The worst words…

There are a few words that a parent dreads hearing from their toddler. They strike fear into the heart of any Mum or Dad and it seems that once uttered once they can only increase in frequency.

The first word is “why?”. Hugh has started with the ‘why’ and contrary to what Simon Sinek will tell you (leadership nerd reference there) starting, asking and continuing with the why will not lead to great things. It will just push your Mum to breaking point when she will yell ” BECAUSE I’M THE MUMMY THAT’S WHY!!” Much earlier than she was expecting to.

But the ‘why’ pales into insignificance once the next words are uttered. Three little words that can cause so much pain, confusion and horror. I can guess what you’re thinking and believe it or not there is not a single ‘F’ word in the bunch. People who are not parents think they’re cute and adorable, They’re not. Those words, those terrible words from the mouth of a two year old are….”I do it”.

“I do it”. Sounds like it should be helpful. It.Is.Not. Let’s be clear. “I do it” does not apply to all situations. It’s not applicable if you would actually LIKE the toddler to do the task and it would be genuinely helpful if they did “do it”. Like packing up toys, connecting their own Thomas trains together or wiping their own hands after eating.

“I do it” only comes out when the task at hand has the chance to be messy, time consuming, hold you up OR is impossible for the toddler to do leaving them extremely frustrated and angry at the end of the process (and you having to “do it” anyway).

Classic Hugh “I do it” moments have included:

  • Blowing his own bubbles. This resulted in a wet Hugh, bubble mixture all over the pavement, an empty bubble want and in the end, no bubbles and a pissed off two year old.
  • Opening his own yoghurt pouch. Impossible. He physically can’t do it but it takes him at least 5 minutes to admit he needs help. And god forbid you should try and help before he asks for it.
  • Wielding dangerous cutlery including knives that we are trying to use to safely cut up his dinner. We refuse to give him knives which works out a terrible show down for the family.
  • Walking in the middle of dangerous car parks.
  • Carrying things that are way too heavy for him and therefore take about three hours longer than normal to complete anything or go anywhere.
  • Reading books/not getting you to read the book them demanding that you read the book again.
  • Finally, using the new stamps that his Nanna bought. Must stamp himself which makes for some very edgy parents, grandparents and passers by, watching Hugh do some sort of contortionist act with a very uncovered inked object trying to prevent anyone from interfering in his very strong desire to stamp anything and everything in sight.

I should be excited that the little guy is really starting to test his skills and assert his independence. This will lead to more independence and make life easier for his mum and dad. Maybe one day this will come to pass but at the moment it’s an uphill battle with none of the useful things getting done. Just another reason why no one should expect Tim or I to actually be on time for anything for the next five to six years. And why you might see a toddler around the shopping centre dragging a giant back pack he can’t carry with yoghurts he can’t open and weaving dangerously in front of shopping trolleys and other shoppers while his parents trail apologetically behind.

If you listen closely your might hear him muttering those fateful words “I do it” under his breath while he shows his Mum and Dad who the boss is in this family one more time.

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Hold them tight

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In the last twelve months I have known two mothers who have lost their children well before their time. These children were not babies, they were young adults who were gone too soon and for their parents I cannot even begin to fathom the sense of loss, grief and sheer devastation they feel. The tears roll down my cheeks just typing those words. Incidentally they both lost sons which hits home for me just that little bit harder.

Parenting is hard and some days we get through with the mantra that this phase will pass, one day they will be adults and we won’t have to worry any more. I am not great at managing some of the tougher parts of parenting,as this blog demonstrates, but these past few weeks I have been trying to focus on the value and joy of being in the ‘now’ with my boy and taking moments to say the things that are important, that I want him to know even though he is too young to understand what’s going on. I’m not always successful at it but I’m trying.

In this world of busy, between work and life and everything in between I worry that I will miss the opportunities to tell my son how much he means to me so I have written it out so one day, he can read these words and know that even though sometimes I forget to say them the feeling is always there.

For Hugh.

The moment you were born I burst into tears and my first sobbing (drug filled) words were how beautiful you were. You are still the most beautiful person I have ever seen and you always will be.

Whenever I am frustrated or angry it’s with me more than you. I want to be a great parent for you. I  am learning as I go and I will continue to learn as you get older. When you are sad, frustrated or angry I usually blame myself, I must be doing something wrong. You’re still so young and life is strange and new and challenging for you and I need to be more patient for both of us.

