For a number of reasons, Dollop goes up to bed first and goes to sleep in her room.
Mini goes up last and goes to sleep in our room. Later, the NC lifts him (and takes him to the toilet) and then pops him in his own bed, in the room he shares with Dollop. If they went together, they'd never get to sleep, Mini feels safer in our bed (and it's big enough for us to lay in and cuddle him), and it means we don't disturb Dollop when Mini goes to bed.
Usually Mini goes to wait in our room, with a book or two, whilst Dollop is put to bed, read a story and settled. Then it's Mini's turn and he likes to read to us, as well as be read to.
Last night after settling Dollop, the NC went into our room to sort Mini out and discovered a pair of my crafting scissors, laying close to a long thread of cotton, and he couldn't work out why or where it was connected to...although suspected my sewing machine which is currently loaded up with the same colour cotton. So, not knowing if I'd got the scissors out or not, he came to get me before tackling Mini.
Worried about how Mini could have reached my scissors, and what damage might have been done to the sewing machine I marched upstairs. Went straight to the machine and could see it had been unthreaded, and there was now several metres of red cotton all balled up, with the scissors beside.
"Oh dear Mini, what have you done?" I asked, without shouting.
"Nothing, it wasn't me, it wasn't me", bawling away, face down on bed.
I calmly sat down on the bed, took the book out of Mini's hands and gently encouraged him to turn over. I did not shout.
"OK, OK, ih wa mey"
"Sorry Mini I can't hear you when you're crying and your face is buried, come on, sit up"
"I seh ih wa mey, mey!!!!"
"Come on, let's sit up so I can hear you properly"
As I turned Mini over, he sat up, but was still crying and bawling, so I pulled him close. I did not shout.
"Look, I'm holding you Mini, you don't think you're in trouble do you? We're having a cuddle, and I love you, so let's just talk about what happened'.
Mini calmed down, wouldn't look at me, but snuggled up. I did not shout.
"I said it was me. OK I did it, with the scissors"
"OK, what happened, why did you do that?"
Mini tried to pull away and I realised I'd pushed it a question too far. Mini shouted.
"I don't know why I did it, I just did"
"OK, OK, it's all right, I'm not cross, I just want to know what happened so I can make sure you're not hurt. The scissors are sharp, the needle on the sewing machine is sharp."
Again, he tried to pull away, but I pulled him back close. I did not shout, and neither did he.
"You're not in trouble, I'm glad you're not hurt, but please don't touch my special things again...they might break and you might get hurt next time."
"I'm not hurt, I didn't touch the needle, I just did it"
He still wouldn't relax completely with me, but we did have a quick cuddle before he started asking for Daddy.
This is a big step forward for me. Usually I'd be cross, and even on the days where my shouty side stays buried deep inside, I can't hide my feelings of upset, distress and frustration. Mini always reacts to this by putting his defenses up, he won't talk to me, he won't let me hold him. He shuts down and if I try to reach him, he pushes me even harder...mostly often physically too. So it was a big step forward for him too.
It sounds like I don't do the therapeutic thing doesn't it? I do try...so hard, I'm just an emotional person and not very good at hiding those emotions. So even when I do and say the 'right' things, the therapeutic things, my inner stuff shows anyway, and as a reasonably perceptive child, Mini picks up on it. And I do shout, sometimes. OK, sometimes quite a lot.
I think though that I really am starting to attune better with Mini, and think before I react. And hopefully he's liking this new mummy who sets boundaries and has rules to keep everyone safe, but doesn't get cross and can talk instead of shouting.
P.S I do keep the scissors out of reach...out of sight too and Mini couldn't have possibly known what was in the pot that he climbed over and up various things to reach...definitely an opportunist moment for my nosy little explorer.