Right now I feel like I can’t do anything right for my son (apart from giving in and letting him watch the iPad for hours on end or having a lolly after a dinner he didn't actually eat!)
He wants to do everything on his own. Opening the oven when his dinner is ready or stirring a boiling hot cup of tea. I feel like I am saying “No” to every single one of his requests lately and I feel pretty shit about it. I don’t want to be that parent. I like to think I have always been quite relaxed and let him do a lot of things. But lately, oh my god… his behaviour has been all over the place. He’s developing a lot and I know this has to be linked but still... it ain’t easy.
- Holding hands. No don’t be silly. He can walk along the wall or by the river on his own!
- Crossing the road, he can run across without us no problem.
- Being alone in the bathroom. There’s nothing wrong with pouring soap down the loo and flushing it to then see the bubbles.
- Feeding the cat. Of course it’s fun to keep giving the cat the bowl and then taking it away. (I actually encourage him to feed the cat but not to tease him!)
Just so you know the above list is made up of all genuine cases however note the sarcastic tone from me.
I get it. I really do. I am a control freak, so he clearly gets that from me… But everything seems to be a challenge or a struggle. EVERYTHING. He is at the prime age where he is trying to establish independence in everything he does, and we have to nurture that for sure but he also has to be safe! Like I said, I consider us to be quite free with things. I know some parents want their children to sit still when out and about and that's great but that's just not him, and he doesn't get told off for that but we also need some boundaries and at the moment, it's almost like he's deaf to us. Doing the complete opposite of what we ask.
When we have meltdowns I always get down on his level and talk to him and sometimes it's met with “Daaaaaaaddyyyy cuddddddllle” and then other times it’s “Nooooooo leave me alone!!” I’m never sure which one I am going to get. But if it’s my husband telling him he can’t do something, then he’ll be running to me asking for cuddles I can guarantee. He’s really started playing us off one another quite blatantly. We find it quite funny sometimes, but of course try desperately to hide the laughter!
Child psychology is something you can get so lost in on a quiet evening scrolling through your phone reading blogs from experts for hours and hours. And in the early days, it’s all I did. But as we’ve grown as parents and developed as a family, I feel confident in what we do… which is basically winging it and doing what we feel to be right. No one knows their family better than themselves. But it's hard guys. When you've lost your shit more times than you care to admit in one afternoon, it takes it's toll. He can wake up early (like he always does) and we can still have a lovely morning but this weekend just gone, 3pm hit and it became a disaster. Mix it with none of us not having enough sleep and feeling tired and it just goes to pot.
I don’t want to shame him and make him apologise for these things he's doing, he’s just exploring his world and pushing boundaries, but playing with our keys and opening the front door really isn’t something we can allow unfortunately, so how do we get him to understand? To listen? It feels like you're banging your head against a brick wall at times.
It’s all a weird, crazy battle, this parenthood thing. I've been reassured by so many parents that it's all normal and these kids can literally tip you over the edge into insanity. But lately it seems to have gotten a little more crazy. We were out the other day and he was asking to go to the toilet for the TENTH time during lunch. He was literally kicking off because we said we’d go to the loo again before we left and not right now. I couldn’t be 100% sure but I am quite confident he had no wee left in his little bladder after the ninth trip to the loo. But that was it… the whole café heard about it. And one mum starting chuckling to herself… we caught her eye and she said “Oh good, i'm glad it’s not just my child dictating every little thing in her life right now”. And in that moment I was like “Ah good, we’re not alone in this struggle!”
I always say it’s his world… I’m just living in it. How true that is right now.
Tomorrow is a new day.