Baby Dictator

Firstly allow me to predict that this is the first children's blog to feature a Korean dictator on its preliminary post... As a history major and an ardent reader, I have studied a lot of dictators in my 45 years. Amongst the truly infamous of the who's who of this lot (Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc) there are some clear personal patterns and traits which should be self evident to the studied man. It is for this reason that I am so surprised to find myself under a form of martial law in my own home at the hands of a tyrant of my own making. The dictator in question? My 2 (not 2 and half) year old daughter, Marla.

To get a sense of Marla at her cutest (read deceptive), please refer to this image. Light and carefree, wouldn't hurt a fly. But isn't that how the best tyrant's get you? How many sweet posters do I need to see of Kim Jong Un cuddling a puppy or wearing Mickey Mouse ears until I break and relocate my family to North Korea? With the last name of Mooney I am already susceptible to cults.

Fearing the worst, I began to do some research on the internet to confirm my worst fears. Don't believe that I have found myself at the hands of one of the most ruthless rulers of the 22nd Century? Refer to the flashcard below with criteria found on this site:




Use of media, both written and visual, to promote a certain viewpoint Controls all home media (I never see the remote control) and Paw Patrol now the moral compass

Cult of Personality

Anything an individual uses to make him or her seem more important than other people. Told health nurse "Daddy my best friend". Then told Nate, Sophie and her stuffed rag Ghostie that they were her best friend

Making Laws Without Question

Individual can make laws without the involvement of other government officials, much less the public. My favourites are "Go Sleep!" and "Stop Talking" but the list is too comprehensive for this post

Lack of Public Involvement

The public does not have a role in the government. Yep. Assuming Laura, Oscar and I are the public

Lack of Civil Liberties

Removal of laws that protect the citizens from the government. I personally believe she had a hand in Brexit to eliminate the EU mandate on human rights

Silencing or Repressing Political Opposition

An individual or Organisation that opposes the government's (dictator) rule is silenced See "Stop Talking"

Use of Terror/Intimidation

The government maintains power by intimidating or terrorising the public. As a broken man I live in fear. Particularly between 20:00-06:00 where I cringe at any sound


But probably the strangest thing about my new life of oppression is that I actually seem to enjoy it. After 40 something years of being my own boss, I figure its about time somebody else had a say...wait a minute, I think that happened when I got married!

Stephen Mooney is a regular blogger on technology and running. Travels With Marla is one man's attempt to grasp middle-aged parenting of a spirited daughter, subservient son and their loyal subjects.

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