I don’t want to

It’s a refrain we’re hearing a lot just lately. Peanut’s latest stage is pushing his boundaries and stating that ‘I don’t want to’. He also says ‘No’ a lot. Sometimes when he means ‘Yes’ which is causing headaches in the household.

A shining example for you from the dinner table last night, I ask ‘All done?’ with the hand signal too, he says ‘No’, so I leave his plate there. Then he pushes it away, I ask ‘Finished?’ again with a hand signal. He says ‘No’ so I gave him back his plate.

Deep sigh, ‘All done Mama’. Like I’m an idiot.

This morning he didn’t want to; get his nappy changed; have his breakfast; get washed; get dressed; clean his teeth; play leave stuff alone in the bathroom when I was putting make-up on; put his shoes on; get in the car; get out the car; wash his hands at nursery, or give me a hug and kiss goodbye.

It killed me. I just left after repeated asking, ‘Say goodbyes’. Got in the car, started the car, stopped it and went back in. I’m glad I did as I would have stewed all day. As it was, when I asked him for a cuddle and to say goodbye please, he just stood there, not his usual fling of arms around my neck and head nuzzle into my shoulder, but at least he let me kiss him.

I know he’s two. I know he’s not truly aware of what he says or the consequences it has when he says things. But he does know what sad and upset means because he’s seen pictures of it in books, like Where is the green sheep? Maybe I should have started crying, he would have understood that, but I don’t know, would that have achieved anything other than smearing my make-up?

I’m going to talk with him tonight. Try to help him understand that words hurt sometimes too. Raising a child as a nuclear family is hard, difficult work. It’s literally just the three of us, our little triangle is strong, but while mostly Peanut is good fun, happy and a joy to be around, these terrible twos with the odd flailing arm in frustration, and being kicked at while changing him is wearing. I’ve tried saying ‘That hurts Mama, it makes me sad’, yes, I know I shouldn’t take it personally…but leaving him every day, five days a week? Well, it is killing me. It’s hard enough as it is to sit at work and hope he’s having fun, but when he’s demonstrating that he’s unhappy and cross, makes the daily drop-off even harder.

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