For the last fortnight at approximately 7.30 am every morning on Tuesdays through Thursdays the Minx has thrown a tantrum of seismic proportions. This invariably leads to me at approximately 7.45 am chucking her over my shoulder and heading off to daycare with her biting at my shoulders and kicking at my nose. The Noisy Boy clucks and shakes his head sadly at me with that poignant amnesia that children demonstrate towards their own past transgressions.
Twice this week I have reached the daycare centre drenched in sweat, heart pounding with a sobbing Minx covered in snot. The lovely girls at the centre look at me with a mixture of pity and fear.
Yesterday, after managing to loudly and spectacularly lose the plot with the Minx outside our house setting the neighbours curtains a-twitching I had a huge attack of remorse. On the way into work on the train, I cried remembering the days when my daughter used to sigh with happiness and sink her cheek rather than her teeth into my collar bones when I picked her up.
In between sobs, I sent a lengthy text to my husband pouring out my heart, expressing the full extent of my mother guilt and telling him that I an unfit mother who had lost the power of rational thought. He replied:
– What started the tantrum off?
I stopped sniffing, had a wee think and replied:
– The usual: shoes & leaving the house.
– Is that all? Stop crying – you did the right thing. Just let her go without shoes tomorrow. Stick em in her day care bag. Stop worrying.
The Minx is at the stage in her life where self-determination is vitally important to her – she is asserting herself as best she can without words. Her appearance and personal comfort is part of her sense of self and well being – she likes to leave the house without being dressed and undressed too many times. Simply, she prefers to make her own decisions about what to wear and what not to wear. What would it be like – I wondered – to have someone else choose what I wore? To be honest, I would welcome this. After many years of self-determination I would dearly love to relinquish the job of dressing myself to someone with better taste. So this morning I conducted an experiment. I made myself a cup of tea, logged on to Twitter and asked:
– So Twitter, is today a green shoe day or a red shoe day? Your decision 😉
The responses were interesting. Out of 10 voters 4 voted for the red shoes, 2 for the green and 4 for red and green. The swing vote was for the red shoes but a second poll many people requested that I just wear both. So in the interests of social networking science and shoe blogging fairness I agreed to wear the red to work and photograph the red/green combination on arrival at the office.
You will be glad to know that this morning, I gave the Minx a graceful way out. We dressed her in a tee-shirt fit for day wear to go to bed. This morning I bunged on a skirt and chucked her sandals in her nappy bag. She picked up her own sun-hat and turned up the brim at a jaunty angle. We left the house and arrived at daycare in a much calmer and tantrum free state of mind.
*Acknowledgements: @calrion @rockeye @mumto2angels @bevsullivan @rockchickgill @rexthecat @Dwendog @paul_rasmussen @snarkattack @voirol @malevolentlala Thanks to you all x