I do my absolute best to be a calm, collected mum who can rise above anything. Some mornings I wake up with a new mantra in my head and a big smile on my face to become that perfect mum once again (although I'm not sure I've actually met her). This normally occurs after an arduous bedtime routine the night before. But I'm afraid it's often short-lived and the yelling-like-a-banshee fish-wife returns stronger than ever (particularly at a certain time of the month).
And then I feel utterly wretched that instead of speaking in a calm but authoritative tone to cut through the tantrum as demonstrated by the lovely Supernanny, I find myself roaring in competition with and at the same pitch as the little miss. Out of interest, does Jo Frost have any children of her own? Don't get me wrong, I think she's amazing and have frequently imagined her flying in and sorting out naughty steps and reward charts all round (for me included), but I too am a whizz when it comes to other people's children's tantrums. I just can't deal with my own.
But I do count myself lucky that I've only got the one six-going-on-sixteen year old to deal with. Yesterday I found myself taking pity on a poor mum who was trying to peel a starfish-shaped toddler off the ground while her baby yelled on. And I could sense her stress levels rising as she marched past me with gritted teeth and firm jaw, armed with a reluctant toddler, no doubt suppressing the urge to have a loud outburst of Tourettes.
So considering we're all in the same boat and not living the life of the Stepford Wives, isn't it strange that we worry so much about what other people think of us?
I think it's fair to say that at times kids can be positively horrid and so if I want to scream and scream and scream until I make myself sick, then I bloody well will. OK, more likely you'll hear me muttering the F-word under my breath while trying to find a way to compose myself to deal with the tantrum being drawn out in front of me.
Incidentally, muttering under my breath negatively in response to something the OH said landed me in big trouble today as the little miss heard exactly what I was saying and, thinking that OH probably hadn't heard what I'd said (yes, that was the point), repeated it. Thank you madam. Lesson learned.