So I’ve been warned for a while now. My gremlin is very close to hitting the 18 months mark and I have been told I am now going to be running the gauntlet for the next 18 months. This is going to be the tough time; a battle of wills; a constant fever of me counting to 10 and having a little foot-stamp out of my gremlin’s eyeshot.
It’s hard for me. Some who know me very well will know I am not the most patient of people. I’m one of those folk who will explode like a firework but cool down 5 minutes later and have forgotten about why I was annoyed in the first place. As I get older these moments are getting rarer. Hubby may just wind me up one time too many; I’m hungry and a small thing causes me to blow. However, at the moment I’m feeling the fire quite frequently. Why you may ask? Because a little thing, about a 10th of my size has learnt how to push my buttons. Not only does she push my buttons she accompanies it with a smile. Not just any smile, a grin, I’m sure it is saved especially for me.
To be fair some of this may be partly my own fault. I have let my guard down; shown my little gremlin the aforementioned weaknesses. Hubby points this out to me time and time again. When she goes to the TV and presses all the buttons, ignore her. When she throws food on the floor at dinner; ignore her. When she stands on the sofa; ignore her. So why do I find this so darn hard? I’ll manage a couple of minutes catching her out of the corner of my eye (with the little grin on her annoyingly quite funny little face) and I’ll end up saying something or moving her. One: nil to the gremlin my hubby crows (whilst I secretly want to smash his face in).
Can I really get that cross with her when I am just as bad? Am I nurturing a mini-me or is just the typical behaviour of an 18-month old? I mean she can go from this:
So after a particularly trying day today I decided to actually listen to my hubby and put his advice to the test. I had been over at one of my lovely friend’s houses and was looking forward to a bit of a break as my gremlin usually plays well with her little boy. Instead the pair of them were up to mischief and continued to stand and bounce on the sofa after being told to sit down, threatened with taking milk away (my gremlin) and removed. Technically I was doing my usual and rising to her and well, it wasn’t working.
We left to go home and my little monster, armed with her milk, started spitting in the back of the car as I strapped her in (she hadn’t been too keen on getting into the car). I calmly told her if she did it again, she’d lose the milk. A disgusting spray of milk later I removed her precious bottle and got in the car to drive home. Cue screaming, cue repeated calling of “milk”. I calmly said no as she was spitting and proceeded to ignore the monster tantrum that erupted in the backseat. I even turned up Greg James and started to sing a bit….too much? I’m not saying it worked immediately; I’d probably got about half way home, but suddenly there was silence. Quick peep into the back and the gremlin is contentedly looking out of the window. It worked – she shut up and I didn’t feel like I was going to self-combust.
So I hate to admit it but hubby may be right (says through gritted teeth). Ignoring her may be the best tactic. It kills me. I have to quite often leave the room or remove her into another room, whilst saying nothing but I reckon I may have a way forward. She is not getting the recognition she wants and seems to just give in. She also hates it if I appear to not want her around or ignore her. Bit of tough love. Seems like she isn’t the only one with a lot the learn – Mummy is along for the ride!