We had one of THOSE days the other day. You know the ones. Those oh-so-two-year-old days where black is white and up is down. On THOSE days my son (who is normally such a joy to be around) is downright cranky. Nothing I do is right.
“Pick-e-up!” he screams. So I pick him up. “No! No! No, no, no, NO, NO! Don’t pick-e-up!” he cries. So I put him down.
Then he asks for a banana. Every day for the last 1½ years he has asked me to peel and slice his bananas, so I peel and slice one for him. “No! No! Not like THAT!” he yells. “Put it back. Fisk it, mummy!” No matter how hard I try, I just can’t work out how to “fisk” (fix) a sliced banana, and I just have to let him cry that one out.
On THOSE days we mothers* need to dig deep…. so deep… to find the extra reserves of patience we need to parent in a calm and loving manner. Sometimes my well runs dry.
By about 8:30 in the morning.
On this particular one of THOSE days, I was putting my son in the car…. no, actually trying to convince him that he should get in the car so that we could pick up his sister from school. Of course, his idea of getting in the car and my idea of getting in the car are two completely separate thought bubbles. He insisted on standing on that little lip on the edge of the car where the door closes and trying to jump into his car seat, landing on his bottom (which requires a jump, twist and wriggle and has a degree of difficulty of 7.5). After three failed attempts, I spoke before I had put my mental censor into gear:
“I wish you could just get into the car like a normal person!”
“But I can’t, Mummy,” replied my son. “I’m a boy!”
* I’m not being intentionally sexist here. It’s just easier than typing “or fathers, or whoever is the main caregiver” etc, etc, so as to be politically correct.