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Former Modes of Aunting

"Walter," said she, "get down this moment. You are extremely troublesome. I am very angry with you."

"Walter," cried Charles Hayter, "why do you not do as you are bid? Do you not hear your aunt speak? Come to me, Walter, come to cousin Charles."

But not a bit did Walter stir.

-Jane Austen, Persuasion

Well, clearly the child's first problem is that he is named "Walter." But aunting would be so much easier if I just had a Charles Hayter backing up my "You are extremely troublesome" with "Do you not hear your aunt speak?"  That would have both nephews hopping right to.

bonnet at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (3)

So, you would rather be feared than loved? I do not believe it for one minute :-)

I for one welcome this age when children don't have to adress their father as "Sir", and that at last they can see not everything grown-ups say or do is smart. Sure, this raises some problems regarding the maintenance of a healthy level of authority; but if an adult canĀ“t defend his/her position without relying on yelling or the threat of physical punishment, maybe that adult doesn't deserve to be obeyed in the first place.

And no, I was never expelled from any school ;-)

August 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

My three-year-old is named Walter, and he doesn't listen to me either!

August 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterzaftiguous

I find when the nephews are being bad (and the Cool Aunt has to be put away), a good voice of doom works nicely. The only problem is the older nephews are on to me (Leading to after a particularly effective demonstration of vocal ability which was obeyed quickly, one of the older boys said, "That is a good scary voice. I bet it's really useful." That child is unnaturally bright for a lad of but eight), however they do know that when that voice comes out their Cool Auntie the Benevolent Dictator Goddess is pretty ticked off, and it would be best to obey now.

RPJ, for the record I would like be a Wodehouse Aunt. All shall love me and despair.

August 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertruetitipudlian
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