How to make a child cry in under 30 seconds

Bear "Flea, have you chosen a bedtime story?" I asked my darling daughter this evening.

"Yes, but I don't know quite which one to have, let me see…"

I start flicking through the bookshelf. "Okay, there's Stick Man, Mr Brown Can Moo, Harry and his Bucketful of dinosaurs..."

I look up. Nothing's grabbed her yet. 

"Er, there's How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food, or Cat in the Hat, or Oh Boris.."

I pause. Silence.

"Jump in any time you're ready," I say.

Then rifling some more, "Splat the Cat?"



"I want Jump in any Time, please."

"That's not a book, darling, I was just saying.."

"But you said. I want Jump in any Time. Please Mummy, I did ask nicely."

"I know you did poppet, but we don't have that book."

"But you said…" she says in that voice that lets me know I just crushed her childish faith in humanity.  Her bottom lip is quivering like a piano string. A tear slides down her cheek.

Of course, I did what all good Mothers do at these moments. I passed the buck.

"How about we read Stick Man tonight, and when Daddy comes next week you can ask him to buy you Jump in any Time?"


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 27th November 2009 / 10:53 pm

    Priceless! Surely Stick Man can cheer up any child?

  2. 27th November 2009 / 10:59 pm

    Genius. Even my hubbie let a little smile cross his face.

  3. MummyMatters
    27th November 2009 / 11:02 pm

    Brilliant, this made me chuckle – I love how kids just take everything you say so literally. Bless Flea, I hope she enjoyed Stick Man anyway x

  4. 27th November 2009 / 11:07 pm

    I like this. I think you should write ‘Jump in any time’ as a thoughtful and creative Christmas present. You should put that art GCSE to good use and illustrate it too…

  5. 27th November 2009 / 11:07 pm

    Hee hee. I had to invent a Wallace and Gromit story once, because I’d inadvertently suggested they might have one…
    Stick Man is a favourite in this household -especially round Christmas.

  6. 27th November 2009 / 11:17 pm

    I love this – and can totally relate!!
    You know what you’re going to have to do, don’t you? Yep, you’ve got until next week to put a children’s story together entitled ‘Jump In Any Time’. I think it’s a very promising title… Illustrations too mind.
    And who knows. This could be the start of something big!

  7. 27th November 2009 / 11:41 pm

    After my daughter asked me for the 1694th time if she was going with us in the car to her cousin’s house, I said, “no, we’ll just leave you here all alone and go without you!” Oh, the tears…
    Note to self: safe sarcasm for the grown ups.
    On the plus side, you’ve got an excellent idea for a book now. Just make it yourself.

  8. 27th November 2009 / 11:50 pm

    LMAO- you’re evil! I like it!!

  9. 28th November 2009 / 7:18 am

    Awww – what a sweetheart 🙂

  10. Muummmeeeee!
    28th November 2009 / 8:34 am

    Jump in any time? Now that’s a book I need to buy for the husband…
    Where can I get a copy and how much?

  11. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    28th November 2009 / 9:18 am

    Nicely played xxx

  12. TheMadHouse
    28th November 2009 / 10:02 am

    Good call, but I adore Stickman.

  13. S.
    28th November 2009 / 10:06 am

    Una would love a book called Jump in Any Time. Can you make one please? 🙂

  14. 28th November 2009 / 6:45 pm

    You do realise you now have to write ‘Jump In Any Time’ just to make it up to her!

  15. 28th November 2009 / 8:28 pm

    Stick man’s my favourite. And his stick lady love.

  16. 29th November 2009 / 2:14 pm

    Deliciously evil. x

  17. 29th November 2009 / 7:02 pm

    I made my daughter cry this evening in under 30 seconds when I told her she wan’t watching X-Factor.
    She still isn’t!

  18. Sally
    29th November 2009 / 9:36 pm

    Perhaps “Jump in any time” is the greatest children’s book never written?
    Fortunately, Flea seems to have forgotten about it for now, but we’ll see next week if she remembers!
    @Rosie – I think you made the right decision for her sake, frankly.

  19. 29th November 2009 / 11:13 pm

    I laughed at the delightful throw away line at the end..but oh it is awful whent ehy take you so literally! Bless.

  20. Vic
    1st December 2009 / 12:09 pm

    Wish daddy good luck in finding that one! lol