In the last 24 hours...
Jake has learned a lot about my limitations as a mother. In the playground yesterday, he wanted to go home with strangers.
An unusually friendly and cheerful woman had come up to us and said hello to Jake, trying to get her son to make friends. We chatted a bit then her boys took her off to another bit of the playground. Even though Jake was his usual shy self when meeting new people, as soon as she left, he asked where she’d gone and then demanded that I bring her back.
“Mummy, want go bring lady here to talk to Jake! Mummy, go DO IT NOW!!!”
What do you say to something like that?
“Mummy can’t ask complete strangers to do whatever you want” was clearly the wrong answer because it was followed by this:
“Yes you CAAAAANNNNNNN!” and then eventually….
“MUMMY! DON’T make me grumpy!!” complete with wagging index finger.
Since Mummy was clearly incompetent, Jake decided to follow the woman and her boys to another part of the playground, but wasn’t quite brave enough to go up to them. I managed to distract him and we played happily for a whole half hour.
Then, as they were leaving, he piped up, “Oh no! They’re going!!” They overheard and waved at us, saying goodbyes and nice to meet you’s. Jake started getting really upset, saying, “No!!!! I want go wiv them!!!” and then when he realised that wasn't going to happen, he kept on waving over and over, waiting for the lady to notice and wave back. She didn’t.
This morning, we were woken by the door buzzer. I ran downstairs to answer it just at the moment that Jake woke up, screaming that he wanted to come too. I asked him to stay put, but he wasn’t having it. He ran down the stairs after me screaming, arriving just as the Parcel Force van was pulling away and I was shutting the front door. He grabbed the door handle, opened the door and literally screamed in RAGE because the van was pulling away. God knows what the neighbours thought I was doing to him.
After the feral scream came this:
“Make man come back Mummy!!!! I want man come back NOW!!!!”
When that wasn’t forthcoming, he grabbed the parcel out of my hands and put it outside, on the front door step, demanding that it stay OUTSIDE.
I didn’t know what to do so I left him to it, hoping he would calm down. He did, following me into the kitchen with the parcel, after having shut the front door. But then as soon as he saw me, he started wailing about the parcel being HIS and how it was his birthday and the parcel was his present. He continued to cry even though I wasn’t even trying to take the parcel away or tell him otherwise.
We then had an hour where he made constant demands and said no to everything I said, even when I was agreeing with him, interspersed with him telling me to do such and such NOW! even when I was right in the middle of doing said thing.
So, perhaps it wasn’t surprising that soon after this, we had a role reversal and I had a meltdown over the computer doing something weird. He watched me for about 5 minutes while I tried to figure out what had happened and how to fix it. Then he said, “Mummy, do you need a cuddle?” which was just what I needed and we had a lovely cuddle together and then I resumed trying to fix the computer and it didn’t work and I got annoyed and he said, “Mummy, do you need a cuddle again?!?!”
Since then, we’ve both had numerous grumpy shouty tantrums (one of which was a tussle over the mouse during a cbeebies computer game where Big had to try and brush Small’s teeth with foaming hot pink toothpaste and another was about a hole in my cardigan) followed by numerous apologies (offered on both sides) and cuddles. At one point, I retreated to the kitchen to eat chocolate. Then brought some out to Jake, to which he replied, “Oh! Chocate for Jake! Thank you.” A moment of calm before the storms resumed.
During one of my tantrums, I happened to shout jism. Shortly after that, Jake said, “Mummy do you want to eat jism?” whereupon I dissolved into hysterical laughter. I’m pretty sure that hysteria is where I’ll be resting comfortably for the rest of the day.
(Incase you’re wondering where my mindfulness was in all of this, I have two answers for you: 1) JISM, 2) Hysterical laughter)