Last night I told Betty off after she persistently refused to get undressed for her bath. I was tired and hungry, Betty was tired and pushing boundaries.
Having given her one last chance, I pulled the plug and let the water out of her bath and abolished her bedtime treat which is normally a sweetie of some sort.
I hastily put her pyjamas on and in my cross voice told her to get into bed immediately, which she did without hesitation. As I put the duvet over her she looked at me and said ‘I want a bath mummy’. I could see her little eyes welling up as she held back the tears –something I have never ever seen her do before. Usually she will either cry or whinge if she doesn’t get what she wants.
My heart felt like it was breaking. She suddenly seemed so grown up and vulnerable and self-aware, and not the toddler she has been up until now.
And when I thought my heart couldn’t be pulled anymore, still fighting back her tears she said: ‘I'm sorry I was naughty mummy. Can you get into bed with me?’