“Mum I need to go to the toilet”, eh you just went! “I’m really thirsty” eh you just had water! “I’m afraid a lion is going to smash through my window” eh we don’t have lions roaming around. “Oh really mum do you guard the zoo!!” Anything to avoid sleep and then “I don’t like you because you’re mean because I want to watch ninjas!” Even after all this I have decided to keep him.
Actually it was comforting on Sunday night to post this on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/alisoncanavanofficial) and the support of other parents going through the same thing was great. A lot of the comments made me laugh which normalized what I was going through. I was cursing Christmas, sweets, late nights and alcohol however only two days into my new year cleanse the cloud is lifting, oh and I took James ninjas off him last night and kept them for 24 hours. This was an incredibly hard move for me to make. I have been told many times by Joanna Fortune, Parent child relationship expert from Solamh not to threaten if you don’t follow through.
Well obviously I’m guilty of the above as I’m human and I find every sentence coming out of my mouth sometimes a threat. You can’t have a treat, you can’t watch cartoons, and you can’t go on your play date if you don’t do this or that! But yesterday I just did it I took them, my heart was palpitating with a mixture of excitement and bravery (yes my son is four and I’m the adult) but I followed through and a miracle occurred. Not straight away mind you but after also confiscating his swords later in the day. He asked when he was getting them back and I said “24 hours”. “Ok” he said and then returned a while later asking what 24 hours was. So feeling a bit stupid I then explained in a way a four year old can understand. I told him that he would wake up go to school and come home and then he could have them and I just couldn’t resist, I finished the sentence with “but only if you’re good tomorrow” I imagine by his reaction that the duration of time I had explained sounded like 55 years in adult terms. He reminded me of Kevin’s shocked face in Home Alone.
I almost felt sorry for him till he called me a meanie under his breath. I let this go and thought about my own parents and the fact that they both survived my childhood and believe me I was much worse has given me great hope for the future.
I asked James to go to sleep tonight after his story and after he came into me about five times I very calmly said do you want me to take your ninjas again? Gone quick as lightening!
Now I’m not naive enough to think my child will behave like this all the time. He’s four, he’s challenging and seemingly that’s part of the deal when you become a parent. I would personally like to know who made that deal with the powers that be.
If I hear one more time ”if they are challenging you and pushing the boundaries then they are doing their job”. Hell I’ve even used that line on my shows! Oh James is definitely doing his job alright he wouldn’t even have to do an interview. You’re hired, come straight through and well done I see all your mums hair on the floor!
So as we settle into our routine again I find myself wondering how I’m doing at my job. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I get it wrong but one thing I am learning for certain is that as a parent sometimes I’m afraid to do things that might make my child dislike me. I know this might sound incredibly stupid to a lot of you but maybe being a single mum I want him to be happy and feel loved but what I’m also quickly learning is that by disciplining him and creating those boundaries he might not like me for a while but he’ll hopefully love me forever.