So, having established that both me and my children are human, it is also important to know when and for how long "it's natural!" and "it's just a phase" can be applied to certain types of behaviour? I know that I can sometimes become that mother who tries to explain away her children's misdemeanours with things like "tired" or "teething" or just a straight up smile and roll of the eyes when greeted by another parent's look of disgust and disbelief. But these bad things are bound to happen, like smoking and drinking and possibly drug taking, although let's hope that none of these things happen at 3 and 18 months!
Anyhoo, this question I ask because my 3 year old seems, I hope, to be going through yet another "phase". I don't think it would be too aggressive to call it the satanic phase. No, it would be, she's not satanic, she's 3 and dealing with something that she can't quite express with words, I am the satanic one, her behaviour (crying, screaming, stubborn non cooperativeness) makes me see red. In that second I become the mother that I wince at in the street. The mother who screams at her already inconsolable child. I know it's so wrong, and afterwards I feel guilty and apologise and explain to her why it makes me so cross, but by then, is it too late? Has the damage, if any, already been done?
You see, I am a classic example of "the apple never falls too far from the tree!". My mother died when I was 13 and so I was left predominantly with the influences of my father, my brother and my school mates. The latter two thankfully seem to have had the most major effect on me, but my father's aggressive, impatient, intolerant fieriness is what I am when I see red. I don't want to be that, I don't want my children to be that either, but they will be if I don't learn to control it on the occasions that I can't. I don't want my children to be like me, I want them to be far better than me. In order for that to happen though I have to completely micro manage myself when reprimanding seems like the right course of action... ooh it's hard.
Par example. Every morning we have the same fight about GETTING DRESSED! I know it's going to happen really, but there is that huge part of me that thinks that maybe this morning will be different. Maybe, the "phase" is over and we are pastures nouveaux? Not yet, the vest comes out and she says she doesn't "want anyone to go anywhere". After a few sensible suggestions and reasoning's such as "if you don't get dressed then we can't go to play group!" and "if you don't get dressed then you'll have to stay here by yourself!" I take to trying to put her vest on without consent and that is when it kicks off. She loses it and then so do I. You see, I am still a child, I don't want to be the adult, I don't want to have to make all the decisions and tell them what to do. But I do want them to be well behaved and well liked and polite.
So, I am aware that their phases are drastically altered by my reaction to/my own phases, but can I or will I get a grip of it? I don't know. I'll try, and indeed do try, but I'm just as much of a child as I ever was and that makes me just as petulant and ridiculous. So, next time I tell someone where to go or piss someone off, remember, it's not me, it's a phase. Just so happens that my children are perfect, it's the phases they try on for size that don't suit them!