I’ve just had the opportunity to watch Kevin and Daisy behaving like me and Daisy, and it was illuminating.
At the beginning of the week, I was wildly hormonal and had the patience of… the Mummy from Hell, pretty much. As a result, there were legion situations where Daisy decided to be awkward in some way, I over-reacted, and she got even more awkward, in a seemingly never-ending spiral.
This evening, Kevin doesn’t feel very well (he’s had a cold brewing for a few days), we’re all tired from having too much fun with some houseguests all weekend, and I just watched the exact same spiral play out from the position of spectator. And I was annoyingly calm and in control, and wordlessly sided with Daisy in just the annoying way that he does, on the basis that she’s two and he isn’t, and was the gentle influence of sanity in pulling the situation back from crisis point.
The thing is, I knew that children feed off your emotions like some kind of Star Trek: TNG alien, and I more or less knew, in retrospect, that that was precisely what had happened between us for most of Tuesday, but it really took being an outsider to see it clearly.
I’m not sure if it helps. It’s a lot harder to spot when you’re busy resisting the temptation to shake the squirming toddler, and even harder to do anything constructive the break the cycle. Certainly illuminating, though.