I didn’t exactly have a great day today. I mean, my arms and legs are still intact. I have a job. The kid is still rockin’. The boy hasn’t abandoned me for his cousin or anything. There is food in the fridge. Roof still on. So reeeeally I have nothing much to whinge about. But when has that ever stopped me?
It started with a meltdown on the way out to the car after creche. (Well, actually I was stressed at work but meh, we’ll start with the kid.) I wasn’t really in the mood to be all understanding (some may call it PMS) so I tried a few words of encouragement that clearly lacked the soul that was needed for Hannah to decide the world wasn’t actually going to end and pull herself onto her two legs and put one in front of the other. Oh, the hardship! So… after ‘Nice Mummy’ had failed, I moved on to the ‘Give the kid an abandonment complex’ phase. The two teachers at creche started walking out just as I was heading out the gate telling Hannah that I’d see her at home. Completely foiled my plan at being a hard ass as I felt bad and doomed to hell because of my very public rejection of attachment parenting, so I started wimpily walking back toward the kid.
BUT! But… they encouraged me instead! What is this? ECE teachers condoning leaving a child in a screaming heap on the foot path? Oh yes. So with renewed vigour, well… as much vigour as is required to stand still, I waited about 10m from Hannah until she had finished moaning and screaming that
her intestines were falling out legs were not functioning she didn’t want to walk. With a few heartfelt words of motivation (yes, I mastered it this time) she finally decided that I wasn’t bluffing and that she would need to stand up in order to continue on with her life.
It made me realise that I had been breaking my fundamental rule of parenting a toddler. It comes in three forms but essentially amounts to the same thing. So anyway, here the rules are for my reference and perhaps for those of you who are feeling the strain of the toddly kid… or even for those of you who are blissfully unaware, in your babyfied cocoon of cuteness. BEWARE.
Anyway, the rule/s.
- Don’t bluff. Ever. They’ll call ya on it.
- Be consistent. Same rules, every time.
- Follow through. If ya say it, mean it.
So yeah, three versions of the same thing. Now, I won’t pretend to be the parenting guru (refer to story above) but I do think that the rule/s apply to ALL forms of parenting – AP, hardass, or those that sorta make it up as they go along.
P.S. I had intended to whinge about the rest of my day too but it seems that the little tanty I threw by myself in the kitchen while I was doing the dishes helped to get most of the tension out. You have been spared. Don’t think it’ll happen again.