Orson is now at the age when the angelic, innocent and good-natured baby occasionally and unexpectedly turns purple and bursts out of his babygro in an unbridled orgy of rage. Knowing what to do when this occurs is not one of my strong points, it turns out.
Being relaxed about food going everywhere, coming up with low-hassle lunch ideas, being relaxed about fevers.......anything that involves not doing too much, staying chilled, I'm pretty good at. I also do a reasonable line in funny faces and piggyback rides. Reacting with appropriate seriousness and consistency to boundary-testing displays of toddler-anguish, however..........I just wanna run for the hills.
Its another case where it seems like a choice is available between baby-led and parent-led styles. Nip bad behaviour in the bud or sympathise with darling baby's inner tempest? Ignore the biting/plate throwing/general Mr Hyde or set firm boundaries? Husband is a natural 'No' er and does a terrifying line in stern looks. I'm more inclined towards keeping calm and trying not to react, not to make a big deal out of it. Which is pretty difficult when you've got a baby in a sling sinking his teeth into the back of your neck because he wasn't done playing with the pegs yet.
I so wish i could sidestep all of this and just be fun mummy all the time, but I know that way lies disaster, so i'm mustering up my best serious face, retrieving the power cable from Orson's mouth and committing to at least the following rules:
- No laughing. The worst thing to do is laugh, which as everyone knows is literally impossible to do as soon as one feels under pressure not to laugh.
- Always be consistent. Which means making decisions about which rules you can be bothered to enforce every single time and which ones you can't, and sticking to it.
- Maintain a common front. I may think that husband is totally over-reacting and attempting to enforce something way too complex for Orson to grasp, but now is not the time to point it out *grits teeth*.