Telling off your child with a cheeky ‘Santa’s watching!’ isn’t for everyone – we know that.
But for those of us who see no harm in mentioning old St Nick every once in a while, it can be an effective way of encouraging little ones to be on their best behaviour.
For 34-year-old mum Helen Skelton, who shares 2-year-old son Ernie and 8-month-old son Louis with hubby Richie Myler, it’s all about “survival” – and if that means throwing Santa’s hat into the ring then so be it.
She’s even come up with a, some might say, genius way to ensure toddler Ernie knows that Santa’s keeping an eye as Christmas approaches…
“All of my friends came over with their new babies this week and of course Ernie gets straight up on the coffee table, because he can,” she recently told MadeForMums.
“So, I actually a took a picture of a guy I met in the street who looks like Santa to threaten him with. It’s survival that’s what it is. At the minute, it’s working.
“I literally say to my son: I met Santa, and he’s watching you. I just show him it and he goes Helen does a shy face impression.”
(MFM have seen the photo and can confirm that this strange and kind man was a dead ringer for Santa and also seemed quite jolly 😆)
She’ll take it one step further if she can’t get to her phone, too…
“Near my in-laws there’s a factory and I tell him that’s the elves factory so if he’s been naughty I drive past and say I’m gonna go in and tell them! And he’s like, ‘Uh, ok mummy’!
It also seems Helen is well-renowned amongst her mum pals for her festive toddler-taming tactics…
“My friend recently sent me a message saying: ‘If you haven’t threatened your kid with santa 10 times this week, are you even a parent?’ with a note: ‘This is you, Helen’”
We’re sure Santa will actually be VERY good to cheeky little Ernie and his baby bro, because it’s the Skelton-Myler family’s first ever Christmas at home in the UK.
But it sounds like mum won’t be enjoying it too much – because there’s a bit of pressure on about where to go for lunch!
“It’s our first Christmas in the UK for 3 years cos we’ve been living abroad, so I think this Christmas is gonna be fraught with the grandparents vying for time.
“They’re all a bit ‘you know you’re always welcome here’ and I’m like ‘oh’ 😵”
“They’re not close either, they live 2 and a half hours apart, so I think its gonna be hectic. And my husband works on Boxing Day. I’m just like, it’ll happen somehow!”
Oooh, we certainly know that feeling. Where to go on the day is always a tricky one, right?
There’s another reason Helen’s not yet in the spirit. She hasn’t popped up the Christmas lights yet and has no plans to – as Ernie’s a tad, erm, handy with decorations.
“We didn’t put up a tree last year because Ernie just pulls it over,” Helen admits. “He also thinks that baubles are balls.
He’ll pick up a bauble in the supermarket and go ‘mummy, free shot’ and then chucks it. He’s a lunatic. It’s like dodgeball.”
Ahhh, life with babies and toddlers, eh? They make for a very merry (and tiny bit scary) Christmas, indeed 😂
Helen Skelton is the spokesperson for the new Baby Jogger City Select LUX Stroller
Images: Instagram/Helen Skelton