Yesterday I happened to be following a mum around Tesco who was more than past the end of her tether – now there is no judging here from me.. I have been there..numerous times – who hasn’t? But it really stopped me in my tracks. A simple question ‘Mum can we get pink apples instead of green’ was met with the most hostile, snappy & aggressive response from this exasperated mum – I don’t even know what words she used but it was enough to knock the wind out of my pipes. Seeing that little girls face totally bewildered by what she had done wrong just about reduced me to tears.
Who knows what kind of day this poor Mummy was having, obviously a pretty awful one to reduce her to speaking to her daughter in such a hostile way.
It really made me think about all the times I have snapped at Mini Meldrum – I’m not a yeller but I am a nagger…some days it feels like it’s all I do as she is currently in the middle of the blatantly ignoring me/questioning everything phase. I am a firm believer of being consistent… but some days it literally takes all my strength to stop the nagging and be the fun mummy that I know Safiyah loves spending time with – more than that though..it’s the fun mummy that Safiyah responds well to & is more than happy to do as I ask of her.
Safiyah is a pretty well behaved 2 year old in the grand scheme of things – she has her moments – usually when she is over tired or in unusual surroundings and the silliness starts. The thing I find most difficult about S is how switched on she is… many toddler’s I know just mull along and do as they are told, with zero questions/backchat or confrontation. Safiyah is beyond this level of command taking she want’s to know Why, When for How long and various other details she finds imperative to her decision making… all of these take some explaining (when done properly) & when these questions are asked an uncountable amount of times a day it leads to one pretty exhausted mummy.
I feel embarrassed to admit it but I have found myself envying those mums of quiet toddlers. I sometimes wish S would be that compliant, complacent toddler that does as she’s asked first time… I’m embarrassed because why on earth would I wish my confident, inquisitive, bright spirited, energetic, quirky and damn right hilarious story telling toddler to be passive and ultimately – dare I say it – kind of boring.
Seeing the way the Mum in Tesco responded to a simple question from her daughter made me really stop & think about the way in which I respond to S – I have never spoken to her in the same way I witnessed but I have responded to simple questions in an exasperated way ‘because I said so’ being a pretty regular one. More recently I have told S that ‘She’s making my ears bleed’ (I feel so ashamed actually writing that down) & ‘let’s have some quiet time’ is a firm favourite of mine…
I have now made a pact with myself to try and improve the way I communicate with S “because I said so” wouldn’t be a good enough reason for me to do something so why should S just accept it as a given and do something because her mummy said so… being totally honest I think I am going to find it hard..very hard, but it is one area of my parenting I would really like to work on so I’m going to give it my all.
I can imagine that by the 7pm rolls around I will be using reserve supplies of patience to explain to her (in detail) why I don’t want her to use my expensive shampoo to wash the sides of the bath with but I will try veryyyy hard to come up with a better reason than ‘Because I said So‘
What area of parenting do you find difficult? Please tell me I’m not an awful mummy & not the only one that finds the constant questioning of everything a little bit soul destroying…