ends up hitting Ry with the ball. I guess he just wonders why Ry cant do the things he can. Plus, he’s also soooo petrified of the dark. He can let out a good scream when left alone and when there is a black out, he’ll jump onto the nearest person like he’d seen a snake or sth. Same to Ry. If he has to feed at night, lights have to be on…waaar… I guess its a thing with toddlers and infants…

Mama Ivanna

Poor Xia. I have just jotted down ‘remember to warn Ivanna about bitting the baby’s body parts.’ These posts about toddler and baby are such an eye opener for me as I get ready to receive my second born. I recently showed her a really tiny newborn so that she can picture what it will be like and she instantly turned into a needy toddler. I need more ideas on how to prepare her for arrival of a sibling. What did you tell Xena?


    Mama Ivanna, don’t fret, all will be well. In my last trimester, I would tell Xena everyday to sing for the baby and wish her goodnight before she went to sleep and that kept building her anticipation, to the point she started asking when the baby will come out of the stomach. When she first met her, she was a bit scared only for the first few minutes then she never wanted to leave her sight. Afterwords, Xena became so needy and would cry every minute for absolutely no reason. That really got us frustrated but I found that by incorporating her in taking care of the baby stopped her from feeling unloved. I would ask her to hold the soap for me while I wash the baby, to bring the diaper rash cream while I changed the baby’s diaper, I would put the baby on her laps to hold her for a few minutes. All that really helped. Just try as much as possible to incorporate her. I have heard cases where kids ask their parents when they would be returning the baby to the hospital! I am happy that mine has shown her sister nothing but love, well except for the occasional harassment. All the best ma.


Hahaha! Xena is such a cartoon. She actually bit her? hahaha! I can only imagine your facial expression of shock, fear and disbelief.

I still fear the dark especially at grannies, it is so dark you can hardly see the person standing next to you.

About being punished, well my mum thrashed me and my brother ALOT, spare the rod and spoil the child was fully believed. But I received the larger share since I am the older one.
In the public the punishment was, ‘wait we get home’. you wonder how. Well, the anxiety of knowing you would be beaten once you get home was enough of a punishment. You would delay leaving and wish everyone would follow you home and hoping she forgot all about it. CRAZY!!!
The other punishments were jumping in frog position while holding ears. I swear my mum must have been in the Child Disciplinary Military.


    You have cracked me up a good one Jay! And here I thought my mom was harsh. I only did the frog jump in school once when I skyved the Friday Cross Country. I hated sports, especially running.
    That look that mommies gave, how terrifying was it? I try that with Xena but nothing! Perhaps I need lessons from my mom. But the way she is soft around her grandkids I doubt she will want to pass that knowledge along, knowing it will be used on them!


      I think she will learn “the face” when she is older. right now your voice is all she can tell your mood with. Or always have that “face” when punishing her. She will slowly learn. You should make Xena frog march once in her lifetime. She will never forget it. 🙂

      I never get how our parents are so harsh with us, but when it is our kids they just melt and spoil them rotten.

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