It’s true. The title of this blog post is exactly how I am feeling at the end of a long day.
When I say we may have broken him, please don’t think we have spent our bank holiday weekend in some kind of hospital, while trained professionals glue our son back together. A bit like Humpty Dumpty. For that is not the case. When I talk about “him”, I am of course referring to Charlie. (My four year old for those of you who don’t know.) Charlie is physically fine before anyone worries. He is probably mentally fine too and is just acting as any four year old would. But to us, the cracks are starting to appear.
Before I go any further, I just want to say that we know we have a well behaved (ninety percent of the time) child, and we know how blessed we are to have a happy, healthy little boy. My husband and I work hard to make sure we are raising a polite young lad, because that is what parenting is about. Working hard for what can seem like little reward at the time. But when you look back at the bigger picture you will see that the hard work has paid off and actually you have done a pretty good job, (again ninety percent of the time), at bringing up your child.
Children have a funny way of making us parents feel like we are winning one day and then loosing it all the next. How is it possible they can go from being a sweet, helpful, favourite child on Monday to then making you hide in the under stairs cupboard fighting back the tears by Tuesday? I know they are growing up and testing their boundaries while exploring their emotions, but do they have to be so annoying about it?!
Anyway, the main reason I am writing about my “broken” child, is mainly because we have been spoilt. My husband and I that is. Not in a nice way but in a way that has lured us into a false sense of security. You see, we never had the “terrible twos” with Charlie. We didn’t see a “Threenager” when he hit three. How lucky we were to have a perfect little boy who didn’t have tantrums or who threw paddies on the floor. No, he was far too clever for that.
He has always been a bright child and I think we underestimated (and still do), how much he takes in. So now he is that bit older, he can understand situations better. Situations like when to embarrass Mummy more. Or what to say if he doesn’t want to do something. He knows that Daddy is the soft touch so if Mummy says no, to go and ask him. All things he has been observing from our behaviour and the behaviour of those around us, and is now putting into practise.
Just this morning, I was doing some, ahem, exercises in a bid to lose some weight. Charlie was sat eating his breakfast and shouted past me, “Daddy! Can I have some more cereal?”. I explained that if he waited a few minutes Mummy could go and get it for him. To which he replied: “No no Mummy. Make Daddy do it so you can finish your exercises.” Now where he has heard that before I don’t know…
It just goes to show we need to be very careful what we are saying around him but also how we speak to each other. I realised that his attitude probably comes from me because if I am perfectly honest, when I am tired and hormonal I do have an attitude. Whilst his love of rude noises comes from his Daddy because I definitely have nothing to do with that!
So are we breaking him as he gets older because he is copying what we do. Maybe? While he is still relatively well behaved, the cheekiness is starting to come through and I think we are at the stage where new boundaries need to be set otherwise this boy will soon be ruling the roost. As they say.
Also, a four year olds ears seem to be smaller than when they were three? Do they keep getting smaller until after the teenage years I wonder?
I just keep reminding myself that come September he will be starting school and I will be missing these days with him at home. I will honest! I have learnt all too well how quickly these children grow up and I know I will miss the early childhood days once they have gone. So, for now, I shall get my super glue and stick him back together myself, (try to remind him who is boss), because after all I am his mum and that is what we do.
I also know his little sister will probably make up for us missing out on the “terrible twos” the first time around.