So what is The Bad Mums’ Club? It’s a collection of posts by bloggers on our failings as mothers. Of course, we know we’re not really bad mums, but I think it’s important to highlight all the imperfect stuff we do, as well as the amazing rose-tinted moments. It’s good to keep it real, right? At the moment, The Bad Mums’ Club consists of me, Morgana from But Why Mummy Why, Aimee from Pass The Gin and Katie from Hurrah For Gin (Can you tell, mum bloggers like gin?) but really, everyone is welcome. If you’re a blogger and fancy writing a Bad Mums’ Club post, you can link it up by heading to Aimee’s blog Pass The Gin this month.
The Tantrum Tipping Point
Picture the scene: I’m in the kitchen with my three-year-old daughter, getting ready for pre-school. She’s already refused to get dressed, has barked that she wants “MILK NOT WATER PLEASE MUMMY” and is now watching Mister Maker on the iPad (I know. Tsk! TV before pre-school…)
I’m boiling the kettle to make myself a tea. “Can I have toast please, Mummy?” she says, not even looking up from the crepe paper octopus being made on screen. “Yep, of course,” I reply as I pop bread in the toaster and head to the fridge. “Oh. Sorry,” I say. “We’re out of jam. Just butter OK?”
Just then, time stops. Everything goes into slow motion. She glances up at me, and I wonder how she is about to react. This is going to go one of two ways:
1. Her face will crumple, her shoulders will sink, her chin will jut out and she will say (shout) in her whiniest voice: “I WANT JAAAAAAAM!” She will possibly also throw herself dramatically off her chair and onto the floor, where she will wail and pound the floor with her fists. And repeat “I WANT JAAAAAAM!” 47 times.
2. She will frown, think for a second or two, and then as she goes back to watching her TV programme, say quietly: “OK, Mummy.”
This moment – these slow-mo few seconds of time – is called the Tantrum Tipping Point. You have no idea which way things will tip, and you pretty much have no control over it. Or do you?
For me, distraction is the key. Some of my favourite ways of distracting my daughter at the Tantrum Tipping Point are:
- SINGING. “We’ve run out of jam! We’ve run out of jam!” to the tune of Three Blind Mice would work.
- SHARP INTAKE OF BREATH. Smile while doing this (so as not to scare them) and then say something like “You will NEVER guess what! I’ve heard Peppa Pig doesn’t like jam!”
- LAUGHING. This usually sounds more manic than jovial but laughter can diffuse any tense moment.
- POINTING AT SOMETHING. The classic ‘look over there!’ trick. I often point at something on the TV and ask a question about what’s happening on it.
Or, alternatively, y’know, just let the tantrum play out. Pick up your cup of tea, sit down (preferably in a sunny spot) and stare out into the world outside, thinking about nature and wildlife. And Brad Pitt. Mean? Probably. But sometimes, it’s the only way…
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