Being Our Own Worst Parenting Critic
Things I had done by 11:45 yesterday:
- Dragged myself out of bed earlier than I wanted to.
- Given my child her first feed of the day.
- Done nappy free time.
- Let MM choose a dress to wear.
- Changed her and dressed her.
- Gone through the long, messy process of letting her spoon muesli in and around her mouth. Also, the quick, easy process of giving her half a banana.
- Played with those plastic rings she loves so much.
- Read That's Not My Kitten...
- Explained for the ten millionth through ten million and fiftieth times that Gizmo doesn't like to have his tail pulled when he's trying to sleep.
- Held her on the living room windowsill so she could watch little children walking to school.
- Spent fifteen minutes watching her try to figure out the clasp on her high chair.
- Spent twenty minutes watching her examine a plunger.
- Cut her fingernails, despite her protestations.
- Spent a further thirty minutes watching her sit on the bathroom window sill, throw toilet rolls and sanitary products around and examine massage balls.
- Fed her a yoghurt while she attempted to climb me.
- Given her a horsey ride.
- Read That's Not My Bunny...
- Watched Twirlywoos with her.
- Spun her around the living room until we were both dizzy.
- Tickled her lots.
- Changed her again.
- Taken her for a forty minute walk during which we made it thirty feet along the road, met a bouncy golden lab called Bill, chatted about the weather with the street sweeper, waved at the postie, discussed whether or not to let ourselves into strangers' gardens/homes and established that stones are not for eating.
- Put her hat back on her head roughly twenty-seven times.
- Showed her the handful of crocuses in the garden.
- Helped her climb the stairs.
- Remained calm when she got very upset about not being allowed to eat my keys.
- Helped her examine the junk mail.
- Gently prompted her as she put circles and squares into her shape sorter for the first time ever.
- Given her her second feed of the day.
- Walked around and around and around and around and around and around the flat with her while she clutched my finger.
And then, at 11:45, she kicked up such a fuss about not wanting her nap that I gave up, plonked her down on the floor, sat behind her back and glared at Instagram for three minutes while I gathered my patience for the second (successful) attempt.
Did I congratulate myself on a morning of cheerfully accompanying my small child while she examined everyday objects and meandered around our street? No.
Did I feel guilty about seething into my phone for a few minutes when I knew my cranky child was very tired? Yes, of course I did.
Because if anyone can find a person's bad points, it's themselves.