Who else has power battles with their children?
It was bedtime, no actually it was 45 minutes past bedtime and Leo and I were in a Wild West type standoff. No firearms, just the imminent threat of poo. In short, he needed the toilet, would he go to the toilet? No, because the seat was colder that he would prefer it to be. A better mummy would have sweetly got a hairdryer and warmed the toilet seat up straight away. I, being tired after a long day marvelled at my sons ridiculousness, got down to his level and calmly said, ‘darling if you need a number 2 it is important you go or you will hurt your tummy.’
Then put my hand on the toilet seat just to demonstrate he was talking utter crap.
He crossed his arms resolutely. ‘No it’s cold.’
I then decided this must be one of his many ploys to not go to sleep, like, ‘mummy my duck is speaking to me’, or ‘my socks are on backwards’, or ‘there is a monster dog called Harold in my cupboard’.
A little bubble of mummy frustration was brewing, I was desperate for some peaceful adult time where I could stare at the wall with a cup of tea. Gently I picked him up, carried him to bed and whispered, ‘Ok if that is your choice darling, it is bedtime’.
Screaming erupted. It is surprising how someone so small can make such an outrageous noise.
Thank god our house is detached.
Writhing and complaining he needed a poo I tucked him in and sung his favourite lullaby…again. I backed out of the room and went and sat on my bed, waiting, knowing, resigned that tonight was going to be a battle. For two minutes there was no sound, then came the creak of his bed accompanied by Leo pitched growling. He stomped to the landing and shouted, ‘but I need a poo!’. Like it was my fault. Poo guilt. I dragon breathed through my nose, ‘then take yourself to the toilet love and then go back to bed. You are a big clever boy you can do that.’
‘NOOOO its cold, I won’t, I am going to stand here and poo in my Spiderman onesie.’
The kid had me cornered. I felt terrible that if I put him back in bed he may be lying there desperate for the toilet, so I did not want him to put him back under the covers. I also did not want to have to change the darn covers at half eight at night. ‘Come on I will come to the toilet with you.’ No that didn’t work either so I just put him on the toilet. All hell broke loose, he shouted at me like I had done something unforgivable. Time to problem solve. I then held him above the toilet. The response… ‘Noo mummy I cannot poo like that!!!!!’
He had sucked me in, power game ahoy. I just wanted him to poo and sleep. He wanted me to warm up the toilet and win. We were both cross at each other. It went on for at least 15 minutes, me reasoning gently with him spiralled into me half shouting half pleading. Almost crying because all he needed to do was just poo and he would be happy. Sometime in this I pulled my trousers down and sat on the toilet for about 5 minutes to warm up the seat. Nope, not good enough. FFS.
I then left him in the bathroom as I knew I was giving him too much negative attention. Angry sobbing came from upstairs as I hid, head in my hands on the bottom step. Politely I called up and suggested he hold himself above the toilet. By this point his need to go overcame his stubbornness and he did it.
‘I POOED ON MY HAND AND IT IS YOUR FAULT.’
Then I heard a bit of a splash and his panicked sound. I vaulted the stairs two at a time. He had got himself stuck in the toilet and was crying. I picked him up, washed the poo off his hand and gave him a cuddle. ‘Good boy, great pooing,’ I said with mock cheer. He gave me a death scowl. I tucked him in bed and he was asleep in two minutes.
Spiderman was relieved this altercation ended well. What type of ridiculous arguments do you have with your children and how to you manage this behaviour?