There is no better sound on this whole planet than your laugh. I can’t even explain how much I love that sound. You have a really belly chuckle that gets a hold of my heart and fills it until I think it might burst. I would spend hours trying to make you laugh if I could.

I will continue to try and hug and kiss you as long as you’ll let me. I’ll be discreet so I don’t embarrass you if I can help it, but you’re going to need to humor your poor old Mum on this one.

I will always be in your corner. It might not always seem like it but everything I do is about helping you to be there very best person you can be. Some days that might make me seem hard, mean, uncaring or unreasonable but trust me, I’m in it for the long game. Your Nanna did the same with me and I owe a lot of the person I am to the lessons and experiences she taught me.

I promise I will never leave without telling you I love you. Whether it’s to the gym, to work or even just to close the door when you go to bed. And if there is ever a time I forget to say it know that it’s in my heart each and every second of the day.

There is nothing more important in this world to me than you and your Daddy. If everything ever happened to you I genuinely don’t know what I would do and I pray every night that I will never be in the position when I have to find out.

Always know that you are loved and chersished by us. Love Mummy.

In tribute to two very special sons and their Mums. X

 

Performance Review

Hi Hugh. It works really well for me that your second birthday falls at the end of the financial year. Mummy is in full on performance review mode at work and to be honest, I think it’s time we had a chat about your performance as the baby/toddler of our little family.

Now of course this is a two way conversation, I’m really interested in what your thoughts are on the last 12 months so feel free to let me know if you have anything to add. (Hugh “Thomas, Percy”). This is your review Hugh, let’s not bring Thomas the Tank Engine into it. I’ll be speaking with him and his associate Percy separately.

I’m going to use a straight forward Stop, Start, Continue feedback model for our conversation today. I want to ensure we’re capturing all the highlights of the last year as well as identifying a few areas for development. (Hugh “Custard?!”). You can have a snack when we’ve finished.

When it comes to things you can stop, I’ve made a few observations in my role as your supervisor/parent. Don’t take these personally, it’s about identifying room for personal growth.

1. Waking up before 6am. Mummy and Daddy are really struggling with the crack of dawn wake ups. I’m starting to consider 6am a sleep in and that is just not normal or healthy. When Mummy and Daddy aren’t with you they’re at work trying string sentences together and make adult like decisions which is freaking tough when you’ve been awake since 2am.

2. Refusing to eat anything that has any nutritional value. All I’m going to say about this is that one day you too will be a supervisor/ parent to a tiny human and I CANNOT WAIT until you complain to me that they won’t eat. I will be SUPER SMUG when I get to tell you and your charge about how you only ate Jatz, chicken nuggets and vegemite toast for about 3 months straight. I’ll tell it many, many times and each one will have a subtle undertone of “this is karma my son” to it. In fact just in case I’m too subtle I might say that last bit out loud a few times too.

3. Screaming like you are being murdered every time we get you dressed. And flinging yourself around like a demented octopus. It makes it really hard to put your nappy back on let alone pants and I’m pretty sure the neighbours have DOCS on speed dial just in case we are actually harming you. “Mrs Abrahams, we’ve had reports you are torturing your young son.” “Um no. I’m just trying to wrestle him out of a nappy he’s filled with faeces and into a clean one. Evidently this is a cruel and unusual punishment to my kid”. “What was the second scream then?” ” It’s minus 5 outside. My husband and I made him put pants AND a jumper on.” “No jacket?” “You heard the screams. You put the bloody jacket on him.” “Sorry to bother you Mrs Abrahams.” “No, seriously, will you put a jacket on him? He might wear it for you!”

Well Hugh, I think we’ve identified some behaviours you can stop to improve your performance as household toddler. What are some of the things you can start doing to contribute to our family team? I’ve written some suggestions down, feel free to add your own at any point.

1. Letting me brush you hair. We have standards in this family and to be honest you look like an unkept wildling some days with your hair all over the place. If you’d let us cut it then perhaps the brushing wouldn’t be such an issue but you seem determined to live by your own hair length standards. And we keep getting black listed by local hairdressers after a single haircut session with you.

