Help, my daughter is missing. We seem to have an angry bird living in our house all of a sudden.

“I DO NOT WANT TO GIVE YOU A CUDDLE” she’ll angrily announce. I often reply that I don’t want to give her one either, so she tearfully throws herself on me giving me a massive cuddle. I am turning into my mother, doing the cruel.

This morning she got up, and for the first time didn’t want to come in bed for a cuddle with me as she usually does. She didn’t say a word to either of us. Shaun was in the shower and said hello to her. He got a grunt.

A GRUNT. What’s going on?!

Generally I’ll put clothes out for her when she wants to get dressed, having suggested several things she’d like. Not this morning, oh no no. “I AM WEARING A SKIRT TODAY” she announced, her purple one. She angrily put it on, with leggings and a Peppa Pig t-shirt. She also tucked the front of her skirt into her leggings. I offered to help her out.”I DON’T NEED YOU HELPING ME” she yelled as she put toothpaste on her toothbrush and demanded to do it all herself (I’m happy enough for her to do this as they do at nursery anyway).

Also, why does she insist on sitting halfway down the stairs to put her shoes on?

I know why all this is, why this change is coming. A month today she’ll be four. This is where they fight back and want to leave home for the first time, isn’t it? While demanding cuddles and love when it all goes wrong. This is going to be the next twenty years of my life, isn’t it?

Oh god.