I love my mother. She is my best-friend and confidante. She is the woman who brought me up. She is an excellent Grandmother and a fantastic emergency, child-minder. I value her opinions and trust her judgement… most of the time!
Recently, however, there has been one thing I have to disagree with her about and that’s the terrible-twos.
The munchin is not the worst behaved toddler I know by a long stretch, and I don’t think that anyone else would say that she is either, but she is two and she does have her moments. I have made comment about those moments to Mum on the phone on a number of occasions.
I am usually at home on my own with her when she throws a real wobbler (thank goodness still appears to happen mainly in the house) and I often feel the need to off load. Who better to call in the middle of the day and let off steam to than your mother?
Well last time I called and made comment about the ‘terrible-twos’ and a small barney that myself and munchkin had had over something trivial, mother decided that the best thing to do was tell me how she and her friends had all been discussing this issue and had come to the conclusion that it must be modern parenting which caused this, as none of them had ever had a problem with their children. Way to make me feel better Mum!
We chatted for a while (with me no doubt sounding a little frosty) about why I didn’t think my parenting had created some sort of monster-child; how I wasn’t parenting all that differently to her and that one off refusals from a toddler are developmentally normal, but still she said, “I can see what you mean, but I think it’s just like stress, neither of them really existed in the past”!
I have decided that rather than falling out with my Mum on this one, (and I’m not even getting into the debate about ‘stress’!) I shall instead take a positive message from my mother and her friends’ rose-tinted spectacles. No matter how awful those tantrums seem now, the memory of them must fade to nothing over the years. What other explanation could there be for an entire generation of angel-toddlers?!