2. Respecting our privacy. When Mummy and Daddy go to the potty it’s their time to be by themselves for a few brief and blissful minutes. You do not need to knock, bang, call out or just open the door to the bathroom the second we disappear. We try and give you your privacy while you dirty your nappy, it’s only decent that you do the same for us.

3. Broadening your TV show horizons. I think you’ve developed quite a narrow focus lately in your toddler role. There is more to life than trains and Thomas. I think you’d gain a whole new perspective if you’d watch some Sean the Sheep or Sesame Street once in a while. It’s a big world out there on ABC kids, you don’t want to limit your options so early in your career.

There are definitely some strong ideas there to help you in the next 12 months. (Hugh “Bottle!”) In a minute. We’re on the home stretch. Now Daddy and I have talked about what we would like you to continue doing as Abrahams toddler and son of the house. The list is long little man.

1. Continue to give enormous cuddles, the ones where you run across the room and launch yourself into our arms.

2. Please continue to snuggle on shoulder and burrow your little hand just under my collar when you’re tired. It melts me.

3. Always keep your cheeky grin, especially when we are playing the game where we take turns to be “sleeping” until we tickle each other awake!

4. Saying “I love you Mummy” every night when you go to bed and blowing me a big kiss when I turn out the light.

5. Blowing me away with how damn smart you are. It astounds me and I’m so proud and humbled to watch you grow and learn every day.

6. Being such a perfect mix of your Dad and I. You look like your Daddy but you are full of your Mummy’s attitude and we wouldn’t have you any other way.

In short Daddy and I have given you a rating of 10 out of 5 for this year. You exceed our expectations over and over again and we love you to pieces.

Happy second birthday darling.

Love Mummy

Thomas Trials

“Where’s Luke?”

” I don’t know, I thought you had him!”

“You were watching him last!”

“So he’s lost”

“S*%t”

We instantly split to search. This is a crisis of epic proportions. Luke is missing. Hasn’t been seen for hours. Parental stress and anxiety is reaching critical levels.

Some of you may be thinking ” I thought her kid’s name was Hugh, who on earth is Luke?” or alternatively “I thought she’d been putting on weight, must have had another baby”. Don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything. My son’s name is Hugh and the weight is mostly cake related but thanks for bringing it up!

Luke is not a child or person. He is a toy train. This toy train is an extremely obscure character who appears in a maximum of two episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine (trust me I’ve watched them all). He is about the size of a match box, maybe smaller and is camouflage green which helps him to disappear like a ghost under lounges, cots, in handbags or at the bottom of the toy box. We got Luke in a show bag and have never seen any other Luke merchandise available for sale. So Luke is basically irreplaceable. Tiny, dark, easily lost. He was also Hugh’s absolutely hands down favourite toy for a significant period of time.

When I say favourite toy this wasn’t a normal level of interest, this was full blown obsession. There were tearful departures at childcare, joyful reunions each evening and many an hour spent watching Luke’s more famous Thomas episode “Blue Mountain Mystery” or as Hugh calls it “Thomas Luke” together. Hugh was never long without his Luke, hence the absolute panic in the household when Tim and I realised that neither of us had been keeping tabs on this miniature locomotive that held the key to household sanity.

“Wan Luke Mumma”

“Mummy and Daddy are looking baby. Why don’t you play with Percy for a minute?”

“No. Wan Luke Mumma. Where’s Luke?”

Tim is investigating under the lounge and is preparing to move furniture.

“Wan Luke”.

I’m frantically emptying the content of my handbag on the lounge room floor. 2 dummy’s, half a muesli bar and 3 matchbox cars spill out but no tiny green train.

“Daddy, wan Luke”. Voice is wobbling, we are close to toddler meltdown.

Tim flings the cushions from the lounge in a last desperate bid and there, right in the very furthest nook and cranny, tucked down the back is bloody Luke. Order is returned.

Thomas the Tank Engine in general is an all consuming passion for Hugh. I do not exaggerate when I say Tim and I have watched every single episode of Thomas available on Stan, Netflix and ABC kids at LEAST 10 times each. And some of those are movie length episodes. I would not consider myself a massive fan but my knowledge of season 18 Thomas characters and episode features is verging on encyclopaedic. I can also recite the movies “Thomas Luke” (Blue Mountain Mystery), “Thomas Treasure” (Thomas and the Legend of the Lost Treasure) and “Thomas Hiro” (Thomas Hero of the Rails). Can’t remember where I put my keys 10 minutes ago but can give you the entire back story of most of the trains on Sodor at any given moment.

