To parents and non-parents alike, here’s a funny old tale:
It’s bedtime. We’ve had the bath and our little bear has decided that she doesn’t want a story downstairs. Okay, no problem. I tell here that in 5 minutes it’s time to go upstairs, clean teeth, story in bed and night night time – as it is every night. This routine has worked wonders for us in truth. I’m not trying to be a smug mummy by saying that. Yes, we have our over-tired nights where Daddy’s working and she will push and push (and push) and I wonder if I’m doing it ‘right’. But generally, the bedtime routine is great for us.
This night however, like an episode of Holby City, I knew something was afoot…
Our little bear asks if she can take 2 of her princess books to bed to read to her teddies. I tell her that she can, but I have to take the DVD out of one of them first because it doesn’t go in her bedroom. This is because she once made something at playgroup with a CD. It snapped at home and was razor sharp. Too dangerous for her bedroom.
I digress… I tell her the DVD lives downstairs. Knowing this was not going to be the right answer, I told myself to stand firm. Sure enough, our bear got a vice grip on the books and rang off with them, through the kitchen, through the hall and up the stairs!
At this point, I didn’t want to turn it into a game but equally I knew she was having a paddy, a tantrum, call it what you will, and I didn’t want her to trip up and hurt herself on the stairs. Grasping the books like a vice, she stood on the top step and told me, through tears, that she wanted to take the DVD to bed.
Firmly I told her to move onto the landing where it was safe because we don’t stop and talk on the stairs. Again, I told myself to stand firm, keep my voice level and not to grab the book – otherwise she’s won – I mentally said.
It did cross my min that this truly was a stand-off with our 4 year old! Oh boy!
Vice-like grip, back turned to me, bottom lip firmly out.
“E, give me the book please. I’m going to take the DVD downstairs where it lives and you can have the book in your bedroom.”
After maybe 4 times of saying this, she slowly glanced sideways at me, backed herself onto my lap and ‘sort of’ let me hold the book at the same time as her. She was still unsure.. I took the book, slid the DVD out, removed her from my lap and took it downstairs.
You thought it was over? I knew it wasn’t!
One 4 year old face down on the landing carpet kicking her legs and screaming… not the calmest bedtime to be honest.
And we hadn’t even cleaned our teeth yet.
She wasn’t keen on this either.
So I stepped over her and said I was going to clean my teeth. She looked up and asked me to do hers for her. I won!! Yeeees!
How did I win? In my humble opinion , I stood my ground, I didn’t raise my voice, I didn’t snatch the book off her and I repeated what it was I wanted her to do.
And. I. Did. It.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not SuperMum or SuperNanny (but I’ll bet she would’ve been proud!) but yeah, I stood my ground and I won.
And I did a cracking job of uncorking that bottle with my teeth afterwards…
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