2pm (or thereabouts): your room/your vintage Mothercare quilt cover/M&Co shirt from granny/Junior J jeans/Old Navy shoes/a Sigma lens - you call it 'toy', but don't treat it like one. You're very careful and gentle with it.
It was the calm before the Skype storm. Fast forward to 6.20pm. We're in the same place, your bedroom, happily on Skype with your gran (my mum) and you are excited to show her the 'Tanta' (Santa) book she bought you. You throw it towards my keyboard - we've told you a million times not to throw things, especially books, but I don't know if you remember or understand - and two keys come off. The 'z' key is broken completely.
I was annoyed. But you're not even 2 years old. You kept apologising over and over; sowwy, sowwy (sorry, sorry.) Kee-kay, kee-kay (cheeky, cheeky.) But it seemed to spark a cheeky fire in you and you were so bold as to take down a book-end and aim it for my computer screen. Luckily, I spotted you this time and we had to end our call on Skype before you did anything else.
You're not usually so...curious? Destructive? Cheeky? I don't know the behaviour and I am very careful to label it. Of course, I said you were very naughty for doing what you did but I am not sure I have it right.
I don't hear me or your dad saying 'no' an awful lot, yet you mostly do what we ask and constantly get praise for your ability to be so cheery and content - because 'well behaved' sounds Victorian. I'm constantly self-editing myself because I am so scared of damaging your self worth and self esteem. This doesn't mean I don't try to teach you the right thing to do when you veer off the happy path from time to time and it won't stop me taking away privileges when you're older and understand things a little better...but for now, while you're barely 2 years old, I have a problem with saying 'you're a bad boy' or that you're 'naughty.' And to be truthful, I think I always will.
I said you were naughty today out of my own frustrations and to make sense of why you behaved like that. After all, it seemed like you were doing it to be cheeky but when I think about it now, I think you were over-excited to be in your room, with all your books and toys, and to be on Skype with your granny. All at the same time. That's an awful lot of stimulation for a little toddler. And it does not make you 'bad.'
I'm going to try so hard to not say 'bad' (and luckily I didn't this time) or call you naughty when you do something like this again. I'm going to give you patience and a little understanding.
It drives me up the wall, at times, but I'm going to have to pace myself with you on this. Just so long as you can forgive any mistakes I make along the way - I'm new to this and I am learning so quickly. I don't always get it right.
However, if you're still lobbing objects at my things when you're 8, it's going to have to come out of your pocket money ;).