Luke and his scarcity made us nervous so we tried to diversify Hugh’s love of trains by buying a new character for him. We bought Henry – brighter green, not as small. Big wins for us but what would Hugh think? He enjoyed playing with Henry that afternoon and blew him a kiss goodnight when he went to bed.

We still bring Hugh into our bed when he wakes at 5am for half an hour of more sleep (supposedly) and the next morning was no exception. He lay quietly for about 20 minutes while I stroked his hair then flung his hands up, punching me in the face and sat bolt upright.

“Wan Henry Mumma. Find Henry”.

Henry came to childcare, Henry was sought out when he came home and poor Luke has not been spoken of since. Toddler love is so fickle. Henry was temporarily replaced by a much larger Thomas but that was annoying to carry to coffee shops so we downsized to a much smaller James.

The characters might change but the show hasn’t. Thomas is all consuming despite many attempts to lure him to other shows. They’d better release a new season soon or Tim and I might go insane. You’ll find us at home surrounded by tiny trains, the Apple TV remote and babbling about the benefits of being a “really useful engine” on the Fat Controller’s Railway.

The opinions of others

This conversation happened on my way into work in the other day. I had mentioned to a colleague how it was getting cold and I’d had to put lots of layers on my son to send him to childcare. “How old is your son?” he asked. “Nearly two” I replied. “How many days a week is he in child care?” I told him five. “That’s a lot” he said. “But you must finish early to get him most days.” I gritted my teeth slightly as I responded I didn’t and changed the subject to a topic that didn’t unintentionally judge my parenting choices. Now, this guy is actually very nice and I’m sure the questions came from a place of wanting to be helpful/sympathetic/understanding( ? ). I’m sure it wasn’t to make me feel like a terrible mother for paying other people to spend more time raising my child more than I do. A similar thing happened to my sister and brother – in – law when they were buying shoes for my nephew to send him to childcare five days a week just after he turned one. The woman in the shop was trying to be supportive/sympathetic/ close the sale when she commented on how hard that must be and how young he was to be in childcare that much. This naturally made them feel like really awesome parents making all the right life decisions for themselves and their young son (sarcasm). I am actually lucky to be able to work part time. I work a 9.5 day fortnight and I start and finish early two days a week. The reality is that I don’t often get out at my early finish time those days and when I do I try and pick up some things from the supermarket, run administrative errands or go home to make Hugh’s dinner so I can spend more time with him when I pick him up from childcare rather than in the kitchen. My half day off a fortnight I spend looking after myself. I get my hair done if it’s needed, I get my nails done. But I also do the washing, clean the kitchen, try and do some groceries if it’s needed. So Hugh is in childcare five days a week. Some days I can’t wait to drop him off, other days I’m crushed we can’t spend the day together. Some weeks the guilt that he has been one of the first children there most mornings and the last one there most nights is overwhelming but sometimes that’s just the reality of a family with two working parents. At the end of the day it’s my choice to do this. The same way other parents choose to stay at home, or work three days a week, or start their own business or whatever is right for them. In the age of social media, unqualified and uninformed opinions are rife it’s easy to question everything you do. Everyone, even strangers feel like they have the right to offer their own two cents worth without a second thought. This might be to justify their own child raring choices but more than likely it’s given off the cuff and never thought of again. Except for the person who the opinion has been given to. They stew and question and carry the thought around with them. Sometimes that’s only a for a few minutes, some times it might be a few days until they can reassure themselves that they are doing the right thing for themselves and their family. I am very comfortable with the choices we have made to work and put Hugh into full time childcare. He actually loves it there with his friends. His educators are delightful and his beautiful smile when we get there each day to collect him is the best part of my day. It’s not for everyone, but it works for us. And that’s my two cents worth if you’re interested.

Zombie Mum

 

CF84277A-C344-49D9-9737-7C1FF23C532ALife has been hard lately. My ability to do simple things has been severely hampered, my mood is shot and my will to do basic life tasks has been sapped by a nearly 2 year old who doesn’t want to sleep past 4.45am on any given morning.

