Oh hi there teenage toddler. What’s that you say? Do everything when and where and how and as soon as you demand?
I emerged, saliva soaked and covered in bite marks, late in the game and still bruised and very much still learning. So yeah, I’m behind. I’ve not had the usual amount of time – ie, Beans whole life – to hone and polish my ideals and skills and techniques and ways of doing things. In fact I have only got one hastily scribbled rule in my book (written in crayon obviously, because there’s never a working biro when you need one). And here it is:
Pick your battles.
I thought I had this shit figured out when I came up with that. Fighting hard against life and depression and bad hair days and no milk left for my morning cup of tea I figured that everything is hard enough without arguing over everything else.
So that’s the kind of parent I have become. Want to wear a dirty bib all day? Sure! No harm will come of that. Won’t eat anything except for a cupcake for lunch? Fine! It won’t hurt every now and then.
And so on.
My (inspired) approach is met with much eyebrow raising from the husband. He thinks I’m soft. Really he should know that I am most certainly not – c’mon, the toddler got her attitude from somewhere after all – but whereas he will absolutely totally completely ignore an epic tantrum until its reached its screaming crechendo complete with dry heaves and puffy red eyes, I prefer the admittedly slightly softer but still similar tactic of ‘mummy is going to play over here and you can join in when you’ve stopped being so silly’ type thing. You see the huge bonus of this is that I don’t have to put up with a small human screaming/smacking/throwing at me and she still knows what’s right and what’s wrong.
The thing is my approach works and it kind of makes my life easier so yay and everything but I think its days are numbered. It seems it is becoming harder and harder to distract Beans once she is in the full throes of murderous yelling, and she’s getting so much more strong willed. For example, today consisted of five minutes of activity followed by being
dragged taken to the kitchen and commanded to bestow her with ‘DAKS’ (snacks) and repeat ad infinitum. All. Freaking. Day.
Once she had munched her way through the entire fruit bowl and six chocolate buttons before lunchtime I figured she couldn’t possibly be hungry anymore, and so for the hours that followed we did her little circuit to and from the kitchen, me pissed on the way trying to distract her and telling her she can have food later, her pissed once we were there and she was denied her frankly unreasonable demands.
uneducated fail safe method is failing me. I don’t want to deal with tantrumzilla, nor do I want to create a spoiled monster. I don’t want my child to think its ok to throw or push or hit or stamp her feet or to crumple into hysterical laughter when I say NO! in my very bestest SuperNanny voice.
WTF do I do?!