Monday, May 31, 2010

Toddlers - when they finally break you.

For all my good intentions this morning, I ended up bellowing at my toddler.

He is an adorable, lively, car-obsessed little chap, and we all love him dearly. But his emotions would put a hormonal, hissy teenage girl to shame. He chooses a cereal, then decides it's the wrong one (once the milk is poured, of course) - major cadenza. So we do 'dance of the seven cereals' every morning.

He wants to wear his wellies, but it's 27 degrees out, he wants to wear sandals in the pouring rain, I let him, he sobs that his socks are wet.
He carries a tiny car in his little mitt, everywhere we go, but loses it just as we are about to leave somewhere.
He wants whatever his sister wants. It doesn't matter what it is.
He will only eat noodles at lunchtime.
He wants to 'drive' our car as soon as we pull into the driveway - then will not leave it without a ten minute fit.
In short, he is a toddler.

I know what I am writing is true of all, or at least most toddlers. I know it is exhausting for all parents. I know bellowing is not the answer. But when you have to summon the negotiating skills of Butros Butros Ghali and ALL of the United Nations for every tiny detail of the day, a bellow sometimes escapes.

I like to think I am quite a jolly mum usually. I have a fine repertoire of talking stuffed animal chats, I am more singy than Rod, Jane and Freddie put together, and I think nothing of making a tit of myself on a regular basis - purely for the delight of my children. But I don't think I do the toddler thing well at all. It all seems so needless, the fighting and cajoling, the 'time-outs' and the givings-in.

I just left him at daycare, his one short day a week where I get to have five hours off to sort the house out. But I feel so sad that he is thinking of me bellowing at him because of his new stupid, bloody coat. His little tear stained face is going to haunt me all day. The worst part of it is, he loves it there, and within five minutes I know he has forgotten about it already and is making a big mud pie with his mates.