It’s been a long and tiring day.
The three year old has found his voice when he doesn’t like people and he isn’t afraid to tell them. My often cute, cuddly and funny little guy has it in him to be a complete monster at times. Today was one of those days. He woke fine and happy, had cuddles with me, made faces at his baby brother and grinned happily at the gummy smiles thrown his way. Then other people happened. My best friend came over. He didn’t like her today, sometimes she is his best friend and he loves her, but not today. He spent a chunk of the morning crying that she looked at him, that she sat near him, that he could see her!!!
Things were no different when his big brother entered the room, or when he tried to leave the room to go to the kitchen, and big sister also got the same response. Kicking, screaming, pulling at me.
I went to my default mode; “when children are driving you up the wall, take away the walls!” … and so on went our boots and off we went.
We headed to our local (ish) forestry commission, to see the gruffalo and do the 2.5km trail. All was good, 3 yr old loves running from clue to clue and watching the characters come to life on the gruffalo spotter app on my phone. We enjoyed a snack stop in the cafe before visiting the carved gruffalo statue before heading home.
But through all this, he would only talk to me.
A little girl tried to look at a gruffalo clue with him, she was sweet, she tried to hug him. His response “don’t touch me you stupid girl I will kill you and make you die!” … (the joys of parenting teenagers alongside toddlers means they pick up some colourful vocabulary much to my utter mortification!) I apologise to the other parents, red faced and carry on our way.
Once home his antics continue. Doesn’t want to sit with his siblings, just wants mummy. Mummy is exhausted and drained from the tugging, the shrieking, the crying all while also trying to meet the needs of an exclusively breastfed 5 month old.
At last, daddy arrives home. Pizza is ordered and some form of calm comes over the house. Another adult for me, the teenagers are getting fed, the 3 yr old is being treated to pizza. All is well with the world.
I sit and fill my husband in on the day. The trials, the challenges, the arguments, the sheer and utter exhaustion. Ive already forgotten our cuddles, smiles and story time with the gruffalo this morning. Lucky i filmed them because by now they are a hazy memory obliterated by the strong willed stubborness of the shouty 3 yr old. Poor daddy gets the unleashed vent of frustration and told all the hard bits.
“He just didn’t want to people today!”
So true! What a statement. We all have days like that. I am familiar with that feeling. His words echoed my own from just a couple of weeks ago. In fact, I’m sure some days I would love to be able to behave as he did today and get away with it. Some days we just don’t want to people. That’s ok. Why should I expect my 3 yr old to never have an “off” day? Never have a day when he is just peopled out and wants his mum?
I sit here, while my children sleep and resolve to be more mindful of these feelings, more accepting of these days and emotions, and more supportive in getting him through them.
And tomorrow will be better.