Not a good start to the day. 6.05am and Daisy’s dulcet tones rudely stir me from slumber. I don’t know about any worms, but the only thing this early bird caught was a ratty retort from her cranky mum. She whined, I whinged and by 6.15am we were already in a full scale battle.
Something has possessed my two and a half year old. My angelic delightful Daisy seems to have vacated her body and the Omen’s devil Damien has taken residence. I’m sure her head even spun 360 degrees during yesterday’s tantrum. Where has my sweet girl gone? I can’t cope with this deranged monster that is now dominating every moment of every day. Her little sister has just cut her first tooth and crawled her first wobbly movement in a forward direction. What did she get for her efforts? A quick yelp of praise from me as I carried my demon daughter to the worn out naughty step. I wracked my weary brain for some sign, some planetary shift, some scientific explanation for what has caused this chaotic conversion from sweet to sour, from terrific to terrible, from amiable to angry. But as I checked the fullness of the moon I realised with a shock – all that’s happened is I’ve entered the scary sceptre of terrible Two-dom.
It’s now a daily battle of her will against mine. Daughter pitted against mother. Peace versus chaos. And I’m stumped. I’ve managed teams of ill-suited people. I’ve out-manoeuvred testy Boardrooms. I’ve survived bitchy bosses. But this? A two foot bundle of over-wrought emotion? I’m outwitted and out-energised.
Motherhood is all about climbing the slippery slope of experience until occasionally you get a foothold where you can catch your breath and look down to see how far you’ve come (never look up to see how far you have to go – that’s a vista too far). But this? I feel I’ve lost my footing and slipped right down into the black abyss of ignorance, where I know nothing. Where’s the god-damn manual?? Where are the instructions? I spend so much time on reward charts, naughty steps, counting methods, shouting, begging and ignoring, I haven’t the energy to just run away.
My mum is visiting and as my child clamps her iron lips together refusing her breakfast, lunch and dinner, I notice my mum look away before I see her amused smile break into a full-blown smug grin. I made her life hell when I was two. This is her revenge. We reap what we sow.
I’m really not looking forward to the teenage years…