Yesterday, I made a mistake. It was only a small one in the grand scheme of parenting errors. I didnt leave my 8 year old in a pub like our esteemed Prime Minister. I certainly didn’t do any lasting damage to my poor son’s soul, but I did give myself a needlessly horrible afternoon.
All by trying to be the best mum ever.
After R woke up from his nap, he seemed to be a bit cranky. Having no plans to leave the house in the afternoon, I was really not enjoying the thought of a moody 1yo all day, and so decided to be in the ‘best mood ever’ to snap him out of it. After ten minutes or so of fun hide and seek games, (my baby has recently mastered running around a corner and shouting BO! -pretty close to Boo, you’ll admit) I decided to reward his cheer up with an AMAZING treat. A Chocolate Pudding. This was one of those Soya half healthy half not things, and apart from wanting a happy toddler, my other motivation was that if I shared it with him, I wouldn’t devour the whole thing myself, but would still get to have a sweet treat. At this juncture, I must point out that R had never had chocolate pudding before…
Now over the next ten minutes I made several mistakes. All in quick succession and all leading to the biggest tantrum he has ever had. I’m going to express them in a simple Chocolate Pudding Do’s and Dont’s format, and hopefully you can learn where I did not.
#1. Do not give your child something for the first time when they have just woken up from a nap and are questionably cranky.
#2. Do not give your child something deliciously sweet when you have just indulged in a high activity running around getting excited game.
#3. Do sit somewhere uncarpeted if you are worried about the mess a chocolate pudding might make.
#4. Do not let your child use your spoon, only to take it away because it is too big for them to use tidily. (see #3)
#5. Do not suggest we ‘feed teddy’ to calm child down, when the aforementioned teddy is ATTACHED to a book and therefore cannot be washed!
#6. Do not expect your 1 year old to understand that we are sharing the treat.
#7. Do not expect your 1 year old to understand the reason why you took away ‘his’ spoon or the reasons why you are trying to move the whole process to the laminate kitchen floor.
#7. Do deal with your own mistake of giving it to them in the first place and just let them make the biggest mess ever and eat the entire pot and probably be sick, rather than start taking it away and giving rules in the middle leading to giant heaving shrieking temper tantrums which take 3 hours to get over and put everyone in a bad mood until bed time.
#8. Do not be surprised when after an overload of sugar, your baby is wired up and in a crazy hyper angry mood all afternoon.
it was just TOO exciting. An amazing treat for him would have been one Malteaser. Or to be honest, a breadstick. I went too far with my choice, he was already tired and over excited in equal measure, and all his emotions went into overdrive when he realised just how amazing, chocolatey puddingy goodness really is. I can’t blame him for the grabbing and the screaming and the mess making and the temper tantrum, because he is a baby. I showed him a vat of deliciousness and then tried to ration and limit it.
Somehow in my own deluded head I had this image of him feeding himself nicely, with a neat coating of chocolate round his little mouth, grinning at me through bites as if to say, “wow, you’re the greatest Ima ever!” Then he would finish eating, grab a wipe and clean up, throw the pot in the bin, and go off and play nicely by himself as a thank you for my largess.
#9. Do not kid yourself.