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November 7, 2011Letters to LaurenNo comments

Some days are close to being perfect.

When everything we do is in unison, in harmony – in a total understanding of what makes us feel right.

Other days are not so. Those are the days when we let our frustrations get the better of us. Where we raise our voices, our ire, and we clash like jagged rocks falling from cliffs, in to a turbulent whirl pool – in the angry seas below (too much?).

There are reasons for this. You mum will allude to the fact that I get easily frustrated. That I more often than not approach situations in a negative bent. That rather than come down to your level , I might increase the size of my frame – as though to indicate, in a sort of primal, primate manner – exactly who is boss.

You tend to laugh at this, causing my frustration levels to grow. You laugh some more, or – as happens in that rarest of occasions – you simply bite. You bite quite hard. Your mum intervenes. Then you say sorry.

Frustration is a difficult thing for us to deal with at this point in your life. I know you bite because you are frustrated, or tired, or you need to go to toilet but just can’t quite go. Naturally as a child you get frustrated when we won’t let you do something – or when we’re not fully paying attention to you. We’ve lost a couple of keys on the laptop through this degree of frustration.

I get frustrated because I don’t know how to manage the situation effectively enough to stop you reaching the point where you want to bite – to let us know how you feel – because you haven’t worked out an appropriate means yet.

I also get frustrated because I don’t know how to deal with the situation once you do bite.

It might have been perfectly acceptable to have hit you in a previous era – a little slap on the back of the legs to shock you in to understanding that you’ve over stepped the mark. But that’s not how we want to parent you. We don’t believe that is ever the best course of action – and I know, from experience, that it doesn’t actually stop the desire from within to do something wrong again.

It is a cycle of do wrong/hit/apologise/do wrong/hit/apologise etc – that appears to have no natural conclusion, nor benefit for anyone.

Your mum suggests I get down, bring my head to your level, and to talk through the right and wrong of the situation. Frustration levels mean I usually just want to walk out of the room (which I occasionally do) and let off steam, well away from you – not from fear that I can’t control my temper, but out of sheer frustration that I have no idea what to do next.

It’s my way of brushing it under the carpet until such time when you’ve had a sleep, gone to toilet – or your mum has defused the situation to the extent where we are all friends again.

The biting does highlight my inability to control my frustrations, just as much as it does yours. Not every day will be perfect. Not every day will extend from morning to night, with the house – with our lives – filled with laughter and positive tones. Some days will result in our jagged rock moods surfacing – will pit us together – will make at least one of us lose control.

But then, you are two and I am 36. If there is one person in this relationship that needs to keep a better check on their frustrations it is definitely me.

It would have just been nicer had you not felt the need to bite for me to fully understand that point.

This post also appears on What Lauren Did Next

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