HOW TO SURVIVE TODDLERHOOD

I love my children. LOTS. But sometimes, I wish I could find a really good hidey hole and not come out for a while. Children, especially toddlers are great at testing your limits. They like to push your buttons, incessantly, until your eye starts twitching, your mouth flattens into a hard grimace, and you explode like a nuclear bomb. Every parent or carer will have their own horror stories and tips for how to survive toddlerhood and/or parenthood. I’m no expert, but I have observed some interesting character traits.

They are fickle pickles.
Henry: “Mummy, close the window!”
Me: (closes the window)
Henry: “NO! NO! I said open the window!”
Me: (deep sigh, opens the window)
Henry: “I want it closed!!”
Me: “Make up your mind!” (closes the window)
Henry: (cue meltdown)

They have the memory of an elephant so don’t make promises unless you are going to deliver.
Henry: (pointing at a car ride-on) “Mummy, can I go on that?”
Me: “Sure, maybe on our way home.”
An hour passes.
Me: (arms overloaded with groceries, veering away from promised ride-on)
Henry: (pulling towards ride-on) “Mummy! Mummy, there is the car!”
Me: “Ugh, do you really want to go? How about we go home and do something fun?”
Henry: “NO! NO! You said so!”

They are the world’s best procrastinators.
Henry: (sitting on the toilet at five a.m.) “I have to take my time. I feel a poo in my bottom.”
Me: (every few minutes) “Are you done?”
Henry: “Not yet, I’m just waiting.”
Me: (frozen like a corpse on the cold hard floors after waiting for thirty minutes).

They become extremely thirsty at bedtime.
Henry: “Mummy, I need water!”
Me: “Here, now go to bed.”
Repeat cycle at least thirty times. EVERY NIGHT.

They like to push boundaries and limits, of the sanity kind.
Henry: “Beep, beep, beep!”
Mandy: “Henry, stop saying that. It’s annoying!”
Henry: “BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!”
Mandy: “Stop it!”
Henry: “BEEEEEEP!!!! BEEEEPP!!!! BEEEEPP!!”
Me: “Just ignore him, Mandy. He will get bored and stop himself.”
Henry: (continues for another ten solid minutes)
Mandy: (breaks down crying)
Me: (whispering) “Soon. It will stop soon.”

What have I learnt so far? Toddlers are unpredictable and volatile. They are prone to indecisiveness and stubbornness. Passing strangers will comment on how angelic they look until they see the switch flipped, and the tantrum-throwing, fist-bashing, leg-thrashing devil in disguise rears its screaming self.

Based on my n=2 parenting experiment, I can offer the below suggestions:

  1. Tea is an old acquaintance but coffee is your best friend. Just don’t expect to drink it hot or warm.
  2. Perfect your eye roll. You’ll need it at all stages of parenthood, so better practice now.
  3. Pretend not to hear the screeching and crying. It will morph into whingeing, bartering and begging later on. If you work on your craft, instead of pretending, you’ll eventually just not hear it.
  4. Ignore that inner voice telling you that people witnessing your child’s meltdown are judging you. Of course, they are. Jeez, that inner voice could be more helpful by telling you something you didn’t already know!
  5. Bribe with TV or snacks if you must but make sure it’s on your terms and used sparingly. Like nasal decongestants overuse can lead to loss in effect and the dreaded rebound. You do not want to invite that misery.
  6. Become a counting expert. It’s not hard. You only need to count to three.
  7. Expect tantrums. They WILL have one, at home and in public. It is NOT a reflection on you or your parenting.
  8. Don’t compare your child to other children. They are all different and special in their own way. You might even get a runner, like mine.
  9. Do what works for you and your child. Remember to laugh. Remind yourself it’s short-lived. Accept that the struggle is real and that you are not alone.
  10. Whatever you do, never ever give in to a toddler tantrum. Once you do, they WILL own your ass. Trust me, my bottom can attest to this.

Copyright © 2019, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

https://knj.home.blog/privacy-policy/

CHANNELLING MEAT LOAF

There comes a time when you just have to put on your big girl pants and do what’s best for the people you love. Even if it means you can foresee your own suffering.

Dummies, also known as pacifiers are Henry’s BFFs. It’s the first thing he thinks about in the morning and the last thing he seeks for at night. His attachment to dummies is equal to that of a security blanket or a snuggle toy for bed. Sometimes, kids outgrow these things and sometimes you just have to force them to.

“Where’s my dummy?” Henry whines.

“We gave it to Alex; the baby, remember?” I remind him gently, “You’re a big boy now. You don’t need a dummy.”

Henry goes into prone position and wails, “I need my dummy! I need to breathe!”

“No. No dummy Henry,” I say, mustering up all my strength for the impending tantrum. I give him a pat on the back. Big mistake. Rookie error.

“I want handies!” he yells, as he reaches out to hold my hand.

I roll my eyes and think to myself, “Get in line kid.”

“No.”

“I want to touch your arm!” Henry demands.

“No.”

“I want to touch your body Mummy!!” cries Henry, his little hand reaching out to seek comfort.

“No,” I giggle. “Are you channelling your dad?”

Henry rolls around in his cot and pounds his tiny fists into the mattress. He gives me crocodile tears for a good five minutes before changing tack.

“Mummy, my noodle hurts!” says Henry, sitting up.

This kid is relentless at bedtime. I would kill to go to bed early and have a big sleep.

“Uh-huh, point to your noodle,” I ask, because really… that could mean anything.

Henry points to his elbow and says, “It’s not fair really.”

“It’s fine. Go to sleep.” I turn to leave.

Henry starts the waterworks and like the sucker that I am, his cries tug at my heartstrings.

“Mummy! I want my dummy!!” Henry sobs. Snot is dribbling down his nose; his face has turned red; tears are streaming down his cheeks.

I feel my resolve disintegrate into smithereens. Reluctantly, I return and give him my hand.

“Go to sleep Henry,” I reassure him. Thank goodness I threw out the dummies into the bin at the shops and not at home. I’d probably be rummaging through it just about now.

Henry calms down and says, “I love you lots Mummy.”

His words are a balm for my weary soul. I can never get enough. “I love you too pork chop. GO. TO. SLEEP.”

“I’d do anything for you Mummy,” Henry continues with his declarations of love.

I chuckle and sing, “But I won’t do that!”

Copyright © 2019, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

https://knj.home.blog/privacy-policy/