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“Bad Mum Forces Toddler to Pee Himself”

Today I shouted so loudly and angrily that my two year old boy hid in the kitchen pantry and wet his pants.

Being the normally incredible mother that I am, in the midst of putting together a nutritionally sound, delightfully tasty piece of dessert for my family was my situation when disaster struck. This time, my beautiful, intelligent little boy who has an imagination that defies his limited years on earth, wanted my undivided attention.

It seems that toddlers have a special skill, one which involves asking the same question many, many times despite said question being repeatedly answered specifically, with clarity and consideration. Unselfishly and in a manner absolutely comprehensible by all involved… or so any reasonable person would think. In today’s scenario, even ninja turtle voices were employed to explain why all kitchen things would not be dropped so that playtime could commence.

When I speak with my son, I am honest and rational. I believe strongly in truthfulness when conversing with a child; telling him exactly what is going on and being real about not simply relinquishing all responsibilities to be at the mercy of his wishes. After all, that is not what happens in grown up life. I had to finish the avocado cake; there was one more step to go before my all my time and imaginary play efforts belonged to him entirely. It wasn’t going to take long, and he responded with accord. I knew this because the dialogue between us was partly him explaining to me what I had explained to him.

So, when I took the quiche-dish-containing-cake in one hand and picked up my phone to snap an Instagram-worthy photo, I was jolted from a dream state (my son is an angel, I am the perfect wife, look what I have achieved etc) as, quick as a flash, a small person magically moved two metres toward me, and a small hand upturned the entire platter – all over me, on, in and around my white Birkenstocks, on the bench, the cupboard and the floor.

I yelled. Like I never have before.

Aforementioned toddler bolted to the pantry and slammed the door as I stood, motionless, my heart pounding and on the verge of tears. The intense anger I felt dissipated quickly, though, once my husband came out to make sure I didn’t kill help me clean up, and my son opened the pantry door to reveal his wet shorts – he had weed himself. Was it in fear,  or was it just bad timing? Either way, I immediately felt horrible for reacting so strongly and all improved quickly once the contents of the avocado cake were salvaged. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of the initial catastrophe…I was too ruffled to consider it! Photos below show the scene after quarter done-clean-up.

It’s funny how children metamorphose – one moment, divine gift. Next, disguised gremlin. And I suppose, the way we parents conduct ourselves in the most heated moments helps to shape which character our kids more strongly grow into. And what might be handy to realise is that parenthood will always be punctuated with picking up the pieces – that is just part of the deal. How very dull it would be, if everything was always perfect (and clean). More important is not the mess all through the kitchen, but that when that little boy asks me, “mummy, are you a little bit cranky?” that I can provide him with an explanation that is going to help both of us grow.

Looks like I’m going to have to work on my response mechanism, if I don’t want a miniature savage running my household.



"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

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