I could deal with the newborn cries. I could manage the teething wails and the toddler tantrums. I was a pro when it came to chesty coughs and rising temperatures. Even the sassy 'no' phase of my then 2-year-old was a breeze in comparison to this: five-teen.
We sat on the train, embarking on an hour long journey to her grandparent's house. A loved-up couple sat beside us and were filming the train journey, oohing and ahhing at the ocean scenes that flew past. That's when my daughter began. 'Mum, stop looking at me'. I took a deep breath and looked out the window. 'Mu-um' she whined again, flopping herself on the seat in annoyance. I kid you not- my five-year-old daughter turned to me and whinged: 'stop breathing'. That couple have the video to prove it.
It is the whining. The high pitched complaints with thoroughly thought through insults. It has been a constant battle since the beginning of July. Maybe it's because we spend more time than ever together over these summer months. Maybe it's because she's finally showing signs of only-child syndrome (I thought we had gotten away with it.) All I know is that when the whining and complaining starts, I lose it. I usually try not to react, but on the inside I can't deal.
I've brought it up with other mums of only girls. It seems to be a common theme. They are angels 90 per cent of the time. They are kind and thoughtful and so damn loving. They are so good for grannies and aunties and teachers. And then, when things get tough, mum gets the brunt of it.
My daughter has never been very physical. She loves to read and listen to music and make potions and play with Lego. Her creative side is amazing but it also mean her ways to get attention are super creative. She pulled the old 'I'm running away' the other day, with a twist. She was running away WITH dad because he was more fun and 'child friendly' than mum.
Yes, she really did say that. All while watching me, waiting for me to react. I didn't, of course. Every parenting book in the world will tell us not to react. But it doesn't seem to be working. She just continues to give out to me, just as a teenager would.
Any mums out there who have been through the five-teen stage and lived to tell the tale? I'm all ears...