“You can stay with us and read a picture book, or you can sit in the hallway and be bored.”
That was the choice I gave my 2.5year old daughter when she was being a twit, while I was trying to put my son to bed for his nap. At the moment, they are tag-teaming sleeping. Which is kind of nice. From 10am until 3pm, with a half hour break for lunch, it’s as if I’m mum to only one child. The downside is that I’ve lost my nap time! This whole schedule rides on my daughter and son being respectful to each other, when it’s the other child’s turn for a nap. My daughter usually colours in while I’m putting her brother to bed for his naps, and my son happily plays with his toys while I put my daughter down for her nap. However, there are always days when nap time doesn’t work according to plan. Yesterday was one of those days.
If you know my daughter, you know she is strong willed and determined (I’m putting it nicely). So of course, when given the option of reading a book or sitting in the hallway, she chose to sit in the hallway. She will cut off her nose to spite her face. While I sat in with my son, I could hear her talking to herself in the hallway. My Little Miss started by reciting her favourite parts of Frozen. She explained (to nobody) how much Anna loves Elsa, just like she loves her brother (Awww… Having to try really hard to be mad at her now). Then she moved on to talking about how her and her brother have been sick. She talked about how much she loves Dr H and how he checked her. Then she went quiet. I could almost hear her little brain ticking over, working out what to do next.
A little voice called out tentatively. As her brother was asleep, I opened the door for a peak. I couldn’t hold out anymore after all that cute chatter, I had to see what she was up to. Her big eyes looked up at me and she said, “Mummy, can’t you hear me crying?” I replied, “Yes I can, but I gave you a choice and you chose to sit in the hallway.” (Tough love people, I have another equally stubborn child on the rise. I need to hold firm or they will rule the house.) Then she replied, “But mummy, I’m just a little girl and I’m crying. Can’t you hear me?”
Oh, my… She is good! It took all my powers to hold firm. I reiterated the choice I’d given her before – read a book in the bedroom or sit in the hallway. Thankfully she chose to come in and quietly ‘read’ a book (she’s 2.5yrs, she can’t read). I don’t know how much longer I could’ve kept up the tough act for!