The Twelve Blogs of Christmas: The Smarties Telephone

Image 2When I was little My mum took me out one Christmas for lunch with one of her friends and her very well behaved daughter.   As we arrived at the venue I caught sight of a toy telephone filled with Smarties in a nearby shop window and I practically had a religious experience…. I mean I NEEDED that telephone more than I had ever needed anything else in my life. I was transfixed and nothing else mattered. After being pulled away from the shop window and into the restaurant I can remember my mum attempting to chat with her friend while I tugged and tugged at her skirt trying to let her know how important the telephone was. She needed to understand that if I didn’t get it my life would be meaningless and empty. My poor old mum coped well for a while as I bombarded her with begging and whining and crying. She reasoned with me and eventually made it abundantly clear that the Smarties telephone was not going to be joining us on the journey home. Outraged, I cranked it up and threw a proper tantrum while her friend’s daughter sat meekly at the table displaying  all the characteristics of a perfectly behaved child. – What was wrong with her? – Hadn’t she seen the telephone? Before I had a chance to ask her these questions we were up and out of that cafe in a flurry of anger and exhaustion on my mum’s part. Her friend and her daughter left at the table with party hats, Christmas crackers the an uneaten Christmas dinner as my poor old Mum dragged me kicking and screaming away from the cafe and the Smarties telephone for ever…

My daughter is similarly strong willed and determined. She is beautiful but can go into meltdown over any little thing like being given her juice in the wrong colour cup, or having to wear a hat or gloves in the cold or not being allowed to stand on a chair to stir the contents of a boiling hot saucepan. Yesterday it was because although she had just been given a teddy bear, she saw a toy cat and realised that she needed both in order to feel fulfilled! Christmas ramps it up and I keep trying to let her know that Father Christmas probably won’t bring every single item she has listed in her letter (that should be letters – she has written three so far).

What to do in these situations? Ride it out I suppose. Maybe some parents are a lot better at distracting their children from these flash points than I am, but any suggestions would be gratefully received … I certainly have a newfound respect for my Mum and how she coped in those early years now that I’m a mum myself.

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