I have a small group of mothers around me and we regularly discuss things about our respective children and seek advice from each other. Topics range from breastfeeding to food, vaccinations, outings, medicines, illness, home remedies. Basically, anything and everything.
While there's so much to learn yet, there's one thing other mothers always ask me - How do I remain so patient with my son all the time? Do I never get the urge to pick the rod?
If I have to confess, then to say that I have the composure of a saint would be the biggest lie. I snap often, I get angry quickly and I don't forgive easily.
But when it comes to my son, I hold back that impulsive emotion. I tell myself that I need to work out the situation some other way that's amicable to both of us.
He's a toddler and he'll have his tantrums. To give in to them or not is my prerogative as the parent. However, when the head banging, hitting and biting starts, all the saner thoughts fly to a distant land.
Handling the terrible twos is definitely a bigger and lengthier test I've ever taken. And the downside is that there's no textbook to go by. Just one thumb rule - Be gentle and loving, no matter how big the tantrum or bad the situation.
The first thing I do, at such times, is to stand back for a while. Away from him, and observe him. Then, as he begins his rolling-on-the-floor phase, I go and cuddle him and then starts the mammoth task of distracting him or talking it out. Most of the times, this works.
At other times, when I'm clearly not in a very safe mood myself, I keep away for longer and let someone else, usually my husband, take the front seat.
So, these days, we're always running late for everything. The reasons are pretty simple. My son may not like the clothes I pick for him and would prefer to put on something absolutely weird. Or he'd want to try all the shoes and slippers and sandals before deciding that he'll wear one each from two different pairs. Or he'd simply refuse for a diaper change as we run out of time.
The reasons are endless. And trust me, there's a lot of cajoling, negotiating and bargaining that goes on here, day in and out. The objective, however, is the same - a happy toddler.
So, yes. I usually run out of my reservoir of patience, more than a few times every day. I get firm and even upset and angry. But I don't let these emotions get the better of me. For my son is just being the baby that he is. He's entitled to his tantrums and the dramas. My only goal in those moments is to make him feel loved and understood, and reassure him every time that mumma has his back, always and all the time :)