Don’t be fooled by those eyes!
Photograph ©Peter Broadbent
I understand that the tantrumming, moments of mad frustration, yelling, kicking and pinching are all par for the course for a terrible two year old ‘undergoing the change’: the tumultuous journey towards independence. But what of the sanity of the 31 year old mother?
You know the drill, child wants a chocolate rabbit (lovingly stacked at every counter in Waitrose-why Waitrose, why?) and on refusal, lays flat on the floor, red faced, kicking legs and screaming for good measure that he “needs a rabbit”. In Waitrose. The Chanel of all supermarkets. No use reasoning with the maniac (believe me, I’ve tried before and it serves no purpose but to fuel the screams) so I stand, packing my bags, allowing him to get over the worst before distracting him (usually with his favourite YouTube video on my iPhone: ‘Ten Green Bottles’).
Head down, I ignore the multiples of eyes burning through me, judging, and the sympathetic smile of the cashier and I move on, quickly. Very quickly. I wonder when the time will come when I no longer care. No doubt as these tantrums become more frequent and I’m utterly desensitised to them. Perhaps when I become that woman in the ad who starts tantrumming herself in the aisles in reaction to her child. Yep. One day, that will be me.
Tantrums at home are an easier animal- we have the naughty step or the porch he must sit in and calm down (on the third warning) but in a shop-you can’t start disciplining in public, can you?
I hate shouting at Oliver but have found myself doing so more often and end up feeling truly rubbish afterwards. His tantrums are not daily thank goodness and the plus side of his burgeoning independence is his love of cleaning (yes really) and our hilarious conversations involving “scary helicopters up in the sky”, “tractors that are very, very big Mama” and his loving compliments of me: “Mama you are gorgeous” followed by lots of kisses.
I love how we cook fish pie together, bake chocolate tortes, water the daffodils and pick fresh mint from the garden. He’s no longer a baby and it’s a joy to see him growing up. But the bad days, sheesh they can be bad.
So I beg, have you any tips to help me deal with my mental little ‘Mitchell brother’? Valium? Losing myself in Lindt chocolate? A short term adoption plan-child to be returned aged 3 or whenever this ‘phase’ is over? Any takers? Didn’t think so.