Sometimes, I yell at my kids when I'm walking down the street. Like on Sunday when we were on the way to the Salvation Army (so therefore making me feel even more guilty) and Jessica was walking on the wall and then refused to move until she had a drink. Except I hadn't brought a drink (bad mummy fail). Background to this is that she is experiencing a bit of regression this past couple of weeks and being rather challenging and I am doing my utmost to be really sympathetic and lovely mummy but sometimes I am kind of knackered and I snap because, well, I'm not perfect. So there she was stood on the wall, about 5 minutes walk from the Army, and she wouldn't move. She wouldn't even be picked up and carried. And I was just like "Jessica, what do you want me to do, magic a drink from thin air?? Seriously, come on, we can get you a drink when we get to the Army!" And she didn't shift and then I yelled at her "For goodness sake what do you want me to do, I can't do anything, please just come on!!!" And for the life of me I can't remember how we resolved this, I must have because we got there, I think I distracted her somehow by seeing something to look at or somebody to beat or thinking of somebody she would see when she got there, or something. But it certainly wasn't the shouting that got her to move, so complete and utter fail - one for shouting, two for doing it even though I know it's pointless and just makes her dig her heels in further. I hate shouting at kids, and I hate it even more in public because it isn't nice for them to feel like strangers are looking and that they should be talked to like that anyway especially in front of other people. But still, I sometimes do it because sometimes I just haven't had enough sleep and I've already said the same thing ten times, and sometimes just because like on Sunday I just do not know what to do. I have myself an amazingly stubborn and fiercely independent little girl who sometimes I just don't really know how to handle and so I make mistakes and learn how to do better the next time.
Tonight we made cookies, because she really would have liked to go to the park on the way home but the problem is we pass that park every single day and we can't go to it every single day because we would never get home - especially as she is even more reluctant to walk home once she has run about at the park. So we have a rule that we go on Tuesdays, that way it is easier to say no the other days. Today she really would have liked to go, apparently, so I said we could make cookies if we went home. That is bribery in a form, I suppose, so possibly not great parenting, but she happily agreed and walked most of the way home so I'm quite happy with my decision. We also did actually need cookies making for packed lunches so it wasn't an extra job or treat or anything. I left her alone in the kitchen to go see to something in the room, and came back to this.
So yes, I also leave my child sat on worktops whilst I go into the room next door, and let her eat brown sugar before tea. I am sure some people will tell me all the terrible things that could happen, but then they don't know my daughter. As much of a fireball as she is, she wouldn't dream of doing anything like touching kitchen equipment, jumping about on a worktop, tipping the ingredients out (on purpose - obviously the floor needed sweeping after this bout of baking with helpful child involved), or eating the whole box of sugar. Sometimes, you have to stop yourself before you judge other people and remember that they probably know their children better than you do.
As an aside, I just went up to see Adam in bed and his actual words to me were "This has been an awesome Adam evening". This is something I have not heard him say in a while, and all we have done is a normal Monday evening of Xbox, Family Tea Time, eating a fresh baked cookie, baths/showers and film watching. I guess children don't need expensive things, spectacularly massive treats or even perfect parents. They just need to feel loved, safe, and like their family home is a good place to be.
*Must try harder tomorrow......................................and must stop eating the cookies..........*