20 October 2015

Never Have I Ever: Lost My Cool

I've concluded that parenthood is a test.

In the beginning it's a test of your relationship. Relationships can crumble before a baby is even born and if they survive through the pregnancy phase, are put to the ultimate test when a newborn enters your life. The word tired takes on a whole new meaning as does the word love. But that's for another post.

Then, when you think you've got the parenthood gig kind-of sorted, your previously-needy and somewhat stationary baby has morphed into an independent toddler who won't sit still for longer than twenty seconds.

This makes trips to the shops rather challenging. And on more than one occasion, I've lost my cool.

"Mummy just needs to get a few things" doesn't seem to translate to a toddler who has tunnel vision only for the Boost Juice bar, the toy section at Kmart, or those damn shopping centre rides {why are there so many?!}

Not only will my toddler not sit in a pram or a trolley {yes, I've tried bribing him with food,} he is quite agile and speedy for his size, and teamed with no fear or sense of reality when it comes to escalators and automatic doors, this mama spends more time running after, disciplining and leaving piles of groceries at the register, than she actually does achieving what she went to the shops for in the first place.

You would think that a good chunk of people would give you that I know what you're going through or hang in there, mama! type of look when your kid is acting up, but I have experienced more than my fair share of disgusted looks, I guess both at my son's behaviour, and/or my lack of intervention to stop it.

We were in Coles one day and the continued whinging, crying, bum floor plonking and requests to be carried, had really started to irritate me. Me in hindsight should have returned to the car and got groceries later when I could make a solo mission to the shops. But I soldiered on because, well, we were already there.

And it all just got too much.

And I whacked him. Right there in the battery aisle. And it was just that bit too hard.

Mama guilt arrived in a big way. I started even formulating headlines for the local news outlets like this one:

Sunshine Coast mum charged with battery in the battery aisle of Coles Supermarket.

Okay, it wasn't that extreme but it played on my mind for the rest of the day.

My immediate reaction when frustration spills over is to smack {on the hand} but these special little people in our lives learn very quickly. A couple of weekends ago my just-turned-two year old grabbed my arm, looked me in the eye and smacked me {on the hand}. Twice. With purpose and perhaps a little wickedness in his eyes.

He has learned that from me.

So, when it all got too much on the weekend.  I did not smack. I let the tears flow. I joined my crying baby and pleaded him for him to JUST. STOP.

I really think it helped. He could see that his actions were causing me to be upset and we just cuddled until all was better in the world again.

This parenting gig is hard. But so worth it.

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