Recently J's grizzling, whinging and constant demands have reached a point where I have started to grizzle and whinge and demand back. I know this is not good parenting. The situation has been escalating. It sucks!
At 5:30AM I used a line that I think came almost verbatim from a Diane Levy book... very calmly and seriously... "Okay, because you've got a nasty cough, I'll get you some milk now even though we don't usually have milk in the night (well, not that bit), but from the morning I will not respond to any requests unless you ask nicely in a reasonable tone of voice." After I delivered the milk I also added, "and even if you ask properly I might still say no," (just to cover my butt, like). I have tried this approach before. It didn't work.
This morning, unstead of howling "Mummy mummy, I want you, Mummy I want you now" on high volume repeat from the bedroom, a rather bemused looking J staggered out to the kitchen and even attempted a smile. I said "Would you like me to put the milk on your ricies now?" J said "Yes please" and wandered off to my room where he likes to eat breakfast. We didn't have an "I want" or "I don't want" until I was buckling him into the car seat (20 minutes late as usual).
"I want something to eat" he whined.
"Remember, today I'm only responding if you ask me nicely" I replied (smile slipping off into a parallel universe).
"Could I please have a snack."
"Okay" I raced back into the house and hurriedly washed a small handful of blueberries (J's absolute favourite food) and dumped them into a bowl.
Back at the car... "I didn't want that, I don't yike those."
"Okay," taking the bowl away and starting the car.
"Noooooooo", howled J, then paused... "Could I please have my blueberries?"
How come it worked today? Can I keep it up? Tune in for the next thrilling episode of stressed suburban single Mums on caffeine.
And for the record, T, who is a happy baby, whooped and hooted all the way to Turitea...