The 1st morning of pre dawn wakups you bounce back. By the 7th morning you’re tired and railing against the world. By morning 21 you’ve crossed over. You’re not angry any more but you are putting your milk in the pantry, wondering if you packed your keys when you left the house while using them to drive the car you are in and your eyes are being held open by sheer will power and an unnatural amount of under eye concealer to make you look human. Not great, just passably human. This, my friends is the translation into full Zombie Mum.

Zombie Mum doesn’t cook. She eats toast for dinner, or her kid’s half chewed left overs. She drinks boiling coffee because she needs it or drinks cold coffee because she forgot she had it there. She pretends like she’s not sleeping with her eyes open in meetings and lives for the second her child puts his head down to bed so she can stop trying to pretend she is interested in the same episode of Thomas the Tank Engine she has watched about 35 times. She mindlessly caves in to the kid’s demands of biscuits and dummies and teddies and milk and whatever it takes for him to be quiet.

She and Zombie Dad pretend to lay down the law in the morning. “You can come into Mummy and Daddy’s bed but you have to be quiet.” Zombie parents then subject themselves to an hour of “quiet time” with a child in their bed who resembles an octopus with bricks at the end of all his limbs playing a game of continuous twister. Zombie parents tell themselves they won that battle and they totally laid down the law. Zombie parents are totes delusional.

Zombie parents have moments of desperation. Surely there MUST be a reason for the child’s continuous lack of sleep in. Is he sick? Is he hungry? Is he scared? Is he wet? Is he lonely? Is he hot? Is he cold? Is it too light? Too dark? Too noisy? Too quiet? Is he messing with us? Are we too soft? Too firm? Let’s ignore him! Let’s try and resettle straight away! Zombie parents are tired but they are very creative when it comes to sleep extending solutions.

Zombie parents love looking through Facebook memories of their fresh young selves. “Remember when we used to sleep in until 9am on a Sunday?” “No”. Good chat.

Zombie parents have a breaking point. They declare to each other this can’t go on and reach the very precipice of the absolute exhaustion and despair.

Kid is smart. It’s like he senses we can’t go on. Kid sleeps until 6am 3 mornings in a row and Zombie parents are refreshed, revitalised and re-humanised! Kid gets two milkshakes on the weekend for good behaviour and the world is his. Kid smiles and bides his time before creeping his internal alarm forward again. Kid loves Zombie parents. And against all the odds (or at least it feels like it sometimes) Zombie parents love kid.

 

 

The weird and weirder world of kids TV.

As the parent of a toddler it’s safe to say the amount of time I spend watching children’s television has significantly increased over the last 18 months. It’s been a long time since I have had such regular exposure to children’s shows and I’m not sure whether I’ve just forgotten about what children’s TV used to be like or whether I’m just getting old, but have children’s television producers all suddenly started taking crack?

I’ve just finished watching a show called “Small Potatoes”. For those without children the basic premise of this show is as follows; 4 animated potatoes sing songs that teach children life lessons. What. The. Fried potato is that all about. Can you imagine the pitch meeting for that. “Kids like chips right? How about chips that teach them it’s ok to be different”.

Yo Gabba Gabba is about a man dressed in orange lycra and a fluffy hat who carries around 5 characters in a boom box case. The characters come to life when he puts them in front a cardboard set. They explore experiences like “appropriate behaviour in a restaurant” and are responsible for the catchy tune (and by catchy I mean worst tune ever) called “You break it, you buy it” about what happens when things get broken in the super market sung by Anne Heche and the creepy boom box people. This gem was on at 5.30am for a while and can I tell you it’s confusing and confronting before I’ve had coffee.

The other issue I now have as an adult watching children’s shows is the lack of context or “pilot” episode to explain some of the glaringly obvious plot gaps, like the one in Little Roy. This show is about a regular non cartoon/non animated family who have a cartoon son called Roy. I am not joking when I say I actually spent 25 minutes trying to google if there is an episode that explains if Roy was born that way, are they supposed to be his biological parents or is he adopted, why does no one question that he is a cartoon who can change shapes and looks like a walking scribble on piece of paper? I’m ok with the paper kid, I’m not ok with the lack of explanation for those of us who might want to know a little more about the situation.

