Solidarity in Stropland
I was in a cafe yesterday with my eldest and an old friend (well, someone I used to work with). There was a young child to the side of me with her mum and I suppose a friend of her mum or maybe a sister. The little girl was around 2 and in the midst of a huge strop. It was time to leave and she didn’t want to go, nor did she want to wear her lovely bright yellow wellies.
Haven’t we all been there? I know I have oh, about 10,000 times in the past 11 years and definitely more so recently. Siena is fully channelling the terrible twos at the moment. Stroppy doesn’t even cover it. I’m thinking diva and drama queen.
I watched events unfold at the cafe with interest. The mum was very calm and cool and eventually after much stomping and tears (from the child, not the mum) she ended up leaving with the toddler over her shoulder in a fireman’s lift, minus her wellies.
I have to admit watching that little episode cheered me up. Not at the mum having to put up with all those tears, but at the solidarity motherhood sometimes stirs up. I felt a bond with that mum and if I’m honest I felt better about my recent tussles with Siena over various issues (shoes, winter coats, nap time, the list is endless). I felt better knowing that all over the place there were mums (and dads and grandparents etc) going through the same battles I do.
It’s easy to feel like you are the only one and everyone else’s child is perfect. Recently I find myself constantly apologising, not that Siena is super badly behaved but rather that she is so dramatic! She cries at the drop of a hat so I have to explain that she is ’emotional’, brush past her and she declares an everlasting injury which she will talk about for days. And if you get something wrong you get the disdainful look and the wail (which shall now on be referred to as the DLW).
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with her behaviour. I think she’s a typical egocentric two year old who at times seems to think the world is conspiring against her. I do laugh though when other parents comment that their child doesn’t do that (well of course not, because they are all individuals with differing and developing personalities!) It’s like saying well I like the colour red and expect everyone else to be the same. That’s a whole other post though (coming soon)
Anyway back to the strops. The worst have to be when trying to get her in her buggy or car seat and she doesn’t want to. Ever done the super soft karate chop to the waist area? It usually works much to the amusement of passers by (no children are ever harmed). I maintain an air of calm most of the time although inside I’m usually desperate to get out of the public eye.
Stroppiness seems to happen in any environment or occasion, the biggest one at the moment being the S word. Yes, please don’t mention Sharing, not if you want to keep the peace!