This is the thing about toddlers. Suddenly they’ve got an opinion. They have a voice. They have a say.
I hear people pining for the the newborn stage. I miss that too. You know those times when they had to do what you want to do. Without argument. Without question. Without the need for bribery and coercion.
Let’s take this morning. Frankly, I woke up in a vile mood. I’m not sure why. It was the most consistent night’s sleep I’d had in over a week. The temperature had finally dropped below 29 degrees in little man’s room. He woke at 5am but then went back to sleep till seven. Eight glorious hours of sleep were had. So I can only blame hormones for the gorgon-like creature that greeted her family.
After finalising an online food order and planning the week’s meals (a desperate attempt to stop the lockdown binging), I decided there was only one thing for it. A refreshing, revitalising reboot. A walk through the forest. With it now being 8:30a.m. though, I’d missed my morning me-time slot thanks to Morrison’s. Daddy Daycare had checked out and clocked on to his real job.
It’s fine. I’ll take little man with me in the running buggy.
Newborn. One year old. That would be a feasible statement. No argument. Strap ‘em in and off you go.
However, a train track had just been set up on the big table. We are talking a good hour’s play here. My options were now limited. Swipe him from the table and risk the wrath of the gods unleashed on me in a tantrum of biblical proportions? Or pull out the big guns of bribery. This needed a hard sell.
“Harry. How about a walk with Mummy?”
“Harry. How about a walk with Mummy in the forest”
“No. I don’t want the forest.”
“We can spot squirrels?”
“What about a walk to the playground…”
At this point it’s worth noting we’ve not been to the playground in 6 months. We’ve been shielding. We’ve not risked it. Daddy is still not too happy about the prospect. And it’s been raining. Heavily. But I really want to get some air and restore some personality.
“… we could get gingerbread men and watch trains at the station after the playground.”
Sometime you can’t mess about. If you are going to use the time-honoured tradition of coercion, then go for it with both feet.
“…and we can take the iPad.”
Yes lovely people. I employed sugar, fed his obsessions, offered up screen-time and risked the health of the family just so I could get my way. Am I proud of it?
“That sounds a lovely time Mummy. Let’s go to the playground.”
Yes. I am.
Oh, and did I mention we were going to take the slightly convoluted route to the playground little man, via 3km of forest? It’s a win for the Mummy.
How do you manage negotiations with toddlers? Any tips and hints that avoid baked goods and snacks are highly sought after?
N.b. The heavens opened on us post playground. I think that it my comeuppance.