Sunday, 3 April 2011

Welcome to the Terrible Twos?

Welcome to Tantrumland

When you have a little one, no hang on, when you conceive a little one, people start to warn you about how horrendous they will be when they are a teenager. I laughed in their faces, full of Secondary School Teacher Bravado, saying that those are the years I like, and those are the battles I am looking forward to. I smirked defiantly and explained that I would much rather deal with a teenage sulk than with a toddler tantrum . And I still hold to that. I just didn’t expect the tantrums to come around quite so soon.

She turned one, and we turned a corner. Into a nasty, dark alleyway in Tantrumland. Not a good place to be. I don’t mind assertive (an eager jab of the finger accompanied by the hearty cry of “dat! dat! dat! dat! dat!” when she sees something she wants), I don’t really mind persistent (continuing the “dat! dat! dat! dat! dat!” even when said item has been removed from view), but I am not sure I can handle downright belligerent.

Case in point: Taking tea last week in a familiar high street coffee shop - the kind with lovely sink-in-comfy couches - was happy experience. CK chuntered happily away sitting beside me on aforementioned couch whilst I quaffed. It was when I removed her from the couch that she got a tad shirty. 4 minutes of lying face down on the floor screaming kind of shirty. That ain’t fun. Keeping up the pretense that she isn’t yours, you don’t know where she came from, perhaps she dropped from the sky isn’t easy when under pressure - especially when she is your little mini-me. I removed her by dangling her face down over my arm and pushing the buggy with the other hand while apologising to all the unhappy punters who were just 118-ing the number for social services.

And the worst thing? She is only one. This is the proverbial tip of the proverbial iceberg... Roll on 2, 3, 13, 21 etc etc etc!


Temper Temper

Our little CK is only one so temper tantrums are usually easily diverted and since the dreaded PMT is a thing of the past they are for me as well. Gramps has never been prone to them and I’m pleased to say that CKs’ mother is much more likely to dissolve into tears than to loose the plot, (usually). However, I do remember a time when she was a tiny little person of two. We were toddling round the supermarket with my happy little babe on reins – no doubt these are a total no no these days when small children are encouraged to be free range and organic in every way, so I apologise, but they were de rigour in those days, an absolute must in baby fashion accessories.

On this particular day the terrible twos hormones must have kicked in because she spotted a roll of polo mints next to the till and her chubby little hand shot out and in a nano second they were tightly held in her grubby fist. Now if there is one thing which I think is disgraceful, it is the way the supermarkets put sweets next to the till in an effort to ensnare bored queuing children, so my poor little person did not realise that she had just bumped up against one of Mothers’ Moral Hates and that she was never, ever, going to win that battle. Though I must say she gave it her best, and I admit that we left the shop with her lying on the floor and me dragging her along by her reins. This worked relatively well on the shiny floor but once we hit the tarmac of the car park the going got pretty tough. I trudged, she screamed, I stopped, she looked up, I asked if she had had enough, she nodded and stood up. I think it was the look in my eye!

I had tried explaining to her, honestly; I had tried bribery – ‘let’s leave the sweets and go home for jelly’, – I had lied and told her the sweets were ‘nasty’, I had tried to distract her ‘was that an elephant I just saw in the car park?’, I had tried to shame her, ‘everyone is looking at you and thinking what a naughty little girl you are,’ (oh shame on me), but when none of it worked and it was obvious that this was a pivotal point in our relationship, she was, after all, another woman in the making and, for our future together,r it was important that I won. I was lucky that I had the energy for the battle that day, I know how difficult it can be when you are exhausted and embarrassed by your toddler, and your other child is trying to tell you something and you have your mother-in-law coming for tea but if there was just one golden rule of child rearing I would think it should be, if you say NO, never ever EVER give in – so choose your battles carefully, save it for the drugs, sex and rock and roll and don’t worry too much about the sex and rock and roll.

Granny Bloggins

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