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My pre-schooler is a teenager

Firstborn is on the cusp of turning four and with this milestone in sight, has suddenly morphed into a cross between Vicky Pollard and Lou (American viewers, click here.)

Trying to get Firstborn up in the morning is like raising the Titanic. Getting her into the bath prompts fits of hysteria, and getting her out of the bath prompts fits of hysteria. Breakfast is a battleground sparked by the porridge vs Cheerios quandary (the favoured dish changes on a daily basis and often halfway through eating). Every request, from asking her to pick up the toys covering every inch of floor to putting her pyjamas on, is met with "yes but, no but".

Today's excuse for not putting her pens away was; "But Mummy I can't help you. If I help you I will die." "Die?" "Yes, Mummy, it's true. I will die and you will cry and cry for a thousand years."
I mean, good Lord, what exactly are they teaching her at nursery school? Winding Your Parents Up (Advanced diploma)? BA(Hons) Brat Studies? A Foundation Course in How To Be Obstreperous?

But the real annoyance is that she behaves beautifully in public. Her teachers are full of praise, launching into elaborate descriptions of how Firstborn helps them tidy the nursery all the time, how she is the smaller children's champion, how she is sweet, kind, has beautiful manners and works hard at learning her letters. Old ladies grow misty eyed at the sight of her innocent face and shy smile. Little do they know...

In contrast, the Small(er) One is now in full-blown monster mode in public and an angel at home.

It's enough to make me want to reach for the cooking sherry. And that truly smacks of desperation.


Anonymous said…
My lttle one also behaves wonderfully for others, but not for me. Out in Target running errands, I said to my screaming offspring in the cart, "I know you're faking that scream, so I don't care if everyone else in the store thinks I'm beating you." Turning the aisle, I see a laughing woman, who my son smiles adoringly at (dimple and all) and waves, "Hi!" Obviously, this follows the rule, not my mama- love you!
Emily said…
None of my family believes that my two and a half year old can turn into the devil sometimes. She is always turning on the charm. She can con teddies out of old ladies on the high street and even sweets from shop owners. She is like Fagin.

But sometimes...sometimes..dear me. She changes into a raging toddler and NOTHING is right. She wants an apple. Not that apple. She wants it cut up. She wants it whole. She wants me to start the apple off for her. She screams in a rage that I bit some of her apple.

The naughty spot was great until she learned how to open the door. Now I shut her in the playroom for rage time out. It worked fine. Until I shut her fingers in the door accidentally while she was trying to rip the handle off the door by hanging on it with her entire body weight

Still, at least now when I say stop that raging or it is timeout in the playroom, she pretty much stops right away.

I am ashamed to admit it must be the fear of the finger door trapping.

One way ticket to hell please.
So glad to hear it's not just me. It's a good job we love them so much, isn't it?
Manhattan Mama said…
This morning I asked the Rabbit to help me clean up the dishes from breakfast, in other words carry the 3 dishes of hers to the sink. After the second she turned to me and said, "Mama, I tired of doing all these dishes."
I think they're all just 3-year-old drama queens.
slummy mummy said…
you guys are off to venice and the hamptons ? i am soooo green with envy. haven't been blogging as i was depressing MYSELF with what's happening in my life at the moment. then i log on to find you guys stylin' with your summer holidays ....

i too am about to have a tantrum. it's just SO unfair!

x x x
Manhattan Mama said…
No No. No tantrums! Well, okay. Go for it. We all need tantrums!!!!

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