Other weird shows that Hugh loves includes Baby Jake (show about a baby called Jake who lives in a windmill), Bing show about a rabbit who has other animal friends who all have no parents but live with these odd soft toy looking Nannies that teach them things like what to do when your blankey falls in the toilet), and In the Night Garden. Don’t even get me started on that show and the crazy drug induced stuff that goes on there with the Ninky Nonk, the Pinky Ponk, the Ponty Pines, Upsy Daisy and Iggle Piggle. No idea what I’m talking about? Don’t worry, to be honest I don’t either and I’ve watched the damn show.

Fortunately Hugh’s favourite shows also include Thomas the Tank Engine and the Wiggles. I know trains don’t really talk and people don’t really wear the one coloured skivvy every day regardless of the situation, but for some reason I just feel like these shows are more grounded and don’t make me wonder about the sobriety of their creators. While they may not provide me with intellectual stimulation (and I have to put up with Tim raving about how rife the issue of nepotism is throughout every wiggles episode) at least I don’t have to imagine how much money some stoner has made off these ideas while I struggle to understand what’s happening on my TV.

Thank goodness they’ve changed the ABC programming lately so Curious George is in the 5.30am slot. A show about a monkey who lives with a man in a yellow hat is much easier to take before coffee than orange Lycra and Anne Heche.

The line between low and no…

Today’s post was prompted by a trip to the shops today. Not that remarkable really, I do it quite a bit. As I cruised around Westfield I happened to catch site of myself in a window and I realised that it was 3pm and not only had I not put make up on,I had also not brushed my hair or put any thought into my appearance at all. I fear I have officially crossed the line between low maintenance and no maintenance.

When I had Hugh I knew that the days of going everywhere in heels and a full face of makeup carefully applied were probably over, but I had convinced myself that I could become one of those stylish low maintenance Mums that you see on Instagram. You know the ones I mean, no make up but fresh faced, jeans and a t-shirt or work out gear but all colour coordinated and not dragged out of the washing basket then sniffed to ascertain cleanliness. I manage to pull myself together for work but on weekends you can bet your bottom dollar that what I’m wearing is whatever is clean (or can be passed as clean) and within reach. If makeup isn’t on by 8am it’s probably not happening at all and the chances of any hair brushing are slim to none. And don’t even get me started on how blasé I have become about shaving my legs.

For the first time in 7 months I am booked in to get my hair cut (seriously) and I must admit the no maintenance lifestyle I have fallen into is making a style selection tough. My requirements include

  • Should not require regular brushing
  • Must not require any upkeep (eg trims more than once a year)
  • Must be able to be tied back (top knot preferable)
  • Must be able to cope with not being washed for one to two weeks at a time as sometimes I forget.

As you can see this list somewhat narrows down my options and removes some of the more fashionable cuts I like on my ever growing Pinterest board. Unfortunately I have also taken a shine to the enemy of the low maintenance Mum, the fringe. Even in my maintenance hey day the fringe was my hair nemesis. I so desperately craved one but would regret the upkeep almost immediately. It got to a point with my last regular hairdresser that I had to make her promise never to cut me one even if I asked for it.

When the momentus haircut day comes I can see one of two situations happening. The first is that I will completely chicken out and ask for a small trim on the current mop and that’s it. The second is I can see myself losing my senses and leaving not only with a fringe but some sort of edgy hair do and intense colour that requires weekly upkeep that will never fit into my no maintenance lifestyle.

It’s a tough situation.

I am hoping the haircut will provide some maintenance motivation for me. I’ll never be ‘low maintenance’ Mummy but maybe I can start with a commitment to wash and brush my hair on a more regular basis. It’s not much but it’s progress.

Terrible Toddlers

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Dear Readers,

I’m writing this from my home, which has come under the regime of a tiny but fierce dictator. Like his North Korean counterpart this dictator is benevolent one moment then positively psychotic the next with violence his latest weapon in his arsenal of tricks that maintain and support his all powerful rule.

In short, we now live with a toddler.

There is a general concensus of ‘WTF’ among my Mother’s Group friends as we all seemed to suddenly wake up one day with a small aggressive human living in our midst. The cute goo-ing babies are gone and in the places are the toddlernators, throwing their tiny weights around like they own the place. There are tantrums, random bursts of anger (for no apparent reason) wilful disobedience, outrageous demands (mainly for bottles or custard) and a slap fest that would not be out of place on a show called “The Real House Toddlers of Canberra”. Yes, it actually is that bad.

