Wow, it's easy to offend these little people! They get upset for - what seems to us - the most bizarre reasons. It's easy to feel exasperated and loose our patience, but how we react can impact greatly on their development so we have to be mindful. Still doesn't stop me laughing inside, like seriously, you're crying because your Daddy wouldn't smell your feet upon your request?!
So here are the ten most recent things us terrible parents have done to make Travis cry, I hope they make you laugh and also help you to realise that you're not alone when your little dictator throws a melt down over socks.
1. The Sandwich Stand Off
It's a classic, we have all been there. I was in a flurry of making lunch, answering the phone and changing the washing machine over and made the grave mistake of cutting His Royal Highness's sandwich into little squares instead of little triangles. So there are several avenues open to me at this point, I can validate his desires for triangles and start the sandwich again, either eating the 'ruined' sandwich myself or throwing it away. But does that not reinforce to him that I am some kind of slave and that his desires come above all else? Or perhaps I can snap at him to just be grateful that he has a sandwich at all and demand he eat the squares. But does that not reinforce to him that his desires are unimportant? It's a tough one. I'm not sure there is a right or wrong, just your own on the spot judgment of the situation. I quickly chose to apologise for my mistake, but explain that he will have to eat the squares this time as they were already made, but that I promised to do triangles next time. This seemed to appease the situation, his desires for triangles had been acknowledged and accepted but he had to, in return, accept that squares were what were available this time. I was lucky this time. It could have escalated, in which case I probably would have had to make another sandwich.
2. Stairway to Hell
We were going downstairs, but half way down he wanted to stop and sit there, no problem, I simply passed him and carried on with my life. I was unaware that this would result in huge upset that I had 'beaten him downstairs'. I attempted to explain that you can't win everything every time. This was not going to wash, he was beyond reason, so I had to step back onto the stairs and let him pass me and 'win'. Yes, I gave in, it just wasn't worth it. pick your battles!
3. Separate the Eggs
Another food one; I had offered some scrambled eggs on toast for tea, a firm favourite. But the little guy asked very nicely if he could have eggy bread instead. He said please and it's the same ingredients so I am more than happy to oblige. He likes to help me in the kitchen so witnessed and assisted with the whole process of soaking the bread in the egg then cooking it. He clearly understood what he had requested. But when presented with his meal requested that I 'take the egg off the bread' - quite an impossible task. I explained that this wasn't possible and that he had asked for eggy bread and therefore had eggy bread. I stood my ground on this one, I'm not making two dinners. After some tears the hunger won and he ate the lot... and asked for seconds...
4. The Cup Conundrum
Classic! I presented him with the spiderman cup instead of the space ship cup. Cue tears. Perhaps I should have stood firm on this one too but I was tired. The drink got poured into the 'correct' cup and we went about our day. Daddy does the washing up anyway so whatever, washing up is mans work - it's no good for your nails!
5. Pesky stones
He wanted to go outside with Daddy on the driveway but didn't want to wear shoes. Fine, grubby feet aren't a worry to me, so long as he is clean when he goes to bed he can be as grubby as he likes in the day. But the stones were hurting his feet. So I took him his shoes like a diligent servant maid. However, he didn't want to wear his shoes - he clearly would have preferred to stand there crying that his feet hurt. I left his shoes next to him and walked away, there is no reasoning with that kind of logic.
Recently toilet trained he is growing in confidence and often asks for 'pwivacy' whilst on the toilet, especially when doing a number two. Shame he can't extend the same courtesy to others, he likes to look you in the eye and ask you questions whilst you go about your business. But I drew the line last week when he requested to wipe me after, like I do for him. No way buddy! This obviously offended him and there were yet more tears. Not backing down on that one sweetie, you can cry all you like.
7. Bogey Wiper
I asked him to please not wipe his bogey on the sofa, you would have thought I had asked him to leave home and never return. Oh the hysteria!
8. Moving Heaven and Earth
The sun was too bright and in his eyes, but Mummy wouldn't 'move the sun'. Clearly because I am a terrible person. I offered suggestions such as he close his eyes or move himself, this just escalated the situation. He eventually accepted the explanation that Mummy wasn't tall enough to reach the sun and he counter suggested that maybe Daddy could move it later. I just agreed and hoped that by later he will have forgotten about the need to 'move the sun'.
9. Have a Banana!
I was leaving the house to meet a friend whilst Daddy and Travis did bath time and stories/bed. Travis was very offended that I wouldn't take a banana with me for my friend, even hanging out of the window whilst I got into the car waving a banana at me yelling 'Take Eddie a banana! Take a banana!'. I should have just taken the banana, but I was rushing. Then I felt guilty all evening for not taking the banana.
It is very very rare for me to not be there at bed time so Daddy had to comfort many tears that evening (Ah! More guilt!) but they survived. However, the next night there were tears that I was actually there for bath and bed - he wanted me to leave him and Daddy alone like the night before. There is just no winning!
10. It's Not Just Me!
This time it was Grandma's turn to make him cry. At some point during the day he had managed to get one of his socks inside out and squint. Grandma very kindly saw that this might be uncomfortable and corrected the issue. Bad move Grandma! One very frustrated toddler then angrily removed his socks and started crying because they weren't how he wanted them. Then he didn't want them on or off, correct way round or inside out, he didn't know what he wanted. It was the end of the world!
See, you're not alone. As infuriating as these moments are though, just remember to laugh at the end of the day, it's that or cry!
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Wife, Mummy and illustrator.