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I knit, I sew, I run, I look after children and hamsters, I take truly terrible pictures, I cook, I complain.  Sometimes all at the same time.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The sound of one child shouting

Lucy and I are having more and more rows at the moment. She is pushing every single one of my buttons and it is driving me nuts. Tonight's row was about going to bed; I wanted it to happen as soon as possible, she wanted me to read her the stories of her choice from the top shelf, play a game on our bed, let her run around making a lot of noise while the baby slept, go in and see the baby, waking her up if necessary and take her own clothes off as slowly as possible. It ended up with me putting her in bed, in her pyjamas, not reading a story and going downstairs to the sound of shouting.

I like to be in control, and this is absolutely impossible with very young children. I have to keep on telling myself that I have no control over her behaviour, I can only control my reactions to her behaviour. At the moment, these are explosive and shouty, and I end up with severe headaches most evenings. I am trying to be firmer with her, to give her more boundaries, to help her understand that when I say "NO", I mean it, and she is not to keep going on and on and shouting at me.

I think that this is the hardest part of parenthood, this realisation that we have very little control over these tiny things we have brought into the world. They will do as we say, they will learn to be good little citizens with our help, we can threat and cajoule them to do the "right thing" or to do whatever it is that we have asked them to do, but in the end, we cannot control their actions. I have to come to terms with this, otherwise I will get some form of ulcer by the time I'm 40.

Fortunately, at the moment, the rows Lucy and I have can be resolved with a bit of time, a couple of tears, and a lot of cuddles. Tonight, for example, I went back up about an hour later to check on her and she immediately said that she was sorry and that she loved me and could we be friends again. I think I may be doing something right after all.

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