I longed for Hugh to grow a bit more so he could ‘do more stuff’. Unfortunately that stuff is counter productive to my sanity. I think we should have known the second he learned the word ‘no’ that things were about to go down hill.

”Hugh, would you like some lunch?”

“NO”

“Hugh, would you like a drink”

“NO”

”Hugh, can you please stop doing that for Mummy?”

”NO”

”Hugh, would you like to learn a word other than ‘no’?”

”NO”

I am becoming skilled at negotiating with a 20 month old. In these negotiations it’s hard as the person who holds the balance of power is also the person who can only say about 10-15 spontaneous and legible words. The rest are words they’ve repeated after you or unintelligible babble. Not easy to reach a mutually desirable outcome.

”Hugh, what would you like for breakfast this morning? You can have Cereal, fruit, yogurt or toast”

”Tstard” (Custard for those who don’t speak Hugh. Please note this can sound very similar to ‘Daddy’ but is generally said directly to the fridge door rather than at Tim”.

”No, you can’t have custard for breakfast. Would you like toast?”

”Tstard” (Said adamantly in front of the fridge)

”No sweetie, Mummy didn’t say that as an option.” See the negotiating skills. “ You can have yoghurt”

”TSSSSSTTAAAAAAARD” (Said whilst trying to open the fridge door himself. Thankfully this is still outside his capabilies)

”Hugh, Mummy said ‘No’.”

EPIC.F#$KING. MELTDOWN.

I’m talking real tears, open mouthed sobbing, snot pouring, wild flailing for about 5 minutes. Then…….

”Bottle?” (From Hugh)

”No baby, you had a bottle half an hour ago. You can have cereal?”

”BOTTLE!!!” (Ramping up earlier as we are already pissed off)

”No sweetie. No bottle”

MELTDOWN ROUND 2. Ding ding ding!

As I step over/around the flailing toddler EVERY MORNING I think back to the good old days when he used to be back asleep for 3 hours by 7.30am and life was easier. Sure, we got woken up every 4 – 6 hours for feeding but Mr Talk Back Sassy Pants hadn’t made an appearance and we could brush it off under the umbrella of “he’s just a baby, he doesn’t know what he’s doing”. When he makes deliberate eye contact  with you before he does that exact thing that you just clearly and carefully told him not to it’s hard for that “he doesn’t understand” excuse to fly. Oh he understands, he just doesn’t care.

Other things the toddlernator won’t tolerate include:

Holding a parental hand in the car park (“NO”), not standing on his chair at his dinner table (deliberate eye contact all the way), not throwing his food on the floor, being told he can’t smack his parents when he’s angry (he got a smack on the hand ONCE, because he tried to run onto the road. The retribution has been swift), being told he can’t have his dummy the second he leaves childcare, assorted other random things that at this point feel too numerous to mention.

I take comfort that this is just a phase, but I must say as the residents of this small oppressive dictatorship I’m not sure how much longer we can last under such an oppressive regime.

The only advantage we hold is that our over lord can’t make a bottle himself so we still hold some minuscule semblance of control.

God help us all when he can open the fridge.

 

 

Christmas

6A61B5CD-6729-4E09-880F-B9E37A8DACB1I was going to write a long post about Christmas but I decided to rewrite the words to a well known Christmas Carol “It’s a most wonderful time of the year”  Andy Williams instead. Enjoy.

Its the most frustrating time of the year
At the thought of gift giving
My sanity’s rifting, it’s draining my cheeeer
It’s the most frustrating time of the year

It’s the cra-craziest season of all
The shops are just shocking
My pulse starts sky rocketing, the car park’s a braaaawl
It’s the cra- craziest season of all

The tree’s in protection
To save it’s collection
Of decorative baubles and lights
From the baby who’s raging
To get past the caging
And strip it of anything briiiiiiight
Anything briiiiiiiiight

Hugh’s gifts are coming thick and fast
The toys are increasing
Our room is decreasing, this madness can’t laaaaaast
Hugh’s gifts are coming thick and faaast!

Christmas isn’t all doom and gloom
I may seem quite jaded
I just think I’m wasted on sticky tape fuuuuumes
Oh yes Christmas isn’t all doom and gloooom!

With a good wine (or maybe two) we’ll get throooooougg!

Merry Christmas 😊