Dot writes: yesterday was awful, awful, awful. Hugh woke at 5.25 (not wet, no apparent reason) and was in a foul mood all day; every possible activity was served with a lavish garnish of crying, moaning and whinging. For example: he came in from a walk, played with a toy aeroplane for five seconds apparently cheerfully, and then cast himself down on the floor kicking and shouting. It was something to do with the toy box – no, he didn’t want the toy box – no, he did want it, bad mummy – no, he wanted milk! MILK! So I refused the milk because tantrums aren’t the way to get what you want and being kicked doesn’t make me feel very generous, but on the other hand the tantrum wasn’t about milk, so maybe I was being horrible – how could I possibly get this right? I got so desperate in the afternoon I handed the boy to his father and escaped with Frank to Blackrock, where I bought Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers. I now know that I must be sensitive to my child’s particular personality, allow him to explore and grow, and not crowd him when he is playing. Which will solve everything. Actually, I think the advice in the book is mostly good and it could help us be more authoritative and consistent; we are better at hugs than rules, on the whole. I still have no idea what that tantrum was about, though.
Today he woke at 6.25 and everything is so much better. We have been to the park in the rain, eaten a good snack of apple and toast and achieved the all-important nap, and now I am typing with Frank on my lap and Hugh asleep in the kitchen. (In the buggy, not the sink or anything.) Hugh walked part of the way to the park and was very good about holding my hand and not running off, and he had his toast neatly at the table instead of wandering about with it. Today I am enjoying his cute-little-boyness instead of wanting to swap him for cinema tickets.
Hugh and Ken were sharing a shower this morning (it’s a routine that works for us) when Ken realised he had no towel. From downstairs I heard the call of “Dot! Dot!” And then a little voice joined in: “Dot! Dot!” I don’t really like it when children call their parents by their first names, but on the other hand it’s very cute indeed the way Hugh wants to be just like his daddy…
Then in the park I let Hugh play on the wet playground equipment – all by himself, because no other families had braved the elements – and I was hovering near him and chatting to him because I was a bit worried he would slip over. But he started to wave me away and, when I didn’t immediately get the idea, he said “shoo”. Clearly I was crowding him. Perhaps he has been reading The Baby Whisperer too.