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Location: Viljandi, Estonia

Saturday, February 18, 2006


When Marta was born, she really was something of an empty slate. She looked up at me with the most innocent, awestruck eyes. The first glimpse of her new world. But her term of unworldlyness vanished fast. She's just as likely as me to crawl up on the couch these days, settle down with a piece of bread and some milk and yell "please" at me every time I might distract her from watching the 'train movie' or the 'monkey movie.'

How did my daughter get such an attitude? I think she may have learned it from me. I may be responsible. Because I don't know how to handle a temper tantrum other than making a joke out of it. And because I don't know how to 'discipline' her. There have been a few times that she has slapped me in the face and it has hurt, but I don't know how to make her understand that I am not kidding. She thinks her issi is just one big jokester. I could try and physically tell her no, but I can't hurt her. So it seems like I am playing. And because I am a pretty sarcastic dad, even my serious tones seem like a joke.

And I am the one that has taught her all of her English swear words, including the 's' word and the 'f' word. I never thought I'd be such a bad influence. She is also pretty bossy. She doesn't ask for milk. She demands it. 'I want milk. I want it.' And she won't give up until she gets it. She is the boss. And if she doesn't want to take a bath or go to sleep. Well, she doesn't take a bath or go to sleep. This can't all be my influence. Marta is also the eldest sibling and I think in this manner she has one other big influence. Her mother (she's the boss in the center).


Blogger Eppppp said...

Marts is the eldest sibling?
Last time I checked she was still the only child ;)

12:09 PM  
Blogger Eppppp said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Giustino said...

She is the founder sibling. Others will follow.

12:18 PM  
Blogger andry said...

Hm, good dialogue
Epp: Marta, the eldest sibling?
Justin: Others will follow

Nay, I don't think Marta is very bossy. I suppose (but it's a theory, I have not seen her with my own eyes) she can't be very bossy beiing the sibling such a parents.

Point is, little ones don't know very much about intonation of speech, about differences how you can ask, say yes, say no.

Really, if I watch the photos, I dont think she's bossy.

She is just a happy person, fulfilling of needs is just a very simple thing for her.

S* and f* words, ok, little bit too early. But I taught to our son Joonas (13) many long and rude folksongs last summer.

a la
Vitud jooksid mööda katust
pidasid väikse munni matust


He must know all the richness of human language, and he also knows where and when to use them.

So simple it is. For me of course.

It's my personal point of wiev

1:54 PM  
Blogger andry said...

some more thoughts

Marta is a complicated person, I agree absolutly (photos tell that)

But complicated persons are also unteresting persons.

So smile and keep going!

7:27 AM  
Blogger Martasmimi said...

Marta will be the oldest child... She is the daughter of an oldest child and the granddaughter of an oldest child and in some ways you too, Justin are an "oldest" child.
Teaching her the words please and thank you would help her soften that bossy tone. It will make her strong personality a bit more acceptable to those non-family members who might view her style with much less affection then
the family who are
totally captivated by her brains, beauty and charm.
Speaking for myself, even "bossy"
people do better with good manners...
Love you Miss Marta
..your 1st born "bossy" Mimi

8:28 AM  
Blogger Kaur said...

We too hoped that teaching the polite words to our child would soften the bossy tone - "daddy WILL stand up, daddy WILL sit down, daddy will sit down NOW" sound even bossier in Estonian than in English. But it did not! An impolite harsh order is actually much easier to decline than a "soft" "daddy please stand up, daddy please PLEASE PLEAZZZEEEE!!!" So now she sounds politer but is, actually, even bossier.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Martasmimi said...

Kaur is correct in that you might find it more difficult to discipline a "polite bossy child" ....In some ways you are teaching her manipulation.
As a mother who has been subject to Pleeeeeze! on many occasions.
May I go to someones house where
I know that there is not an adult in charge.
May I stay out later then agreed?
May I?????
"You" are the parent, not your child and the earlier that your children learn that you are the "boss" not
cute little "them" your lives will be much better
and "no" or "ahe" (sorry about the spelling) is okay to say, even if it has a thousand
Pleeeeeeeeeeeee's incorporated into the request.
This is great information from a parent and grandparent who as my children and children-in-law will add can be still "convinced by a logical, or sometimes illogical
argument" ...(manipulated).
This is not science......
as of today I am still learning how to say "No"

6:47 AM  
Blogger Eppppp said...

Little Estonian lesson: no is spelled "ei".
Kiss is spelled "musi".
Please is "palun".
Yes is "jah".

11:53 AM  
Blogger Martasmimi said...

Thank you child in law for the Estonian lesson..

4:28 PM  

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