Sent to the naughty chair

I TROD mud into the house.

Two weeks after vowing to change my ways and be a better husband, I’ve ruined the carpet.

I have been sent to the Naughty Chair.

It’s time we executed Super Nanny.

This stuff might be all right for kids but if I someone tells me one more time that my behaviour is not asseptable, then my behaviour is going to become so unasseptable it’ll make Rasputin look like Christopher Robin.

For those of you who have lived the past few months in a cave three-quarters of the way up Mount Everest, Super Nanny is television’s English answer to the Horse Whisperer. For children.

She turns real children into good children.

Which is to say, she turns proper children into the kind of unctuous goody-goodies one finds in religious tracts, surrounded by lambs and people wearing sheets.

And she does it by sending them to the Naughty Chair.

Great God, what is happening to our world? What have we done with the meat pie, the bender down the pub and skinning children alive?

We’ve abandoned them. Given them up for the insipidness of tofu, 28 different flavours of tea and the confounded Naughty Chair.

My mother used to threaten to skin us alive, and if you think that’s too graphic for the frail sensitivities of a four-year-old, consider the threats from mothers in the North of England whose standard weapon in the battle for domestic supremacy was: “I’ll tear off your arm and hit you with the soggy end.”

Not any more. Now toddlers are banished to the Naughty Chair or the Time Out Room, or the Thinking Spot.

And what’s more they are going there because their behaviour is ‘inappropriate’.

I have a policy with people who use the word ‘inappropriate’.

I blow up their cars. With them in it.

And I have no doubt that when this generation of toddlers reaches the age of majority the world will be filled with the sound of family cars exploding in driveways.

Yes, I know there are children out there who are beyond the wild excesses of your worst, x-rated horror movie; and Super Nanny deals with lots of them every week on television.

With a Naughty Chair? And a logical discussion on the ‘inappropriateness’ of their behaviour?

Wouldn’t it be a lot more satisfying to lock them in a cupboard, or to tear their fingernails out?

And for the others; the real children, whose purpose in life is to find the fences and climb over them, manipulating their behaviour with this pap seems to me like raising a lion on pasta salads.

And what was so wrong with a whack on the backside now and then? I don’t think there are too many axe-wielding psychopaths among the Yorkshire miners of England who went to bed at night with images of a torn and bloody socket where their arm used to be, and bruises from being hit about the head with their own bicep.

Indeed, here in the age of inappropriate behaviour and the Naughty Chair we are managing to destroy each other at a faster rate then at any time in the history of the world, with the possible exception of World War II.

But then, you’ve only got to watch Super Nanny once to understand what she already knows, but never says. Like dogs, it’s not the children who are the problem. It’s their owners.