So all kids do the attention seeking thing don’t they? My mum tells me that my brother and I used to wait until she was in the middle of an important phone call to ask her questions, or choose that point to disappear out of sight (and in those days the phones were corded so she couldn’t wander around keeping an eye on us).
And I think that all kids choose their moments wisely so as to get maximum effect.
But at what point is it more than just a bit of attention seeking?
For me, I think it’s more than normal behaviour when Mini is attempting to climb over the oven to reach the wall-mounted knives…or when he not only pulls Dollop’s hair, but then wrestles her to the floor and attempts to use her tiny tummy as a trampoline. Or he might try climbing the furniture to reach my keys in an attempt to unlock the front door and escape. He might even go and put the plug in the sink and leave the taps running, whilst simultaneously dropping a bar of soap down the toilet then covering it with half a roll of toilet paper. They are examples of what I’ve experienced when being on the phone before.
When I’ve had visitors, he tries to talk over them or choose those moments to ask me random questions, lots of them! Or instead of monopolising me, he does it with them – by asking them questions all the time, talking to them incessantly or piling his toys on top of them, so eager to share his possessions with them. This is less likely to happen with strangers, when he tends to just get every single toy out and not play with a single one of them, pretending not to listen whilst doing so intently.
Mini cannot cope with my attention being diverted, even for a minute which is why I was feeling slightly apprehensive about potty-training Dollop. It’s such a simple thing that most people wouldn’t even think twice about but I didn’t know how Mini would cope with me having to drop everything if I had to help Dollop with the potty.
But do you know what? He was a little star!
Dollop soon got the hang of the potty, so within 2 days I didn’t have to drop everything to help her, and after 2 weeks she is daytime clean and dry. I’m not always in the room if she goes because she’s confident, independent and happy to use the potty by herself. So Mini has taken it upon himself to be the potty-police. If I haven’t noticed Dollop on the potty, he’ll call for me either during or after. Sometimes even giving me a running commentary (I can hear her weeing mummy, I think she might have fini...nope, she's still going!). And he’s become really good at encouraging Dollop to go, or try again, along with really praising her afterwards.
I’m really proud of Mini; I was so expecting him to find this hard. And I do wonder if potty training had occurred during term-time which is clearly more stressful; it might have been a different story. However, it wasn’t, and it’s been OK and we have three great outcomes – a potty-trained Dollop, a supportive, encouraging big brother and a mummy who is proud of both of her children’s achievements.