As we headed towards the car park after our short visit to Westfield Stratford I mentioned to Ma Puce that I’d like to nip into one more shop. She wasn’t keen, she wanted to go home. I took it as a sign that my shopping time was up and off we trotted.
Halfway across the car park Ma Puce chirped up, “But mummy! You’ve forgotten to get something!”. She couldn’t quite pin point what that thing was, but she was quite adamant. Little hands up turned towards the sky in bemusement at my forgetfulness.
I knelt down to carry on chatting with her and took a moment, the kind that we parents allow ourselves every now and then, to marvel at how darned cute my daughter could be.
As she mused on what it was that I had forgotten, she decided that it was moisturiser. I reassured her that I didn’t need any moisturiser. In fact I had a new tube at home and she could have some if she wanted.
Up I got and made a move towards the car. I turned to see her resolutely glued to the spot, the twinkle in her eye had gone out, instead replaced by the darkness of a storm.
“But I want to go to John Lewis!” Came the first cry. It was low and doleful, as she tried to turn the course of my path. I did the usual chivvying along, in as jolly a fashion as I could muster. But by the time I had got her to the car she wasn’t just shouting, “I want to go to John Lewis”, she was shrieking it. Her voice rebounding off all the pillars in the car park.
She continued in much the same vein for the journey home, with “I want to go to John Lewis” said in a range of different shouts, cries, screams and shrieks.
Given I was in the car I put my focus on getting us home safely rather than engaging in a battle of words. On becoming totally exasperated with my lack of response she started bellowing from her car seat, “Hello! Hello!! HELLO!!! HHHEEELLLLOOOO!!” If she could have leant forward and tapped on my forehead with her knuckle at the same time I’m sure she would have.
Still in full tantrum mode as we arrived home, I freed my by now molten hot with rage three year old from her seat, stood by as she flailed her way up our front steps, then died a little inside as she turned on the top step and bellowed her middle class moan for all of Hackney to hear.
Her piece de resistance was waltzing in the front door, throwing herself at the stairs and banging her head on the third stair up. At which point she went into tantrum overdrive, not sure whether to shriek about her sore head or her need to visit John Lewis, so doing a megamix of both statements at the same time.
Personally I blame that pesky snowman and his manipulative cohort from the Christmas advert. I’ve always been wary about the negative affect that advertising can have on children and I believe that this is proof positive that a seemingly benign advert can turn a child.
P.S: Given my sad lament of a post about blogger’s block earlier this week, is it awful that one thought that popped into my head mid tantrum was, “ooh this will make a great blog post”?? Mind you, I guess whether this is great content is subjective!