Little Teapot is 2 (27 months to be precise). He is incredible & amazes me every day with the things he says, does & learns. The emails I get from various parenting websites (which I must admit, I read on a reactive basis when things come up, than religiously) say that he is probably at the age where he is prone to tantrums & learning the basics of sharing. While we haven’t *touch wood* had an all-singing-all-dancing tantrum yet, we’ve seen the trailers for the main event & I don’t think it’ll be too long before it happens.
We are very much at the ‘testing boundaries’ stage of our relationship.
He is usually very good & the vast majority of the time he does as we ask, or at least stops doing something he shouldn’t be, when asked. I’m not expecting miracles, but there are certain times when I’d really like Little Teapot to pull some best behaviour out of the bag:
1) With ‘perfect’ children:
Little Teapot has a better social life than we do. He is often invited to parties for children similar ages to him. One child in particular has been Gina Ford-ed to within an inch of her life & is an often held up – by her mother – as an example of exemplary behaviour & superior intelligence. Now, I’d much rather Little Teapot played, interacted & enjoyed himself than sat & did nothing, but I’d also like him to do as he’s asked occasionally when I’m being told how clever & advanced this little one is. Little Teapot loves books & we are learning together that we treat them gently & with respect. Today he threw one. It wasn’t malicious & it certainly wasn’t aimed – more a case of ‘wrong place, wrong time'(& a good throw, to be fair) but it hit her. On the head. She cried & I was mortified. Pointing out the silver-lining that ‘at least it wasn’t a hardback’ didn’t go down particularly well either.
It’s always a relief when there’s a group of us together, as it makes me realise that it is – in fact – Little Teapot’s behaviour that is the more usual at this age.
2) With relatives (particularly those we don’t see much):
Little Teapot is the first of his generation in our family, which translates as him not only being a bit of a novelty, but he is definitely indulged more than grandchildren 4 or 5 will be. He is also gorgeous, has a cheeky little face & he can get away with most things with a cheeky grin. Which is just as well, as he has a tendency to get a bit over-excited & be a bit of a show off when we see some of our more far-flung relatives. We went to my cousin’s engagement party recently & it was one of those ‘I thought you were watching him’ ‘no, I thought you were watching him moments between Mr Teapot & I, as we realised he was sat on the knee of an aunt of my cousin’s fiancée & had managed to persuade her to give him a whole packet of custard creams. When we realised what had happened, we told Little Teapot it was almost tea time & he certainly didn’t need any more biscuits. He happily went off to play & came back a few minutes later to try his luck with the biscuits again, to which we said no. A couple more minutes passed & he appeared in the doorway once more, got down on his knees & army-crawled the length of the kitchen, before standing up & doing a comedy look around to see if anyone had spotted him, before going for the plate of biscuits. Needless to say, the whole family was now watching him & he stood up, gave a look of defeat, far too knowledgeable for his years & everyone burst out laughing.
3) In public:
One of Little Teapot’s favourite activities is taking his scooter to the local pond & feeding the ducks, followed by a refresh at the tea rooms next door. A couple of weeks ago, we were in there & an elderly lady walked past our table & said hello. Little Teapot said ‘Hello Lady’ & she was delighted, commenting how lovely he was. After she walked off towards the back of the tea rooms (& the toilets) Little Teapot turned to us & said (very loudly) ‘Lady go for wee wee mummy?’ – much to the amusement of the other customers.
4) In the houses of our friends who don’t have children:
People who don’t have children should not be expected to move all of their nick-necks out of the way because a whirlwind of a 2 year old is coming to visit, but it makes me break out in a sweat of anticipation when I know we’re going to a child-free zone. Little Teapot has a tendency to pick up the most inappropriate things – like the time he picked up the fire poker & used it as a cricket bat, or the time he picked up a friend’s glass bowl, full of decorative glass balls & declared with glee ‘Look mummy, cricket balls!’. Worst of all though, was the time Little Teapot was offered a cake in a friend’s house where they had just had new, cream carpets. He took the cake & rather than sit down in the kitchen, he moved with ninja-like speed towards the lounge & then – you guessed it – he tripped over, cake in hand & went his full length, across the new carpet & all we could do is watch, as the inevitable happened: pink cake on cream carpet.
Luckily, they are now parents themselves, so the carpet didn’t stay cream long…
5) In Church:
Now, we aren’t exactly frequent church-goers, but we went to a Christening a while ago & I fretted for weeks before about how to get Little Teapot to stay still & quiet during the service. Mr Teapot was amazing & used his Jedi mind-powers (actually, he whispered a constant stream of Thomas the Tank Engine books in to Little Teapot’s ear at a volume loud enough for only the 2 of them to know about it). I thought we’d cracked it. Until Little Teapot started to sing ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ very loudly during the time that was suggested for special prayer or reflection. He had seen us wrapping presents & writing a card before we left & got a bit confused, it would seem. Understandable, really. Luckily, most people saw the funny side!
Now, I’m not a pushy mummy & I wouldn’t change Little Teapot for the world, but even if it meant he was less well behaved at home, I’d trade that for a well-behaved boy on these odd occasions.