- These stupid tantrums over nappy changes and now you’re strong and crafty too when you kick and squirm and thrash to get free. Its getting old, you’ve been doing this for so long. Toilet train if you don’t like nappy changes, I’m not begging to deal with poo!
- The hideous anxiety we are all experiencing over her adjustment to daycare. She wakes in the night fretting that it is a daycare day – Mummy work today? She burst into tears when she sees me getting into work clothes. She sobs and begs not to go on the drive in to the city. She cries inconsolably for hours sometimes when I leave her at daycare. It is breaking my heart.
- Leaving her at daycare. Nothing hits me harder than her struggling to free herself of the carers, arms flailing to reach me, howling my name as I turn and walk away.
- The worries of daycare interrupting my work day. Getting to work late because it takes so long to settle her at daycare. Leaving work early because she is too distressed to stay all day at daycare. I don’t enjoy being at work so much anymore, I don’t perform as well at work anymore. I am skulking about hoping no-one will notice me and wishing the time away.
- That L.O.U.D cry of yours. It has to be heard to be believed. OMG it can drown out an industrial site or a siren. How many moments do I spend trapped in close proximity to her listening to this and wondering if I am getting tinnitus?
- The way she tests my authority on every little thing. I mean I respect her need to test authority, its her age, but does she have to be so damn cocky about it? Does she have to look so wicked and contemptuous? I can see the future in these moments, when she will be a teenager one day and I will be a stupid old Mum.
- Finding my handbag re-packed for me with everything in the wrong place and little nursery rhyme books stuffed in it. OK, its also cute but its hard when I have 10 seconds to locate my credit card in this mess so I can pay for parking and there is a line of frustrated cars behind me.
- She still hits other children, usually the sweet, little defenceless types who have really nice mothers that I want to keep as friends.
- That terrible instant where I wonder if something awful has happened to you, like when I found you ‘playing dead?’ on the floor. When you fall over walking in shallow water and don’t right yourself. I see then how toddlers drown silently, without struggling, and in moments.
- You are so highly strung! Planning around your personality traits and making allowances for it takes valuable energy that sometimes I just don’t have.
- Worrying about how she is (not) settling into daycare.
- Having no idea how to discipline her. Feeling way out of my depth with managing her behaviour. She’s far more determined and fierce than I was prepared for.
- The way she is extending her bedtime out further and further, eating away at our ‘non-parent’ time. 6.30 to 7.00 to 7.30 to 8.00 to 8.30 to 9.00 to 9.30.