Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Wow. Just.... Wow.

Hello peoples!

Sorry it's been a while, I've been busy lately, what with the New Leaf (has been going quite well), and actually having to do quite a lot of work at work (which has kind of got in the way of the New Leaf a bit, as The Toddler had to be dispatched to Grandma's, and Grandma is always good and plays with her). So now work manic-ness (a VERY busy weekend involving Japanese people getting stuck at immigration without the right paperwork, the East Coast mainline melting, and me having to drive a Very Famous Person around in my toy-filled Ford Focus) is over, I had been looking forward to taking it a bit easy this week, and having lots of time to rest. Needless to say, The Toddler decided to scupper this plan, by being ill (how very dare she?). So instead of getting some decent sleep, I have spent the last two nights balancing on the very edge of my bed with a very sweaty and wriggly head on my chest. Which is always fun. So you could say I haven't been in the best mood ever. Still, day off today, tea and cake date with a friend, it was going to be nice.

And then...........

Bear with me. The experience is still quite raw. It's difficult to talk about. But here goes.

After a reasonably whingey morning (usual "I don't want to sit down and eat my breakfast, get dressed or have my nappy changed" shenanigans, which I'm sure she does because she knows Husband is in bed trying to sleep after night shift and she wants him to come and help, making him tired and me feel like a failure), I left the house, planning to pop to the shop for cake before going to my friend's house. The Toddler had shown a considerable amount of resistance to the idea of leaving the house, so was already not best pleased by the time we got to the car. So, preparing myself for a bit of a fight, I attempted to murder her. Well, actually I tried to put her in her car seat, but from the screaming that ensued, my whole block must have thought I was throttling her. Which I was very tempted to do. I thought I had experienced the most epic tantrum The Toddler had to offer. Turns out I was very, very wrong. Today's effort was special. There was screaming, there was squirming, there was kicking, there was total body-stiffening, there was slithering out of the car seat and getting stuck in the footwell. At one point there was even phlegm. It was such a momentously huge tantrum, that after twenty minutes of this, when I had just resorted to putting her in the backseat and closing the car doors, in order to gather my strength for the next attempt, Husband came out to help me. Now, when you bear in mind that he was trying to sleep in bed, in a house with closed windows and doors, and that our parking space is beyond our back garden and left a bit, that's a pretty impressive tantrum.

I know that every toddler has tantrums. But I'm hoping, for humanity's sake, that ones like this are rare. I'm glad I'm pregnant already, otherwise I might be having second thoughts about bringing another one of these little devils into the world. And the worst part of it all? The tantrum made me so late setting off, I didn't have time to go and buy cake.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Trying To Be Good

Sorry I haven't written anything in a while, I'm trying this new thing called "Not spending every goddamn minute on the stupid internet". It's working out pretty well actually. It's amazing how much more you get done around the house when you stop spending hours watching strangers argue. A bit like when Big Brother finishes.

Anyway, another thing I've been trying out for the last few days is Being A Good Mammy. I know the title of this blog may suggest that this attempt is doomed to failure, and indeed many of my previous attempts to do buck my ideas up have not gone well. The reason for this is simple. I am, which you'll know if you know me or have been reading this for a while, not the kind of person from which brilliant mothers are made. I am impatient, selfish, extremely lazy, and have a whole host of other unenviable character traits which do not go hand in hand with perfect parenting. And I often feel very, very guilty about this. So I figured I could either live with the guilt, which makes me grumpy, try and not feel guilty, which doesn't work, and makes me grumpy, or I could actually get off my backside for once in my life and do something about it. So that's what I'm doing, and I don't know why I haven't done it sooner. Because it's really quite simple - when The Toddler is bored, she gets grumpy, when she gets grumpy, she is very annoying, and I get annoyed, tired and grumpy. When she is entertained, she is happy. When she is happy, she is nice. When she is nice, I am happy. Therefore, to make my own life nicer, and myself happier, I need to entertain The Toddler more, and sit on the sofa playing on Facebook less. What a revelation. No wonder people keep telling me I should write a parenting book.

So I'm Trying Very Hard. I am trying to get out of bed when she first asks to go downstairs, instead of waiting for her to get really annoyed with me. I am drawing endless spiders on the Magna-Doodle instead of checking my email. I'm taking her to the park instead of trying to get her to push her doll's pushchair round in circles in the living room. I'm trying to distract her from pulling all the washing off the clothes horse, or putting her fingers in the DVD player, instead of just telling her off and getting frustrated that she doesn't listen. I'm even trying to do housework in the times when someone else is here to look after her, so I don't spend my days annoyed at how disgusting everything is. And so far, fingers crossed, it seems to be paying off, in that we're all a lot happier.

I know that it's only been a few days. And I know that it's helped a lot that these few days have coincided with a bout of lovely weather, the disappearance of the last few symptoms of my stomach bug, and The Toddler's teeth seemingly giving it a rest for five minutes. But I can't help feel that this is the way forward. There are going to be days that test me, and I know I'm not suddenly about to turn into some Miracle Mum who wakes up at 6am to bake banana muffins and spends her evenings designing puppet shows. But I only have a couple more months where it's just us, so I am going to make sure we all enjoy them as much as we possibly can. And on that note, I think I've just got time to clean the bathroom before Husband and The Toddler come back from the park. See, new leaf, being turned!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Could Do Better.....

