Enter at your peril – we are in the midst of a temper tantrum as I write this, desperately trying to shut out the noise and hoping that Mister Maker provides the necessary distraction for the wound up three year old to unwind.
I hate tantrums. That could quite conceivably be the most ridiculous line I’ve ever written. Who the hell likes tantrums?! What I mean is that I hate the way they make me question myself. This particular tantrum was sparked by my refusal to get her dressed – what this means in reality is her refusal to even hold a single item of her own clothing. She is three. She is more than capable of getting herself dressed but prefers to be dressed by mummy which, considering everything else I have to do before we can leave the house always means an unnecessary and annoying delay.
Normally I don’t even ask and I just do it. Like most parents I’m a sucker for an easy life but not today. Today I asked her to do it, or at least make a start – cue complete meltdown. Already I wish I’d just done it; I’m questioning whether I’m being too harsh and I can feel my resolve dissolving. I know that if I just gather her up in my arms she will calm down but I also know that I will be tempted just to get her dressed too.
We have very few actual tears you understand. Fellow parents amongst you will undoubtedly know what I mean when I describe the incessant, repetitive, dry-eyed moaning. We’ve had two trips to the bedroom after both of which she promised she would put her knickers on. Needless to say she is still butt naked and although she is now at the stage where she’s forgetting to whine for about 30 seconds at a time, she is still going.
It’s my eldest daughter I feel most sorry for. She’s bored but of course we can’t go out until her younger sister gets dressed. She has even offered to dress her herself, bless her little cottons. I have now accepted that we aren’t going out at all. We’re an hour and twenty minutes in and she’s still resolutely naked.
I need some ibuprofen…