Dr Doolally: Domestic Dilemmas Discussed issue 4

domestic dilemmas

Hello mum muckers, Your favourite doctor is back in the house courtesy of our agony aunt column Dr Doolally: Domestic Dilemmas Discussed! In this month’s issue we talk dummy dilemmas, step kids and hateful children. So let us begin….


Domestic dilemma #1: Dummy dramas


Help me! I need to get rid of my 2 year old’s dummy but can’t deal with the screaming!?!?


If you can’t deal with the screaming, don’t bother trying to make him give up. You have to be dummy-rehab ready. Be safe in the knowledge that when s/he is 18 years old, chances are, s/he will no longer be using the dummy. S/he will probably be into many an illegal substance by then hey?!

I struggled with the concept of the dummy.

In the NCT classes, the teacher was sooooo anti-dummy it instilled fear in me. Until one day, Arthur did NOT stop crying. I tentatively walked into the nearest chemist and hesitated. I interviewed random mums and they all advised me to go for it.

So I did.

Arthur gave his dummy up when he realised no one else in nursery used one. He even brought it downstairs to put in the recycling. 2nd child, I bought a pack for the hospital bag.

Then I realised that Harry wasn’t getting any comfort from it. He talked with it in his mouth and it drove me crazy. He was sucking his fingers too so I figured the dummy, in the day, wasn’t serving any purpose of comfort.

And here’s what I did. I went cold turkey. I explained to him that he could have his ‘Dar Dar’ at bed time only. It was a tough 3 days. There was screaming. Lots of screaming. There was writhing around.

He was a Dummy-aholic. He still has it at bedtime and I’m fine with it. Every morning he wakes up and he says… ‘Bye Bye Dar Dar, see you at bedtime’ . We are ‘Dar Dar’ free all day and it’s wonderful. I don’t even take one out just in case.

You got this girl.

Domestic dilemma #2: Step kid stresses


I’m worried I won’t bond with my girlfriend’s children; I don’t always know how to talk to kids.


How wonderful you’ve found love and embracing the gorgeous little extras that come with it. Personally I think you should just get to know them as you would any other ‘normal’ person.

When you meet them, take your time. Show interest in what they have to say. (even if you’re not really that interested) Children love to know (or think) they are being heard. Find a common interest. You can build on your foundations from there on in.

I would say it’s incredibly important to keep the lines of communication open between yourself and any other members of their family. I’m not suggesting you need to be the Dad’s best mate but a degree of sensitivity should be observed until the foundations of the relationships are formed naturally. It’s a parent’s instinct to be protective of their child. I can only imagine that as a mother, if my husband and I were to separate… the mere thought of another mother figure going anywhere near MY babies makes me actually want to puke. Eventually, you will all find your feet in your new, extended family, one memory at a time.

Domestic dilemma #3: Friend of foe


My friend’s child is an utter nightmare and my daughter can’t stand to be around her (neither can I) but my friend is so lovely and seems to be totally oblivious to this. What should I do?


For me, a play date is all about the pay off at the end. What are my kids getting out of it? What am I getting out of it? I just won’t organise one unless I’m willing to take the gamble on it being worth it.If I know the kids are going to bicker, I Just. Don’t. Bother.

It seems to me that neither you, nor your daughter enjoys your time with this girl so if I were you I’d completely sack her off.

Not really.

Okay – there must be an underlying reason why this child is a goblin. If the mother is oblivious to the behaviour… seems to me she’s oblivious to the kid’s needs and the only way they can get attention is to command it via someone else, your daughter.  

If you want to persevere, set up a one on one play date just the four of you either in your house or somewhere intimate.

It would be really interesting to see if the mum notices anything right under her nose. If she doesn’t you’ll know for sure there’s serious emotional neglect issues that really you can’t get involved in.

If you like the mum that much, arrange your own play date without the kids. You can’t force your kid’s friendships.


So that’s all for this month’s dilemmas! Who else has experienced any of the above, and what words of wisdom would you offer? Do share in a comment below.

If you have a domestic dilemma that you’d like discussed, we would love to hear from you. Email Dr Doolally at totallygoingdoolally@gmail.com and your dilemma will be treated absolutely anonymously.


  1. I’ve totally sacked off someone because their kid was unbearable before! I also went cold turkey with my eldest’s dummy too. It worked really well at 18 months and he didn’t ask for it by the second day. My youngest is going to be a bit harder to tackle I think

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