When I fetched Honeybear on Monday he was wet. It looked like he had spilled his juice onto himself. I thought I would give him a bath as soon as we arrived home to save trouble later. He was happy enough to have a bath. Then I decided I should cut his hair before bath-time. He does not like having his hair cut or washed. It is always a battle. So I decided to negotiate and I sat there and explained and bribed with my box of treats for 15 minutes and he agreed to sit down and let me cut his hair…and it went off without a hitch. He sat quietly and let me cut his hair (while holding a Chomp in his hand).
I get him into the bath and wash off the hair and wash his body. Now the hair. He said No. Just like that. I brought out the bribe box again and said if he would let me wash his hair he could have another pick from the box. I explained how I would wash his hair and promised I would not get any water in his eyes. He agreed and without a peep he let me wash his hair. I was so happy it felt like I had won the lottery.
I realised that he understands me and knows all about negotiation. I can explain something to him and expect him to understand. My little baby is no longer just a baby.
Yesterday Honeybear volunteered to wash his hair again. I think he worked out that if he washes his hair without a fuss, he can then ask for a treat from the box. Mama is not that silly and I explained that we do not need to wash his hair again. We can do it another day. I am hoping he understand that washing his hair is not so bad and I can be trusted not to get water into his eyes.
I also realised some of the naughtiness is about attention. If I am busy with work when I get home, he is more likely to do something to set me off. I guess if I am busy, he is not getting my attention and I am more likely to be set off instead of having more patience. The reality of my life is that sometimes I have to work at home. Sometimes I work something out or I have an idea and I have to do it now. It cannot wait until office time.
I am hoping Honeybear will realise that I still have time for him, but I am still me with a life outside motherhood. That sounds completely selfish, but it is how I feel. I love my child and my hubby, but I also love me.