Step one: patience.
One of the things I highlighted that needs to change is my level of patience. As in, I need to get some.
Things I have zero patience for:
People who repeat themselves
Being made to wait for someone running late
Bumbly wait staff
The end of particularly good suspense novels
A slow internet connection
My child’s whiny voice.
Whoa, you say. Whoa. That’s quite a list of very specific things that make your brain hurt. Yes, it is. It is very specific and it could probably go on for ages but the most important one on that list, and the only one I feel I should actively work on at the moment is ‘my child’s whiny voice’. This isn’t to say that I won’t work on the rest of them but some people have an eye-roll coming and the staff at my local coffee house will be the recipients. They make fantastic iced, skimmed, vanilla lattes but it takes roughly a year and a half to get one after you order.
Mister Man, like any child, gets into moods. Sometimes they are giggly and sometimes energetic but the moods I notice most often are whiny moods. Moods where he isn’t sick and he isn’t teething but just woke up on the wrong side of the bed and said to himself, “You know what would be fun? Demanding to be picked up and then to be put down and then picked up again and then put down again until finally that lady gets fed up and leaves me to cry on the floor.”
I refer to myself as “that lady” because he doesn’t call me anything. At best he points at me and grunts and at worst he runs over my foot with his trolley.
So, that is how Wednesday went. Bub got him out of bed in the morning and tried to go about the normal routine and instead of going along with him, Mister Man shit all over it.
He whined from beginning to the end of the day. He kicked and whined leaving the house (Go! Go! AHHHH! Go!), and then cried and whined some more in the car (DADA! DADA!), out of the car in the parking lot of the crèche there was louder crying and whining (Banky! Banky!), and then after I calmed him down, it was just a general scream as he was taken from me. It was more of the same after I picked him up until we put him down to bed.
During these periods I will say things like "James!" or "You are fine." or the ever amazing "What is wrong with you now?" Like he has any idea what these things mean. Yesterday I verbally reprimanded him for whining so many times I actually felt stupid after a while. I literally got tired of hearing my own voice; more tired than I was hearing his.
What was wrong with him? I have no idea. This morning he woke up in a great mood and besides the occasional normal tantrum when he doesn't get something he wants, he's been great. Yesterday highlighted to me how I need more patience when it comes to James. He's a child, only 19 months old, and doesn't understand what he is feeling all the time. How would I feel if someone told me my feelings weren't legitimate? After 30 years and a much better grasp on rational thinking, I'd still be enraged if someone dared to tell me how I should or should not feel about something. So what makes Mister Man any different?
Do I think I need to guide him and his reactions to the world around him? Of course I do. He can't throw a fit about everything that doesn't go his way; he can't express his anger and frustration any way he wants to. He needs to learn to control his reactions and he will. However, everyone has bad days. Everyone. Especially me. I need to and will learn how to be patient, especially with things I can not control, like other people's moods. This could lead to me finding the patience to deal with other things on my list, as well.
But let's get one thing straight, I will never learn to be patient with Andy McDowell or Zac Efron. Never.