Today I made the mistake of not locking the bathroom door while I used the toilet.
I don't normally lock it, unless I want privacy. Lately Roman has taken to coming into the toilet, pointing at me and saying, "ewww" in this fake American accent so I've started to lock myself in because, quite frankly, I don't enjoy being heckled while using the facilities ;).
So today; in comes the little toddler and of course he says, "ewww" the minute he eyes me on the toilet. Today it wasn't such a pronounced eww I'm glad to report but that might have been due to the fact he was making a beeline for his pirates. I bought the pirates at the shop yesterday, they're just cheap foam pirates to stick on the tiles when he's in the bath, or failing that, on the tiles above the sink.
Yesterday he got really annoyed at not being able to reach the tiles to stick them on so, of course, this was my fault and he proceeded to freak out at me; screaming, crying and moaning about the situation. "HELP! MUM! PIRATES! HELP!" I 'helped' as best I could but my best simply wasn't good enough - I was either too slow or not doing something the right way. He lost it. I declared an early bed time and this upset him even more. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" was his reply. "PIRATES!" at this point I was chastising my choice of 1. buying these stupid things, 2. letting him see them and 3. setting them up in the bathroom sink. Not smart, definitely not smart. I'd lost all my patience and good feeling by this point so I went to the living room and shouted through to Bryan, who was suffering with this mysterious illness we both now have, to take over. "I'm too annoyed with him. You need to step in." Previous to this I'd said to Roman two of the most horrible things I've caught myself saying to any child...and I feel so ashamed of myself!
1. You ruin everything.
It was my fault. I'm the adult and I should have had control over myself, and the situation. I should have planned for his mood to be going south (it was very near bedtime) and this kind of activity didn't suit that mood. It was silly of me, but I wasn't thinking straight because I was so ill and didn't want to just tell him no once he got the pirates out of the bottom of the buggy.
2. You're being a pest.
While this might be true, it's not nice to say. There are better ways of saying it - or you know, just not saying it at all. Who does it help? That's what I need to ask myself. If the answer is 'no one' then my mouth is better shut and my energy conserved for better things.
Oh.my.goodness. I feel so low when I think about that today. I wasn't brave enough to mention any of this yesterday - and was on the cusp of this stupid illness that has completely thrown me today. I felt like a really awful mother yesterday because I was so tired, so done and nap time felt like it came and went so quickly - I wanted to cry when he woke up because I wasn't ready to face it all over again. I wanted my mum to take care of things, to just be there but I had to face my responsibility and it was an overwhelming task.
So when he reached for the pirates today, right before having to go out, I prepared myself for what might happen next - an all out screaming and crying fest. Well, he was fine. He accepted he couldn't stick them onto the tiles himself, built a bridge and got over it. He was also very patient watching me stick them on, looking for pointers as to where he might be going wrong at sticking them up and attempted to stick them a few times without getting annoyed. "Mum, look! Juice!" he exclaimed, holding up a foam telescope that must have looked like a large bottle of juice to his two year old eyes. "Look!" he said, grabbing the next piece, "TREASURE!" and when we announced it was time to go out? Well he got down from his step, turned to wave at his pirates and said, "bye, pirates!" without any sign of upset or distress.
I suppose these tasks are all about timing, getting things right and not purposely setting things up, but being spontaneous. About catching children mid-day/morning, when they are in a happier mood, and doing stuff with them then. We've done painting close to bed time, something I would do again but anything that involves me in the task; gardening, baking, playing at the sink is a no go. I've learned my lesson well, but only through gritted teeth, plus some trial and error ;).