Wednesday, March 26, 2008


This is for my friend S., who is one of my inspirations, as she has a child who needs extra understanding, and she still remains a MeanMommy in every sense of the word.

I remember the first time S. first used the term “evacuation” in my presence. She was describing a scene her child (may have been children) was making in Target, and she said, “I had to perform an evacuation!” I laughed so hard something may have some out of my nose. I told her she was brilliant, and promised her I would always give her credit when I used the term.

I wish more parents would perform evacuations. I have applauded in stores when witnessing one, and have gone so far as to stop the parent, explain that I am a pediatrician, and commend them on their discipline. If a child (especially a smart one) gets a whiff of the fact that you really need to get your errands done, and are not willing to evacuate, they realize (with the childlike glee that is to be expected at their age) they are holding you hostage! They will scream, they will cry, they will wheedle, they will whine. They will wear you down until you give in and get them a cookie/candy bar/toy/soda/game/fill-in-the-blank. You have at once reinforced the notion that they are in charge, and you are right back to square one in terms of your child understanding that YOU are to believed, because you say so.

After a few immediate scoop-and-run evacuations (with AT MOST a second chance to listen to you, but NEVER a third), the shock-and-awe will set in, and they will listen better. You can even threaten, “Do you want an evacuation?” If they have experienced a no-words, no-turning-back, no-negotiations evacuation, complete with appropriate consequences of your choice, they will not want to experience it again.


Marta said...

Excellent! I'm all for evacuations. The words my kids heard from me constantly were "unacceptable behavior." Which, as you know, is mean-mommy code for "this outing is sooo over."
I applaude the evacuating mom. Good form. =D

Mean Mommy said...

I agree! I've been seen performing the "dragging boneless, screaming child evacuation" more than once. I hate to cause a scene, but at least I'm sparing others from having to endure it any longer!

By the way, I have another mean mommy for your list:

meanie said...

Can I just say...I love your blog? I had no idea other meanies existed, this is opening a whole new world for me!
*and yes, I have evacuated. But you know what? Unless absolutely necessary, I don't bring the kids to stores me with - it's boring for them and painful for me.

Thanks for visiting my blog!