The following is a list of things that have made my 3 year old inconsolable today.
She had to get dressed.
My hair wasn’t curly enough.
I wouldn’t let her choose the shopping.
Her collection of Top Trump Frozen Cards were too ‘cold.’
She hasn’t got an Elsa doll that lights up.
I forgot to give her all the CD’s to hold during the 5 minute journey to Nursery. (This was an epic melt down in which she questioned me – between gasps and sobs – Gestapo style as to how I could possibly have let this happen, and was I aware of the bad it was..)
She wasn’t allowed to wear her Peppa Pig onesie to school.
She realised that she hadn’t heard Mungo Jerry’s In The Summer Time recently.
She remembered she didn’t have an ice lolly today.
She still hasn’t been taken to Disneyland Paris even though ‘there are planes that go there.’
We didn’t go swimming today.
She wasn’t allowed to take every single one of her toys to nursery with her.
I helped her put toothpaste on her toothbrush.
I helped her out of the car seat.
I wouldn’t let her drive the car.
I combed her hair.
She wasn’t allowed to stand in the toilet.
I wouldn’t lie on the floor and let her use my stomach as a trampoline
I wouldn’t let her cut my hair.
She didn’t like my shoes…
Sometimes it makes me want to laugh, but if I’m tired and we’ve had a day of it (see above) it makes me want to cry with the frustration of what is to follow if I don’t immediately comply. Where does this sudden rush of indignation come from? I love my daughter so much and simply want to be as close to her as possible in the most harmonious way I can manage, yet I must carefully pick my battles or I’d be negotiating in a high stake situation all day long.
I’ve noticed that most of this procrastination is reserved for me. My partner gets some of it but the lions share comes straight at me as though a fight is eminently preferable to peaceful hugs and smiles. I know she needs to test boundaries and it is a good thing that she clearly feels safe enough to do so with me but I miss the little toddler who so recently ran into my arms for hugs and kisses and who seems to have suddenly grown up. The one who loved getting dressed and laughing with me at silly things all day long. I crave the hugs we used to have and feel like I’m going cold turkey. It’s all I can do to stop myself from engineering a situation in which she might hug me in her on order to get my fix.
It’s all a learning curve I know, but I didn’t anticipate this neediness in myself. Being a parent is like having someone constantly hold up a mirror and show you the bits of yourself you didn’t realise were there… and if I’m like this now, what on earth will I be like when she leaves home?