Lately we have seen the escalation of the why? and what for? questioning.
I knew it was coming. I thought it would be a cute stage of her development.. pah, right! I obviously do not remember my other two going through this stage (c’mon it was twenty odd years ago. Give me a break!), or I would have been inclined to have dreaded it. Everything comes in to question. “We’re going to the shops”, “Why”?, “Because we need to buy food”, “Why”?, “So we can eat”, “Why”?…..and so on. It’s sometimes very ruthless, especially if she doesn’t get the answer she is hoping for (I know she doesn’t know what she is expecting as an answer, but she will when she hears it!). Merv (the man who came to do our garden a few months ago) came to collect his hosepipe that he left behind. “Why does Merv want his hose back”? “Because he needs it to water someone else’s garden darling”, “Why”?, “Because he has probably just laid a lawn just like ours”, “Why”?, “Because they wanted a lovely garden to play in, just like you do”, “Why”?… I won’t continue with the whole miserable five minute interrogation, but suffice to say we got to the stage where I was just about to try to explain global warming to my 2 1/2 year old! Note to self…give short concise answers and do not let the questioning get out of hand.
As well as the interrogation stage of toddlerhood, Lily has an ability to put you in your place if you overstep any of the boundaries that she has put in place. You won’t know what the boundaries are, or the topics under which they are filed, until you stumble helplessly over them. I have a tendency to ‘but in’, especially if she is speaking to daddy and he is engrossed in something or other, meaning he is not listening. To prevent over repeating by Lily I try to lend a hand by answering for him….Uh ah, no, no. Don’t do it! Cue the finger, the pointy one that jabs accusingly in your direction, followed by the pouty stern look, then she hisses, “Don’t talk mummy! I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to daddy”. She looks crossly at daddy who is still not listening! I must have some missing brain cells, you know the ones. The ones that tell you to shut the hell up before you get in to more trouble. I answer again on his behalf, only to be met with more scornful telling off. “I said, MUMMY, I’m talking to daddy not you”!! At this point I asked her to calm down and not speak to me in this manner, to which she replied, “I’m the parent, not you”! Luckily I was not banished to the naughty step in this instance.
Allan has been talking about ‘camping’ in the garden for a couple of weeks now, and two nights ago he and Lily did just that. I use the term camping very loosely.
We don’t have a tent as such. We did buy a tent-like shelter type thing, which does zip up, but really it is only really suitable for protection on the beach from a chilly wind or in the garden as a playhouse for Lily. Inside the ‘tent’ he squeezed all the supplies needed for sleeping out all night. Everything was spilling out in to the garden which meant that the zip could not be fastened, despite my efforts to do so. Lily was so excited to be sleeping outside. She giddily ran around the garden in her pj’s, chased the kitten from next door and enjoyed her midnight snack ( it was actually a 9.40pm snack). At 3am I heard them return to the house. Daddy had had enough. He couldn’t sleep because the space in the ‘tent’ was too small, and he only had one position to lie in! The noise from the motorway, the noise from overhead planes, the bugs and the kitten from next door all doing his head in! Lily slept really well I was told, apart from the coughing (which got on daddy’s nerves too), and when asked if she wanted to go home (please, please please) she said no. She wanted to sleep outside. Allan declared he would not be camping with an amateur again! I think maybe he’s just not the Bear Grylls type!