Yesterday Leo ran into the road.
The sun was shining and we were spending the morning in a beautiful park, picked especially as it only has one gate to get in and out - perfect for speedy toddlers. Still, before I knew it the little man had squeezed through the gap and was hot-footing it down the road. Thank goodness it was a quiet country road and there were no cars but the whole experience knocked me for six.
I ran to him (possibly at Olympic gold medal pace), told him off and carried him back to the park. The moment I set him down, he did a quick loop and started heading back to the gate. And here lies the problem. When it comes to discipline, I haven't got it sussed. That was why, mixed with nightmares of what might have happened if it hadn't been such a quiet road, I cried all the way home. I felt I had failed. All the other mums seemed to have control of their offspring - it was only mine running off without a backward glance.
I don't think I am a bad mother, it is just the terrible twos have taken me a bit by surprise. I thought the hardest part - interrupted sleeps, night feeds etc - was the hard bit and, having got through all that, I knew what I was doing. I realise now the learning curve is only just beginning.
So I spent that evening trawling the internet and was quietly soothed to discover that I am not alone. Far from it. There were hundreds of books and articles written by parents for parents advising the best way to get through this stage of parenting unscathed. I am devouring them as if my life depending on it.
To begin with I need a plan and it starts here. My aims:
- I will not be a walk over
- I will be listened to and respected
- I will be able to keep him safe
Now I just have to work out how to do it.