It’s only 10am. I’ve been awake since 5.30 though, so it seems later. And this morning, it seems like everything Elspeth does is calculated to piss me off:
I kept telling her not to go into the bedroom, because Aidan worked night shift and needs to sleep now – so what did she do? Went into the bedroom.
I asked her what she wanted for breakfast, she said weet-bix, so I got her weet-bix, and then she refused to eat them.
I reminded her not to climb on things. Then she climbed on a chair, fell off, and hurt herself.
She even threw a tantrum over putting her underpants on, wanting a nappy instead.
She is becoming very wilful, opinionated, and stubborn. I’d like to say that I don’t know where she gets it from, but unfortunately she’s inherited that directly from me. I can see us clashing more and more as she gets older; we are two people who don’t like to back down! The only benefit I really have is that she still can’t open her own bedroom door, so sending her to her room is still effective. It works for both of us – she knows she’s stuck until she agrees to smile, and I get a little time to collect myself and calm down. Heaven help me the day she figures that door out!
There are days when every little thing seems irritating. Days when, however irrational you know it to be, it just feels like the world is against you. Days when demands are made upon you and your time that you would rather not fulfil.
Today has been one of those days.
Nothing major has happened, there has been no catastrophe, and nothing really out of the ordinary. But Elspeth has been cranky and tired, she has deliberately misbehaved, and every tiny incident has played upon my nerves.
I’m now convinced that she’s not getting enough sleep. It is difficult to get her to nap in the proper bed, so she’s probably got a sleep debt dating back to the abolition of the cot. She has gone to bed very early tonight, and I hope that will help and make things a bit better tomorrow.
And so I beg of the world, just turn me into a teapot. All I desire is to be filled with tea! And possibly chocolate.
A little while ago, Aidan’s father gave Elspeth a DVD. It is an animated film featuring her own face in a short re-telling of The Little Mermaid. Frankly I think it stinks, but Elspeth loves it.
This afternoon, she asked to watch it – “Watch Mermaid please mum?” As she’d been a good girl today, I permitted her to watch it. Once.
When it finished, she asked for it “Again!” I said no. Once is enough.
That was twenty minutes ago, and the last twenty minutes has been filled with sobbing, hyperventilating, and nothing but the word “Mermaid” screamed over and over again.
The first few times I simply said no. My voice got firmer and firmer. “Not again. Once was enough.” I also tried distracting her with some favourite toys and books.
But now I’m just sitting here watching and listening. This is the longest, loudest, most persistent tantrum she’s ever had. It’s very interesting, and I have no intention at all of giving in or even giving her any particular attention to reward this behaviour. I’ll just wait for her to get bored or distract herself with something.
Oh look. Thirty minutes since the start of the tantrum and she’s quiet – she asked for playdough, and is now making playdough chickens with a cookie cutter.
I knew ignoring the tantrum had to work eventually!