Bear is two and a half. And she would like you to know that the phrase “Terrible Twos” was coined just for her. You see, every single day and all through the night, she is faced with choices, and decisions. And sometimes it is really, really tough to choose.
Waking up for the day is fraught with difficult choices: Should I snuggle into mummy some more or start kicking her in the back while simultaneously pulling her hair? I think I’ll give my legs a stretch, but first I’ll kick off the covers. Oh mummy! Why have you pulled them back? Are you still trying to sleep? Was that something about it being too early you just muttered? Oh. So you’d rather I didn’t scream then? “Waaaaaahhhhhh!”, like this? Good, you’re sitting up now! “Me wanna cuddle you!”. Why are you trying to wrap your arms around me? I’ll have to hit you now. In fact, I’m so angry that you haven’t understood what I want, I’m going to launch my cuddly bunny across the room. “Waaaahhhhh! Me want my bunny!”. Quick, get my bunny or I’ll wake my sister up.
Fast forward and it’s finally breakfast time. Do I want Shreddies or Weetabix? Obviously “Weetabix, please mummy, me want lots of milk please”. Hang on. What on earth is this you’ve put in front of me? That looks like Weetabix. I wanted Shreddies. Oh my god! What sort of imbecile are you? Why would you do this to me? I feel sick. Get that bowl of muck away from me now! Why are you shouting at me for throwing my bowl on the floor? Surely food like that is only suitable for a dog. That’s it. I’ve had enough! I’m going to go and sit on the stairs and scream for a bit. Even if it does mean you’re going to be late for work now. And no, I don’t want a cuddle. “Waaaahhhhh! Me wanna cuddle mummy!”. Ah that’s better. Now, where is my breakfast?
Let’s go upstairs and get dressed, you suggest after I’ve wolfed down a bowl of Weetabix and then asked for more. “Can I wear my owl dress?”, mummy nods and says of course, and suggests that I wear the tights that go with it. But then she insists on changing my nappy first. Can’t she see I’m already trying to pull on my tights. And no, I don’t care that they’re not going to go over my pyjama bottoms. “Waaaahhhhhh!”. Why has mummy come rushing in looking like I’m missing a leg? Seriously, it’s just my tights won’t go on. But no, thank you, I don’t want any help. “Waaahhhhh! Mummy, help me!”.
Do you get how tough life is yet? Especially when you’re surrounded by people who just don’t listen to a word you say. When you offer me a biscuit and I say yes, you’ve got to understand that I don’t actually mean yes, give it to me now. I mean yes, I’ll have a biscuit after I’ve had a lolly like I’ve just remembered having the other day. And if I wake in the night, when I say I want breakfast, I actually mean I want that biscuit you offered me ‘last day’. And if I say I want to watch a programme, perhaps what I really want is to come and sleep in bed with you. But perhaps I’ll change my mind when we get there and insist on going back to my bed. And no, you don’t have to stay. But I’ll cry if you leave me on my own in the dark.
I am two and a half. I am still working out the world. My memory is great, but sometimes my mouth answers before it kicks in. And it is so disappointing that your patience at 2am is nil when my mind is a bit fuzzy, even if I appear to be wide awake and compos mentis. You do know I’m not trying to make you angry, I’m just weighing up my options and can’t help it if you take the first answer I give as my final answer. This isn’t Millionnaire. It’s just my everyday and I don’t have a friend to phone yet. And multiple choice just confuses me more.
So, thank you for helping me finetune my decision-making skills. I think I like that you do that. But I haven’t made my mind up yet.