From: Miss G Collins, A. K. A the Red Rage.
To: All toddlers everywhere.
Subject: Further strategies in our ongoing war of parental attrition.
We're a few years into our campaign now, and its clear that the tide of battle is with us: statistics show that our continual pressure on our parental units is starting to really gain some good results. Fully 99% of comrades report that they have caused their maternal unit to break down into a spate of uncontrolled weeping, and approximately 38% of us have driven at least one of our parental units on to some form of medication. Sleepless nights are at an all-time high, and the figures for carpet soiling, the breaking of treasured family heirlooms and the destruction of expensive electrical equipment are up across the board - whereas the rate of incidence of sexual contact between parental units has never been lower. My congratulations to you all.
However, this does not mean we can afford to be complacent: a high proportion of our parental units remain relatively unbroken and show worrying signs of residual 'spirit'. I think we all know that unless we subjugate them properly now, and bend them fully to our will, it will cause problems later: we have all heard the horror stories of parental units refusing to supply pocket money on demand or drive us between social engagements. None of us deserves to suffer through our teenage years like that.
With that in mind, let me share some of my own favourite tactics for advancing the cause. These are all tried and tested method with a high success rate, and with repeated use are are guaranteed to quosh parental resistance:
Play favourites: Remember, most parental units are basically saps who want to be loved, but also want time on their own. Use this to your advance by going to extremes: cling mercilessly to one parent, and refuse to acknowledge the second. The first will become tired and hysterical from you following them everywhere, even into the toilet, whereas and the second will feel hurt and abandoned. A masterstroke I like to pull here is to howl loudly and demand to be carried by the maternal unit for about 15 minutes before the paternal unit is due to come in from work. Then, when I hear the key in the front door, I scream and pummel at the maternal unit until she puts me down and I then run as fast I can toward the paternal unit as he steps inside. I like to take a second to enjoy the moment before impact- the palpable relief on the females face as I leave her in peace, the joy registered on the males face as I hurtle toward him, in apparent delight at his arrival. Then, at the last second, I stop, shriek "NO" at the top of my voice, and run back to the mother. I like to check their faces again at this point: priceless. So much hurt and confusion, and he's only been in the house for 10 seconds. Genius...
Contrariness is king: Make sure you work every angle here. Let's take the simple example of being offered a drink. Firstly, signal loudly that you require a drink by screeching, and stamping your foot. Then, when offered a drink, refuse to drink it if it's not in your favourite cup. When the drink is then poured into your favourite cup, arbitrarily choose a a third cup that is now your new favourite - ideally one that is already in use by another child. Regardless of whether the drink is transferred to the third cup or not, refuse to drink it because it is 'not fresh' or 'too warm' or 'too watery' or some other such nonsense. When your parental unit has finally served you a drink of the right consistency in a vessel that you deem adequate, upend it all over the table and floor. If reprimanded, batter at their knees with the empty cup. Remember: you are a toddler and as such are supposed to have no idea what 'pushing things too far' means. Work that to your advantage.
Mealtime is mayhem time: There is so much opportunity here it's ridiculous. I work the 'contrariness' angle again here, but with a cruel twist: I occasionally do eat something so that they don't give up hope altogether. The lengths they will then go to are hilarious; last night I arbitrarily refused to eat my own dinner but would accept spoonfuls of the same food from the maternal unit - but only if it was (a) from her plate, not mine and (b) served on her spoon. I would then intercept each incoming spoonful with one hand and pick through the contents with another, accepting perhaps a kernel of sweetcorn or a single diced carrot. The rest I would sweep imperiously aside, fanning it across the table and into the drink of the paternal unit opposite. Basically I refused my own meal, and threw half of hers into his drinking water. It was all I could do to not laugh out loud...
Faeces are your friends. I've spoken before about the use of biological weapons in this theatre of operations: to be clear, it's basically sanctioned at all levels. Choose the time and place of your dirty protest for maximum effect; bathtime is good, as is any time at the dinner table, but don't be afraid to really push the creative envelope here and experiment - after all, ammo stocks are replenished daily. As an example, my nappy was removed today so I could play in the paddling pool, and I took the opportunity to befoul the patio in front of a visiting group of the maternal units friends - an 'off the cuff' tactic that worked surprisingly well.
...and there we have it, just a few ideas that I hope you'll employ in our great campaign. I must go now: I think that paternal unit is approaching and I don't want him to get suspicious of my typing skills, and I still need a few minutes to delete his bookmarks and turn the firewall off.
Fight proud, brothers and sisters: viva la revolution!
Your comrade in arms,
The Red Rage.
Monday, 9 June 2008
From: Miss G Collins, A. K. A the Red Rage.