I want to preface this blog post by saying how much I love Dexter.


That being said, he seems to have turned from a 9 year old into a teenager overnight and is driving me mental!  The moods, the strops, the stomping up the stairs in a sulk … SO annoying.


Today’s ‘discussion’ was about breakfast.  He won’t eat cereal, never has, and I’ve tried them all … believe me.  So he normally has toast.  Every day.  Toast.


Except today.  Today … he didn’t want toast.  Want to know when he told me that today he wouldn’t be eating toast?  8.20am.  Yeah, ten minutes before we’re due to leave for school.  Whilst I was in the middle of getting ready.


Here’s how this morning went – see if you can relate:


Me:          Put your toast on.

D:            But I don’t want toast this morning.

Me:          There’s nothing else to eat.

D:            Can I have Doritos for breakfast?

Me:          What do you think?

D:            Yes?

Me:          No.

D:            But I don’t want toast for breakfast.

Me:         That’s fine.  Have an apple.

D:            I don’t want an apple!

Me:          It’s that or toast.  Or nothing.

D:            You can’t send me to school hungry?

Me:          It’s your choice. There’s food here. Choose.


And so on.  You get the gist.


By now we’re in the car and I still haven’t given in.


D:            Can we stop off at Tescos to get something?

Me:         We’re now running late and also, no. There was food at home.

D:            Can I have a bagel tomorrow?

Me:         Of course.  I’ll go shopping.  But today, it’s an apple or nothing.

D:            Fine! I’ll have nothing!

Me:         (Staying calm.)  OK.


Of course, inside, I was thinking what a bad parent I was, sending my son to school hungry but then I realized this really was just a battle of wills – Dexter testing my boundaries and those that know me will understand me when I say this … he will never win.  I’m a single parent so if I’m not in charge, who will be?  Certainly not a 9 year old boy.


I stuck to my guns and smiled sweetly as I dropped him off outside school.


Me:         See you at 3.30pm.

D:            (Still sulking)  Fine.

Me:         I love you.

D:            I love you too Mummy.


And with that, he flung his arms around me for a big hug and a kiss.


Tough love is hard.  Tough love when you’re the only parent is even harder, but I know I did the right thing.


Little bugger got his own back mind you – dealing with him meant that by the time I got to the café to pay for my well deserved coffee, I realised … I’d left my purse at home.


Think we’ll call that 1-1.




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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one – I wrote a post just last week about how my 6 year old was swinging between toddler tantrums and teenage sulkiness. Although I’m not reassured to hear about teenage behaviour at age 9. Eek! Good on you for not giving in though.
    Franglaise Mummy recently posted..No sick days for MummysMy Profile

  2. DD and I have conversations like that all the time, not just about breakfast, about almost everything you can think of that would affect a 13 year old and her single parent mum. Thank you for sharing that example. Difference is that although I get the grumpy “Love you too”, I have to wait until the end of the day for the hug.

  3. Well done lady-currently dealing with a strong willed 3 come 13 year old and oreos are not on the breakfast menu (unless it’s PMT week of course)!
    HonestMum recently posted..Time to ChillMy Profile

  4. We need to set up a 9 year old son support group. I’m getting alot of that cheeky challenging going on too. The tough love thing does work..they are cute enough to learn fast. I’m told that boy teenagers are not as argumentative as girls…maybe they get that over with before the teens?? She says hopefully. xx
    Avril Keys recently posted..The Big Autumn/Winter Blog Sale!My Profile

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