Big Tot and I talk about it constantly. We watch and we wait and I tell him that his own transformation occurred early. He insists this is because he eats up his vegetables (yellow pepper only) and does regular exercise (bum-wiggling) but I suggest it may just be because he was born with the temperament of an angry wasp. His progression from baby to toddler was monumental, as I remember from the black eye he gave me on the morning of his 2nd birthday.
|The Terrible Twos|
But Little Tot seems to be stumbling aimlessly into Toddlerdom rather than using the confident strides of his older brother. His 2nd birthday party came and went and although he was utterly dismayed by the parcels and cards shoved in his face, and appalled by the prospect of sharing his toys with guests at his party his preferred coping mechanism was 'Retreat and Regroup'. Regrouping with me, of course. For snotty kisses and teary cuddles.
And I'm not going to lie. Little Tot is more than partial to flinging himself on the floor in protest at having to leave the park / not being bought every toy he desires / being put back into bed for the forty-seventh time. But the flinging and the crying and the screaming seem to be over pretty quickly. Now there are two questions that spring to mind here. Are the tantrums truly shorter than the ones I observed in his brother or have I simply adjusted my tantrum-o-meter levels in order to cope this time round?
Little Tot is at that awkward age when he is slightly too young for The Cool Rule Book but old enough to understand most of my instructions. So I thought I'd give the naughty spot a pop. And, inevitably, the time came round when Little Tot bashed Big Tot hard on the head with a toy, not once but twice (with a very clear warning in between) and so I led him to the famous green plastic stool in the corner of our living room. "Hitting your brother was very wrong and now I want you stay here until I come to get you."
|The famous Naughty Spot|
On that note I quickly ushered Big Tot into the kitchen and briefed him on our game plan. "Ok, your brother is probably going to get off the naughty spot lots of times now because we've never done it before and he doesn't really understand what he has to do."
"Not like me Mummy."
"No, not like you."
"Yes, because I've been on there lots of times before haven't I? How many times do you think? Maybe ten? Maybe thirty? Maybe three billion squillion?"
"Sweetheart, that's not the point right now. What I'm trying to tell you is that you have a very important job to do . . . "
"Ooh, what is it? Do I have to wash the car? Can I wash the car? I think it needs washing because there's a big massive huge bird poo down the side and . . "
"No, no, no, it's nothing to do with bird poos or cars! I need you to not talk to your brother. Not look at him. Not play with him. Not say anything to him at all ok?"
"Oh, is that all? That's easy. That's boring. Then can I do a better job after that? Then can I get the bird poo off the car? And Mummy?"
"What's my brother doing now?"
"Oh God! I don't know!" And with Big Tot's annoyingly sensible prompting I dashed back through to the living room, just knowing I'd see a very vacant naughty spot and probably a trail of destruction in its wake. Broken toys. Torn up books. Decapitated teddies.
But there he was. Bottom lip still trembling. Still sitting, very obediently, on the naughty spot. Well have you ever?
My quick mental calculations told me that the time spent discussing bird poo with Big Tot in the kitchen probably added up to the required two minutes that Little Tot needed to be detained. So I knelt in front of him, explained again why he was there and said I'd like a kiss and a cuddle and for him to say sorry. I waited for a slap in the face, a screaming fit or the hurling of the naughty step at my head (all of which I have experienced with Big Tot, by the way) but instead he threw himself into my arms, smeared snot all over my lips (which I like to assume was a kiss) and squeaked "'Orry" in Big Tot's general direction.
After that we were all exhausted and it was time for a bit of CBeebies. Oh how I regularly thank the universe for Mr Bloom and his band of root vegetables.
|Mr Bloom, you are a godsend|
So now that Little Tot is officially a toddler, I guess I need to prepare myself for anything he throws at me. I am safe in the knowledge that I can handle tantrums of a wild and unruly nature thanks to the previous efforts of his big brother. But will I be able to handle the wobbling of that adorable bottom lip? Only time will tell.
To find out how The Cool Rule Book or the rest of the Cool Rule range can help you and your toddler, visit www.thecoolrulecompany.co.uk
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