Dear Princess JJ,
It’s been a trying month.
You adore your little sister. You hold her hand or stroke her face and say “She’s so little!” If she is crying, you sing the “a, e, i, o, u” song (that Daddy made up) or reassure her by saying “It’s OK Baby Bee, it’s OK.”
But the novelty of having to share your Mummy is certainly wearing off. You’ve started saying things like “Mummy, I want you. I want YOU.” Sometimes you ask me to put Bee in the cot, or give her to Daddy. (If only he could grow some boobs!) Sometimes you’ll pretend to fall over and call out “I’ve tripped and I can’t get up.” Classic attention seeking behaviour. Or if I’ve gone on ahead with Bee in the pram, with you and Daddy straggling behind, you’ll now call out “Don’t leave me Mummy” or “Mummy, wait for me”. You had no concept of being left behind before…
When Bee first came home, we tried easing back on discipline, thinking that we should cut you some slack. We let you get away with more things. But that didn’t work at all. You started to tantrum all the time. Clearly you need your strict boundaries. So we began strictly enforcing the rules again. Indeed, we’ve needed to come up with a whole host of new rules this month, as you’re testing out every possible chink in our armour.
We’ve had to be a lot more physical with you – something that is disconcerting for us. If we want to leave the park for example, I first give you something to eat. Then I give you 5 minutes notice, counting down as the minutes pass. Then when the time is right, I’ll say “OK, time to go now. We’re going to do XYZ now. Say goodbye to your friends / the park”. You then run off at full speed around the park hiding from me. Particularly if I have Baby Bee in my arms, and more so if she is crying, you know I’m vulnerable. You hid under things that you know will be hard for me to follow. Then you’ll start playing with whatever you can get your hands on, a leaf maybe, in a desperate attempt to pretend that we’re not leaving. I have to pick you up, screaming and kicking, and physically remove you from the park. Sometimes a few seconds in the naughty corner is called for, which makes your crying even worse. Then we cuddle. We talk about how you are sad and frustrated because you were having fun and didn’t want to leave. About how running off is naughty. About how we don’t kick and hit no matter what.
You’re very possessive of your tears. You like them on your face, and get very upset if we wipe or kiss them off. You’ll fake cry to get new ones to replace them.
Daddy and Grandma have also been taking you out to fun places in the mornings where you can run off some steam. This is really the first time in your life that you’ve been spending so much time regularly away from Mummy. It’s great to see you being happy to go off on your “own”. But I’m sure this change is both helping and hindering your recent behaviour.
To compensate, we’ve introduced Mummy Time. When I first wake up, we spend about half an hour cuddling, with my dressing gown wrapped around us both, nice and warm. And at other times we just sit and cuddle. Or play. Or read. Or craft. We sing and chat and talk a lot about how nice it is to have some time for just the two of us.
You are really into finding out people’s names at the moment. When we read books, you are constantly interrupting the storyline to ask what the characters’ names are, even those without names. But you ask, “What her name?” anyway, on every single page of the book. If we go for a walk down the street, you ask us what is the name of every person that we see, and find it frustrating when we don’t always know. Often you ask the person directly, saying “What your name” or just “What yours?”
Sometimes, you just call people by either lady, man, boy or girl. For instance, the other day we were in a coffee shop, and you apparently decided you wanted a cake. So you marched up to the counter and shouted out “Nice lady! Nice lady! Nice lady! I want that one please. I want that one. You get me that one please?”, pointing to a chocolate cupcake covered in sprinkles. And yes, I bought it for you. A big treat. You only ate the icing and sprinkles.
Spring is festival season, and it seems that every weekend there is something on. So we’ve had loads of face-painting, jumping castles, kindi farms, pony rides. Watching you melts my heart.
I love you as much as rabbits love hopping.
For last month’s letter, click here.