I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

They made me do it I didn't wanna do it

daddy's always a soft touch!
I'd managed to skilfully distract and persuade the girls for weeks now not to do the thing they wanted to do. I just wasn't sure about it. I didn't know if I could face another 'talking to' if it all went horribly skewiff. I wasn't sure it was legal and I didn't know if I would be able to hang back enough without looking neglectful or go completely the other way and take over. I wasn't sure *I* was strong enough to hold their disappointment if it didn't go to their idea in their head of how it was going to pan out. You know that particularly difficult one. Expectations. Also, it hadn't stopped snowing and raining for weeks and I couldn't face being outside in the freezing for hours not moving and more to the point, with a child (or 3) getting cold and upset and whiney and illogical and unreasonable.

A while back the girls collected up their toys they didn't want, to sell. They went round the street together (without me!!) No-one in the street wanted to buy them but somehow they ended up collecting for charity instead. I had promised them we would go to the park one weekend and 'do a stall'. Today was the day I finally couldn't think of a reasonable and plausible way to say 'another day'. I tried. Believe me I tried. I was resistant. I suggested it wasn't the right time, that the ground would be cold, that someone was coming over (they didn't in end), that I was tired, that we were only walking the dog. Hubby wasn't keen either. He just wanted to walk dog, get home and relax.

The girls were not for turning, I could feel it. Or maybe I was less resistant than normal because Hubby is home (Easter Monday) so the potential for disaster is immediately reduced. Somewhat.

So, I stopped. Looked at the sun, which has been missing for months decided to be an optimist for a change and thought "ok this could work"

Touting for business
I knew it would be a fabulous learning experience for them but I was scared it would be for all the wrong reasons. Turns out it was the usual mix of the fabulous, tinged with disappointment and a bit of a dampener from mummy as so often is the case in our day! AND no meltdowns! A day without a meltdown is like a day with LOTS of chocolate and massages. Oooh massage mmmmmm. Sorry I digressed again!

We started by going in to the wrong car park. I knew it would be busy but I'm so used to going to parks during the quieter times, I had underestimated how many people go to the park on a big holiday. The car park was full. Then we spotted the carnival rides. (I didn't grump this time, it was a bank holiday after all.) There were masses of people (well masses for a wee park in Glasgow!) and I panicked. I could sense disaster. I anticipated stress. Hubby was grumbling next to me.

For our purposes it would have all been ideal but like I said I just wasn't convinced yet it was a good idea. I suggested another park which went down seemingly ok with the girls. I realise in hindsight, that they didn't correlate busy with good trading so were reasonably amiable to the change of plan. I did though and I felt guilty for potentially taking them somewhere with nobody there. So I took a deep breath, drove to the other car park at the other end of the hubbub and rides and bells and whistles and noise and potential parkies.

Hubby took Millie in sling and walked the dog whilst we set up. Imagine my delight when I realised one of the paths had been blocked with a metal fence providing a great wee enclave. A tucked away one. Not visible from the busy end. I laid out the blanket, tipped out the bag and stood back. Then I sat down on a bench and watched. It was incredible. I was quite shocked that it was working. Ellie was in her element. Taking the talk to people. Persuading them to buy her tat.toys. I wish I could have heard half of her conversations!!

She asked everyone that passed, "do you want to come and look at my stall?" "Some of its free!" she said. "Come and look." I helped them with a few phrases of Great deals. Good bargains. Maia was also keen to start with, wasn't quite as chatty but still gave it a good go. We were in mid excitement and flow when hubby came back and wanted to go. The dog was desperate to run about but it was too busy so he'd been pulling really hard on the lead. And he was slightly pissed off, so he tried to persuade them it was time to go. Ha! Not likely they were full swing. He hung about for a bit but Millie was tired and didn't want to be not moving and not on the boob, so he walked home!! (It wasn't far)

We stayed for a couple of hours (I think). I only stepped in a few times to suggest it wasn't a good idea to hoik up her price mid sale when it looked like someone was definitely going to buy! People were mostly receptive but I had to do a bit of geeing up when they got a knock back. Some people didn't even respond which I thought was rather rude but Ellie just took it in her stride and made sure it wasn't because they couldn't see her or hear her!!!! I would like to thank each and every person who spoke to my girls and helped make their day go so well whether they bought something or not.

I could tell we were nearing an end. An end of someone's coping abilities. I just wasn't sure who's yet. Maia was tired, I was Cold and tired. She basically wanted me to take over her role. I wanted to go home. Ellie wasn't ready to leave. We stayed a bit longer. I could feel myself becoming unreasonably and illogical so I made an executive decision which was only met with slight manageable upset and we went home.

I'm so glad I changed my mind and just went for it. I'm so amazed at how brilliant the girls were at talking to 'the public' and I'm so happy that they actually made a few bob for themselves (£6.90 each). I'm slightly concerned that I imposed on them that they share the earnings even though they each had toys to sell and Ellie clearly talked the talk more than Maia but then I remember that Maia is only 4 and they're sisters and I'm actually really pleased that Ellie did quite happily share with Maia. 

Oh crappito they are SO going to want me to take them shopping tomorrow.

Meltdowns - potential was high
Losing the plot - potential was very high
Breastfeeding - potential low as mostly with daddy

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