You choose the action, you choose the consequences

better parent

This is particularly relevant today.

Peanut and I did not leave the house in the best of moods. He didn’t want to get dressed. I had asked him repeatedly for 20 minutes to get changed from his PJs into his clothes. After his last warning ‘This is the last time I’m asking you, I will put you in the car in your pyjamas’ he still didn’t make any move to get changed. I put all the bags into the car (handbag, lunch bag, gym bag, Peanut’s bag plus another odd bag with a banana, flask of tea and a book in). Came back, took a deep breath – he’s still not changed.

I put his clothes and shoes in the car, came back and picked him up, putting him into his car seat, him kicking and screaming, saying he wanted to get dressed. I said ‘We don’t have time, we have to leave now’.

Trying to reason with a whirling dervish is not easy; I put the Pet Shop Boys on, drove to kinder, with him carrying on like a pork chop in the back of the car.

We got to kinder, I stopped the car and asked if he wanted to get dressed now.

No!

Then I will take you in as you are.

No! I don’t want to go in my pyjamas.

Then let’s get dressed.

No! I want to go home to get changed!

We don’t have time.

By the time we got in the building, I was nearly crying. I was so angry I didn’t greet anyone, I just carried him up to his room. Went in, put his bag down, and sat on a chair to get him changed.

I slammed the door shut, taking my mood in the room with me. I told the educator, she was welcome to him this morning. I get eyebrows raised if I’m late to work, I hate being late – to anything! In a previous life, I turned up to work half an hour early, (even commuting to London I was early, underground permitting). I also stayed till the job was done, unless I had an appointment in the evening.

But now the clock I work to is run by a four year old who doesn’t understand the concept of it. Most days it’s not a problem, today I was tired, (insert hysterical parental laughter), I was fed-up with running around like crazy JUST to get out the house. He can get dressed on his own, and I don’t ask much of him in the mornings. Just to return his bowl to the sink when he’s finished breakfast and to get dressed.

I’m the adult, I’m aware of that. When he was dressed and calmed down we had a chat about our feelings and I apologised about getting angry. I also told him he was allowed to not like it when I was angry, to that. I received the most withering of four-year old insults:

You’re not coming to my party.

I’ll tell him he’s all out of luck about that later on.

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