My answer, thank you for asking, even though you didn’t, is both an answer to the question and a warning that there follows more of the same as this morning’s post.
More poo. No books were hurt (or really discussed in depth) during the course of this blog. Sorry. But they were the high point at the end of a rotten day.
Where’s the weirdest place a blog you’ve read has been written? I’m betting my blog, written in the bath to decompress tonight, is a contender. At least, given the subject matter, it wasn’t written on the loo.
Ok. So today has been a bit bleeeeurrrgggh. One of those “sometimes you’re the pigeon, sometimes you’re the statue days. Today, definitely the statue”. In more ways than one, definitely a toilet day, in fact a day DOMINATED by toilet.
Collecting my daughter tonight, she was hiding behind the sofa at her Childminder’s home, trying – to be blunt – to poo. She had been at it for hours (having failed to deliver anything for a few days, in sharp contrast to my own illness) and was not coming out. Childminder needed to go out. Stress followed. Nothing would induce her: not grapes (what was the Childminder thinking? Even I knew that wasn’t going to work), toys, the bloody “I Want My Potty” Little Princess crown, not even the promise of chocolate*. This prompted the first of 2 short, ill-advised exchanges between Childminder and I. This one, on allowing chocolate, left me seething, yet wholly magnanimous and silent on the subject of daily icecreams and the salt content of Ritz crackers. Hohum.
Eventually, child was extracted, unsurprisingly kicking and screaming given the circumstances. I ended up being smacked repeatedly by an hysterical child who needed a two-day poo. I don’t take kindly to being hit by anyone and it fails to encourage me to show sympathy but on this occasion, frustrated and already knowing there was no way any of us would be covered in glory in this illadvised and, let’s face it unfair, set of circumstances. I chose not to tell Monkey off or try to extract an immediate apology for a couple of reasons. 1. She was hysterical and telling her off for anything when hysterical achieves only more hysteria. 2. I’m trying to get out of this woman’s house so that she can quite reasonably get on with her evening plans but child is in the midst, location unknown, of a cycle of poo. Hanging around to discipline child and then await her calming down means childminder is just going to be even more delayed. A conversation with MonkeyFace about her hitting me in the face, twice, can just as easily be had on the way home as it can in childminder’s living room and will probably yield more fruit. Ie less smacking, more apologising and leaving the property sooner rather than later 3. The child is trying to poo. I’ve never been hauled off a toilet and – if I were – I’d probably hit someone too. So, even though we say hitting is never justified, in my heart at the time, I had already disregarded her hitting me as fair game.
My final conversation with my childminder, which I suspect will not be our last on the subject, was about my not disciplining the Monkey for hitting me today. My reply was terse given the timing of this interaction (trying to manhandle a poker straight hysterical child into a pushchair when they don’t want to sit down because they want to have a poo is probably not the ideal opportunity to discuss your disconnect with a parent’s choice of discipline) and we left. But I don’t appreciate being called out on how I discipline my child in a wholly unsatisfactory set of circumstances. A child or indeed anyone is only going to fail in those circumstances and I didn’t, still don’t, think discipline was appropriate in that instance.
Amazingly monkey calmed down on the way home, she got her chocolate and an apology from me for not meeting her needs and she apologised for socking me twice in the face. She may have wanted some chocolate and knew which side her bread was buttered, but I’ll take it. She knew she was wrong and continued to apologise when we got home. She also finished the deed at the heart of this mess at home quite promptly. She appears not to be traumatised (which I feared given her existing behaviour around pooing and the potty) and actually cooperated. She disappeared behind the chair, all very normal and sang out cheerily “I be a few minutes mummy!”
Amazing. Tomorrow I’m planning my next assault on her trust and privacy and seeing how far that gets me, because on the balance of today… ***
She’s been really loving to both me and her dad and we read Love Monster and Gruffalo’s Child three times each. She popped off to bed happily and having drunk her milk from a big girl cup without complaint. Reading was a nice, non-transactional wrap-up to the day which all three of us enjoyed and which caused no frustration at all when everything else today just seemed to go off wrong.
*despite being an obese mother, MF hardly ever gets chocolate. My mother buys it for her (and biscuits) but it gets eaten by me or her father. Mostly me. I’m not proud of myself
**Monkeyface gets into a lot of trouble for smacking and she knows there are consequences but her smacking usually happens out of frustration (which she is still a bit young to actively manage) or her needs not having been managed by me (tired, hungry, doesn’t need to be carry off home in the middle of a poo kind of thing.) Time out to calm down followed by explaining and getting an apology works better for us. Sorry.
***not true. Being naughty
****I have a lovely Childminder. Honestly