Dear H,

It’s been a funny old week. Yesterday you pushed me away and said “I don’t want you” and “You don’t like me” followed by “because you’re scared of me” which came from nowhere apart from an angry toddler head and somewhere you’ve heard it before. I can’t think where, but I knew you didn’t mean it (all you have to do is trip over and bump your knee and you’re back cuddling on my knee burying your head in me, so I know it’s just words).

This toddler lark isn’t easy, is it? I always knew it wouldn’t be, I just never expected the really difficult things to be quite so difficult. But yet you’re still an easy child to deal with – it’s just a bit more difficult at the moment with daddy doing study so I’m doing more on my own – but others have worse to deal with so I’m not complaining. I could just do with a lie in, even if it’s cuddling with you (you don’t seem to do that any more, you just want to kick the duvet off).

I have to let you into a secret. I’m tired. I’m not doing this parent thing very well at all. I want a day off. Being a parent I don’t get that day off. I know that comes as part and parcel of it all so I’m not complaining as such, but I can see in me that I’m doing things I shouldn’t be more than I used to as I don’t have the energy to have a ‘normal’ day any more. Silly. But there you go. We’re managing and you seem happy when you’re not angry at me. I’m hoping you don’t resent me being at work an extra day, though I suspect even if you do you can’t put it into words. Parental guilt is great, it never goes away, you just find something else to let it move on to.

So yes, I’m rubbish. But I’m doing my best and it’s all I can do. Hopefully this phase will pass and things will be better again.