Bad Cop

I am the bad cop.  I really like routine and structure, ergo I am the bad cop.  If I don’t play my role, my wonderfully structured life turns to chaos.  If I don’t tell Kiki at 7 that it’s time to head upstairs for her bath, then she won’t be asleep by 8.  She might not be asleep til 8:30.  Like I said, chaos.

I’m definitely the bad cop between me and Hubby.  He starts tickle fights before bedtime and I’m the one that says, “alright, alright.  That’s enough.”  He surprises her with candy and I tell her she can’t have any until after she eats her dinner.  He lets her watch more tv than I do and lets her play more iPad games than I do.  The two of them have even developed this whole schtick where if they’re left alone and I ask them what they did while I was gone, they both get big innocent-looking eyes and respond, “nothin’.  Nothin’.”

Hubby at least has his bad cop moments.  He tells Kiki no.  He is fully supportive of a reasonable bedtime for her.  And he sees no reason for her to have every toy she asks for.  But when we’re with the grandparents, it’s a totally different story.

Grandparents don’t do bad cop.  We live far away from the grandparents and they only see Kiki every couple of months.  So I get it.  They shouldn’t have to do bad cop.  Instead, they do over-indulgent cop (they sail way past good cop).

We just spent 11 days in The South and Kiki was spoiled by all of her grandparents.  She ate cupcakes twice a day, had chocolate milk with every meal, stayed up til 9 o’clock every night, and received loads of presents.  I had to constantly remind myself that it was ok to ease up on the reins and just let Kiki and the grandparents have their fun.

I really don’t mind being the enforcer most of the time.  I was a teacher for 7 years, so I’m used to setting limits.  But it does start to get to me when it’s repeatedly pointed out that I’m the one raining on my daughter’s parade.

“Kiki, do you want to have ice cream?  Oh, wait.  You better ask your mom first.”

“Sorry girls, we can’t play tag right now.  It’s too close to bedtime and we got in trouble with Moms over there last night.”

“Well I would say you could watch another movie, but it’s up to your mom.”

Those are a few actual quotes from the grandparents during our trip.  Not surprisingly when our trip was coming to an end, Kiki declared, “Mommy, I’m done with New England.  I want to stay here.”

Well sorry about your luck baby girl, but that’s not going to happen.  You’re stuck with vegetables, sunscreen, sensible bedtimes, limits, and me (the bad cop).


3 thoughts on “Bad Cop

  1. My parents are indulgent but the problem is then they don’t understand when Lemon Cake doesn’t behave due to their lack of boundaries/limits, and blames me for not disciplining him haha. My inlaws indulge but very comfortable with setting boundaries. My MIL used to be a teacher and for a while a teacher at an all boys’ school so she knows how to deal with boys =)

  2. I very much enjoyed this post. As one who has to learn proper limit setting myself, there was lots to relate to in there… I wonder if Moms are stuck being the bad cop more often as the primary care-givers … and if Dads spent all day every day with the kiddos whether things would change (obviously not all households are setup this way… )

  3. I agree with you that I think it has a lot to do with me being the one she spends most of her time with. I have to set the limits of what is normal, otherwise all that extra stuff wouldn’t seem so special. And I do think Dads would be bad cop more if they are the primary caregiver – I know Hubby is bad cop more on the weekends than on weeknights when he only sees Kiki for a couple of hours.

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