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.


  1. Oh darling - have so been there and felt the guilt all day. Infact as I recall times I have lost it, it still sears abit to think of it. We all do it - as I am sure you know. And they know it too - he will surely forget that one lapse in mummy niceness and will instead think of kisses and hugs and all the lovely things you do. No consolation I know, but don't beat yourself up too much. I had a great health visitor who once said to me that kids have to see the good and the bad in their parents; life isn't rosy all the time (my god do we know it) and so children must see that. It's all part of the tapestry... Lou x

  2. I thought I knew what determination was until I had my first toddler, huge eye opener and the longest 2 years of my life. So far, I have two more coming up to it!! Good luck and don't worry about the bellow, though he will probably take it out of his little internal filing system and beat you around the head with it a few times, just to make you cringe:) Jen.

  3. Oh God we've all been there. Going through a similar thing myself right now - she's 14 months old and I shouted at her for the first time last week - and of course I cried afterwards because I felt so awful. Some days she is an angel but other days it in tantrum after tantrum from when she gets up. People keep telling me worse is to come...
    And you're right of course he has forgotten all about it 5 minutes later but we don't...

  4. Hi there!
    I know exactly what you mean. It happerns to me too and then I feel so guilty after.
    Thanks Louboo for your comment. I hope it's true.

  5. Don't you get it? You are wrong...end of story. Wrong about the cereal, wrong about the sandals, wrong about the coat, and obviously you cannot drive. I have time to write this because I am in the dog house too. Only my 'toddler' is 10 years old.

    (I'm joking about you being wrong by the way!! I'm telling you this so I don't get hate mail as well as a 10 year old having a temper tantrum...)

  6. @veryannie - you have summed it up in one word! WRONG! That is how he sees me - just sadly, plainly wrong. I love it. He probably is complaining to his toddler chums saying 'she is just soooo unreasonable. I try and tell her, but does she listen?'

    Thank you to the rest of you. I am trying to ignore both of them ATM as they are both naked and squabbling over an ugly toy doll that they hadn't looked at in months. Sigh.

  7. Have had a lovely time looking back over your posts... will come and visit again... x

  8. Shouting is what you do when you feel the day should have ended and it hasn't.

    I had my 20-minute rant today, in the car, on the way back from our (mostly lovely) day out. But at least when I'd finished my tirade ('..and another thing...') at my trapped victims, there was total, blissful, silence in the car for the remaining journey.