This is a bit of a self indulgent blog – a touch of therapy if you will.
I am dedicating this post to a good friend who also has a little girl, about 6 months younger than Mia, who I think at times wonders where she has gone wrong and why oh why was she gifted such a willful child whose favourite word is ‘no’ and who thinks mummy is her own personal punching bag.
This is for you Suzanne. You didn’t go wrong anywhere. You are and will be stronger than you can ever imagine, having gone through this and I totally feel your pain!
And in case you ever forget, you are a great mum!
There is no two ways about it, my daughter is a nightmare. I have broken all the mummy rules in her nearly three short years (shouted, lost my temper, cried, begged, sat on the floor hugging my knees and rocking gently).She really is a handful.
People tell me it’s great to have such a spirited tot and how full of spark and life she is. But they don’t have to take you home do they?They don’t have to listen to her shouting at me in the most awful demonic voice, a long and protracted “nooooo!” with extra rattle.
And this reponse comes if I ask her to do something really simple like go to the toilet or brush her teeth or – heaven forbid – if I ask her would she like to tell me what sort of day she’s had at nursery.
I haven’t experienced dirty looks like that since I was a teenager at school.
* See how cute she looks in that dress? See the tattoo on her arm? That was to make sure she didn’t look too cute. “I don’t want to look cute” she tells me “I want to look like a boy”. This is an ongoing theme in my house.
It feels like everything is a battle and if I cross her line of tolerance I’m rewarded with a punch and “I’m not your friend. You’re not even pretty. I’m only a little bit your friend.”
Followed by a deadly silence.
Then, like Walt Disney himself has wafted his hand of magic over the scene, she says in the sunniest voice with her head cocked cutely to one side: “mummy shall we play a game?” like the last 5 minutes never happened. Seriously, sometimes I actually think I’ve gone mad and dreamt the whole thing.
She has that power over me. And it can reduce me to an utter wreck.
If she’s not insulting me, she talking utter rubbish. Utter utter rubbish. It’s like a stream of consciousness and she just doesn’t stop. “Mummy, daddy is lovely isn’t he? He’s my friend. But he hasn’t got shoes and that’s a bit bonkers isn’t it? But if you haven’t got shoes that’s OK because the cows are in the field today. And that makes me happy. If the pigs saw the shoes they would laugh, wouldn’t they? What about the corner? We don’t like the corner do we? It’s not really very exciting and that’s not what we want to do.” etc etc etc.
It was funny the first 15 times, now I’m a little bit jaded.
Bedtimes are a struggle. The minute she has to get into bed EVERYTHING in her room suddenly becomes fantastically interesting.
Ooo look at my curtains! Shall we count my pig money (her piggybank)? My shoes aren’t in the right place. Chase me. Who put that wardrobe over there . . . etc etc.
And she baits her older, totally chilled out brother for sport.
She hides his Nintendo DS and watches him race around the house in a panic looking for it (he falls for it every single time too).
She tells him she had a chocolate treat today so he’ll get all jealous (she didn’t), she plays with her irritating talking doll while he’s trying to watch Justice League and she hides his favourite toy (Sonic Screwdriver, Top Trump cards, Ben 10 watch) in her underwear drawer.
If she doesn’t want you to do something for her she will have a screaming, hissy fit and throw herself on the floor.
If I try to put her shoes on for her and she doesn’t want me to, she will take them off, put them back in the wardrobe, shut the door and go and sit on her bed.
Then she will go over to the wardrobe, open the door, get the shoes out again and put them on herself. And all the time she’s GLARING at me.
I’m not joking, this little girl actually courts trouble. And don’t even get me started on the Hair Cuttin Incident.
Potting training was a whirlwind and, well let’s just face it the Terrible Twos have been absolutely terrible!
It is harder than I ever imagined it would be and my easy-going son certainly didn’t prepare for this kind of parenting hell.
So, I ask, is this a girl thing or a second child thing or are some children just a hell of a lot more wilful than others?