Ava had a proper, two year old tantrum today. The kind that make you want to burst into tears as well, and kick and scream and sob until someone bigger, stronger, wiser and far more patient comes and rescues you.
It began with Ava wanting to 'walk' in the shopping centre. I use the inverted commas, because Ava walking is a very slow and frustrating game of trying-to-convince-the-toddler-to-go-the-direction-you-want-to-go. Surely God is laughing, watching me deal with the most willful, impetuous and single minded toddler on the planet.
A sample: (if you weren't walking through these particular shops today to witness the spectacle)
Me: Ava, come on! We are going to have our picture taken! (Pixie Photos)
Ava: Mummy, I wanna go park. I see park. Over there! (pointing in the complete opposite direction) Come on, Mummy!
Me: We will go the park after the photos! Do you want to go to the park?
Ava: Yes, Mummy, I walk. Park, where aaaaaaaaaaaarrrree youuuuuuuuuu?
Me: Quickly, hurry. Do you want to run? Can Mummy pick you up?
Ava: NO I WALK! (Walks at snails pace, stopping to look at, touch and run after everything she sees)
And so it went until I pulled her off the tenth or so exciting thing she had discovered :
Ava: Look, Mummy, Look! LOOK AT THIS! MUMMY, LOOK AT ME!
Oh baby-girl! Precious Princess, I so want to! I want to reach into your world. I want to experience every tiny detail with you and pick apart how it works and I want you to ask me WHY a thousand times BUT WE WERE RUNNING LATE and I was SO CRANKY.
So, I picked her up, not dissimliarly to the way that a rugby player would attack a ball, and carried the screaming 2 and a bit year old to a bench, plonked her down on the floor and waited for a good 5 minutes while she screamed and kicked and lay face down on the shopping centre floor. Prostrate, irrational and full up with frustration and rage, she screamed blue murder into the filthy floor. I carefully attached my calm face.
People walked by. Some tutted and glared, daring me to stop her, smack her or god knows what else, some stared, gobsmacked that a small child could be loud and so very angry. Others smiled gently, knowing that my brave mask of calm was precariously close to slipping off and crashing into a thousand pieces.
Eventually, she calmed down, crying quietly into the floor, and I knew that the fury had burnt itself out and it was obvious that she was sad, and a little overwhelmed. I asked her if she was ready for a cuddle, and little arms reached up for reassurance and acceptance. I told her that I didn't like it when she cried, and that I wanted Ava to be happy again. I asked her to say sorry, and she did and we sat and cuddled, exhausted and in love with each other.