Today started badly. I’ve been making some soft hearted attempts at limiting Paw Patrol and use of the “moomik” (phone) but this morning, in my infinite wisdom, I decided I would let the kid have some time with the iPad because she hasn’t played with it in ages. I had also been very clever and hidden the Netflix app on a blank page/screen so as to confine her play to looking at photographs and playing her favourite Barry White songs. I told her that she could have the iPad for as long as it took me to clean up after breakfast (usually about 10 minutes) .
It took the kid precisely 165 seconds to find the Netflix app and click her way to Paw Patrol. I soon realised that getting the iPad back would be difficult. I made a half hearted attempt to take it back as per the terms of the original agreement but that was soon met with tears. So, I made a new deal. She could have the iPad until it was time for her to get dressed. That would be another 10-15 minutes and this time I would not be soft about the retrieval of the device.
I was indeed not soft. I got dressed, told baby it was time for her to get dressed and therefore time to give back the iPad. Massive meltdown. In hindsight, perhaps I should have done some sort of countdown to soften the blow. Who knows if that would have worked but it might have been worth trying. Thanks hindsight. 🤦🏾♀️
So the baby is crying, desperately unhappy and I’m obviously the worst mama in the world. Attempt to get her dressed and she stops crying for a second to ask for “mook” (milk), and I happily oblige. She falls asleep. It’s only 9.45am.
An hour or so later she wakes up and as is apparently the new normal asks for “moomik.” Up until a week ago, upon waking from a nap she would always ask for “mook.” Now it’s either “pup” or “moomik.” Perhaps this is the beginning of the end of our mook journey…. (watch this space)
Obviously, because I’m trying not to be very soft, I declined her request. Cue more crying and some impressively dogged repetitive requests. The girl persisted, I give her kudos for that. I held firm too, miraculously, and attempted to deploy some gentle tantrum taming techniques that I had been reading about. I used the “say what you see” method – “I can see you’re very upset about not having the iPad but it’s time to put it away and play with something else….” blah blah blah, I went on in that vein. Have to say, felt like a total muppet wittering on like that and it didn’t seem to have any calming effect whatsoever but I doubt it works first time anyway. Fairly sure consistent application is the key, right? I also stayed right with her and told her I would hold her for as long as she was upset or as long as she needed, and she didn’t push me away so that was a win. Eventually she calmed, I finished getting her dressed and got her downstairs.
Damn straight we need a snack baby. Made a beeline for the shortbread. Gave her a piece and took one myself. We sat, staring each other in the face as we enjoyed our biscuits in silence. It was over.
Me: Let’s go out… (I had read sometimes tantrums were just a need to burn off some energy, so we should do exactly that..)
Marvellous, yes park! Packed a hasty lunch and started getting her ready to go outside. But the actual moron that I am didn’t bother LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW. If I had, I would have noticed the drizzle. Had I noticed that BEFORE I allowed the kid to wear the SLEEVELESS jacket she requested I maybe, possibly could have avoided meltdown no. 2. I looked up, saw the rain and told her she actually can’t wear her favourite jacket and instead she needs the raincoat with the evil sleeves. Back to being the worst.mama.ever.
Fast forward to the evening and we’re alone… for the third night this week. I allowed her one pup before I made dinner. No tears when that was turned off. Brilliant. She then played etc etc but it was so quiet in the house. I don’t find that kind of quiet natural.
I would ordinarily listen to the radio but any music needs to be played from the phone and I didn’t want to go there again.
Then I had a yet another brilliant idea. For the past few days I’d been singing, what I thought were the words to, “You’re Welcome” from Moana. It had helped at nappy changing times to focus her so she wouldn’t whip out the nappy from under her and throw it at the wall (that only needs to happen once for you to realise that a nappy changing strategy needs to be implemented). So, I downloaded the Moana soundtrack, kept the phone at a distance and played music over dinner.
Only I had to put “You’re Welcome” on repeat. Having listened to it this evening possibly 732 times, I now know the proper lyrics. After dinner she played happily again whilst I cleaned up and when I said it was time to switch off the music, go upstairs and have a bath she said:
“No problem Mama… you’re welcome”