By PENNY SHIPWAY
I have become that woman.
You know the one. She lives two doors down and she yells at her children.
Until a few months ago I hated that woman. Despised her actually. May have even called out the window to her once or twice, telling her to stop abusing her kids.
Don’t think she heard, though. Too busy yelling at her children.
But things have changed in our house lately. I have changed.
I’m now the proud owner of a two year old.
I say proud because I love her unconditionally. And boy does she make me laugh. My friends think she’s terribly cute.
But when she isn’t being cute, she is terrible.
I don’t think anyone can really explain why a toddler’s tantruming is so upsetting to a parent, unless you have parented yourself.
Children are a part of you and when a child is upset, you get upset. Because simply put, you don’t want them to be upset.
Today my toddler wanted to sit on the coffee table and eat her hummus and carrots, and drink her milk from a cup with a straw – naked.
The naked bit I wasn’t worried about. It comes with the territory of living with a nudist. That bit is OK.
But if you tell her to take her snacks and precariously-positioned milk (just a centimetre from cascading onto my new Freedom rug) to the kitchen table, a war has been waged.
There’s crying, screaming, stubbornness and confusion.
And it’s not just a little sook. This is a mouth-so-wide-I-can-see-your-tonsils type of screaming.
The sound that can generate from this little person is astronomical. I have actually considered ear plugs.
I take a deep breath and instruct her that her food and drink is to be enjoyed at the kitchen table, not on the coffee table.
There is more crying, screaming, stubbornness and confusion.
The naughty corner is given a mention.
Sometimes it’s impossible to win, so I push on to more pressing matters: my nine month old needs a change.
Two minutes later I turn around and my two year old is smearing hummus all over my beautiful (and not cheap) Freedom rug!
There is a swimming pool of milk drenching my coffee table, dripping over the edge and onto, you guessed it, my beloved (did I mention it was Freedom?) rug.
“Right! Daisy, I won’t tell you again, you eat and drink your food at the table!!’
I can feel the neighbours’ ears pressed against their windows. In the back of my mind I know they are listening. I’m sure a curtain was pushed to the side. Perhaps someone stepped onto their balcony thinking ‘who is that bitch yelling at her kids?’