Big Tot was back at school today. Thank. The. Lord. And the teachers, of course.
I must admit, we have had a lovely time together over the festive season. We have indulged in 'Despicable Me' to the point of being able to quote 97% of the script. We've joyfully snubbed the chocolate laws of our household. And we've invented a game called 'Christmas pile-on' which generally involves holding Mummy down and decorating her with all available festive trimmings from our 75p tree.
|Our favourite moment in Despicable Me|
And we've also had a few surprise circumstances which left me with a challenge or two to endure. Lack of car to name but one (the Punto shunned its MOT requirements, the cheeky, obstinate little thing). Lack of hubby to name but another (he's holding down two jobs, bless him, both with many, many extra festive hours). So for the most part, I've been house-bound and child-bound and looking, always, for ways to see the bright side.
Luckily, I have two partners in crime when it comes to optimism-seeking. It may not always appear so. For I am fully aware of what percentage of my time is spent avoiding or enduring or helplessly observing tantrums. Little Tot is nearly twenty months old now and rapidly approaching that unique point in his life when he is not just allowed but expected to be terrible. And let's not forget he is learning from the Master. Big Tot still refuses to relinquish the Crown but is astoundingly generous when it comes to teaching the ways of the tantrum.
But despite all of that, my Tots know how to shine a big old light on the dark moments. Or even just the busy, stressed, not-in-the-moment moments. Just the other day I was stepping / tripping through the living room / toy apocalypse, striving to put a wash on, tidy up, cook dinner, run a bath, change a DVD, scrape up play dough, wipe off snot etc etc and Big Tot shouted a question at me. I tried one of my non-committal nods and hoped he'd back off but, hey, I should know by now he has no concept of how to politely treat impolite grown-ups. And he shouted the same question again.
"Why does it?"
I stopped, washing basket in-hand, Little Tot at-leg and asked with a sigh, "Why does what, do what sweetie?"
"Why does that toy say 'Back to bad hair corners'?"
"I have no idea sweetie. Now I have to go and . . . "
"Sweetheart, I have to go and put this washing in the machine and then I will come and see you . . . "
"But whyeeeeee? Why does it say 'Back to bad hair corners'?"
By this time Little Tot had wrestled down the washing basket and was frolicking in his own dirty clothes. Big Tot was wide-eyed and earnest and giving me his full on I-want-an-answer-right-now-or-I'm-going-to-tell-everyone-what-a-crap-mummy-you-are attitude. And it's during these times I know there is no turning back. I choose to invest in the moment. I choose to dive entirely into Big Tot's world and treat it with the importance he so constantly works to convince me of. So I knelt down, rearranged my face into a look of eager curiosity and I listened.
"Now, what are you asking me. Please ask me again."
"Why does that toy say . . . 'Back. To. Bad. Hair. Cornerrrrrs'?" I tried to ignore that he was - at four years old - employing that tone of voice usually reserved for teenagers who want to imply their parents are the most stupid beings ever to inhabit the earth.
I looked down his pointed finger and across the room, to the offending toy. And that's when, with a rising surge of laughter and an inexplicable, immediate need to hug my son, it clicked. It was a talking, Fisher Price Batmobile.
I walked over to it, picked it up and returned it to Big Tot. He gingerly pressed the cute mini Batman to a resounding, clarifying, growling voice: "Back to Bat Headquarters."
And that, ladies and gentleman, is how a child can bring you back to the moment.
Have fun in 2013!
Find out how to live in the moment more often with your children AND tackle discipline too!
Just visit www.thecoolrulecompany.co.uk