Afternoon of utter parenting fail today. In my defence, I am still recovering from a fairly nasty stomach bug, but unfortunately The Toddler is not a fan of my notion that perhaps she should be nice to me until I'm better. She also seems to have set her body clock to British Summer Time a little early, so that 6am is the new 7am, woo. So, along with her habit of not napping, ever, we usually have a very tired little girl by about lunchtime.

Today, my solution to this was to put the TV on. And leave it on. For about a billion hours. And I don't mean it was on in the background while we did some nice playing, I mean she stared at so transfixedly (I don't think that's a word) that I had to put my head directly in front of hers in order to ask her if she wanted a drink. She did. But she didn't want it in the cup I gave her. So I put it in another cup. Then she decided she wanted the first cup. Which I refused to give her, so she threw herself on the floor in a paddy. She's getting quite good at those now.

So, back to more TV. I read once that TV kills neurons in under-3s' brains. I hope that's not true. I don't want to make her thick. But I don't turn the TV off, I just let her keep watching, all the while having visions of trying to teach her maths in a Blackadder-and-Baldrick, "some beans" kind-of way.

Finally, teatime rolls around, where I plan to regain some Good Mammy ground by serving up a nutritious portion of home-made chicken casserole. The Toddler scuppers this plan by launching into a hysterical screaming fit at the sight of it, scrambling down from her chair, trying to throw her bowl in the bin, and shrieking "Cheese". I give up, and let her go back to the TV, where she immediately forgets her woes and joins in with her spirited interpretation of Mickey Mouse's Hot Dog Dance.

One tantrum later, and she is in bed. Phew. I'm quite glad to be at work tomorrow. I don't feel like quite such an incompetent idiot there. Excel usually does what I tell it to, and only falls down in a paddy once a day.

Thursday, 10 March 2011


Maybe I should start my own line of maternity t-shirts...

Bit grumpy at the mo, can you tell?

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Famous Last Words..

Some things that I have said to myself today, then regretted...

"Look at my kitchen. Look how beautifully clean and sparkly it is!" (Before giving The Toddler rice for tea)

"The living room doesn't look too bad. Probably because she hasn't had the crayons out" (5 minutes before bed, 30 seconds before she found the crayons)

"I think I've remembered everything I needed from Tesco" (Before returning home and remembering we are down to the last dribble of Calpol).

"Wow, she's asleep, she never has a nap. When she wakes up she'll be in a good mood, and we can do something nice" (20 minutes before an epic and inexplicable fit of rage that lasted most of the afternoon)

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Brave New Bed...

Sorry I haven't written anything for a while. We've been entering new territory, and I didn't want to blog about it saying it was going well only for it to immediately stop doing so. I realise that could still happen. I'm just hoping it won't.

So. Tonight is The Toddler's 5th night in her big-girl bed! It's all very exciting. It would have happened sooner, but I was being typically lame and slow about getting her room ready. But ready it is. There's bunting and everything. And an unfeasibly large bed. As an "investment", we decided to forego the very cute and much cheaper toddler beds, and go straight to a standard single. Then, being a cheapskate, I bought a mattress from eBay, without realising quite how deep it was. Result: small child in very high (and bouncy) bed. Ah well. So, furniture was purchased and built, bunting was bunted, and alternative homes found for the mountains of crap that had been living in that room since we moved in. It was time to make the change...

Day 1: Bedtime was approached with much trepidation. When the time came to put The Toddler down, she started screaming "No no no no no!" and trying to climb over the bed guard. Lots of cajoling and cuddling. Eventually I had to lie down in the bed with her, amid visions of me having to do this every night until she was 12 (possibly a slight over-reaction there, considering we were still in the first 20 minutes of the new regime, but I'm allowed, I'm hormonal). Eventually I was permitted to withdraw to the floor, then to the landing outside the door, then finally downstairs. She then slept fairly peacefully for the rest of the night. I however, most certainly did not. I spent most of the night in a very annoying state of semi-wakefulness, with one ear open for the thuds and the sound of The Toddler running around the landing. Didn't happen.

Day 2: A scream of "No no no no no!" as I tried to put her down. A quick cuddle and a promise to stay if she wanted seemed to placate her. Then she lay happily playing with her Glow-worm and I scarpered. And joy of joys, a full night's sleep!

Day 3: A token "No", but then down peacefully. Result! She likes the bed! She sleeps in the bed! Could this spell the end of the broken nights? 1:3o am: No. Toddler awakes screaming, clearly having forgotten about the new bed situation, and thoroughly annoyed to find herself somewhere she wasn't expecting to be. Many cuddles, some just-in-case Calpol, and Husband lying with her for a while, and she was asleep again.

Day 4: Down happily. Woke in the night coughing madly (her, not me). Hopes that the new bed was The Answer are utterly, utterly dashed.

Day 5: Down happily again, but with 4 dummies (winding down the dummy usage clearly going extremely well). And we shall see what tonight holds.

I would like some sleep. That would be nice. I'm very tired, despite having an unexpected afternoon to myself, during which I got to have a nice little nap. Unfortunately, I then decided to clean the house. 3 hours of cleaning takes it out of you somewhat. And in those three hours, I only managed to clean upstairs, and the hallway. This is not so much a reflection of how dirty my house was (although, it has to be said, parts were pretty minging), more of how cleaning whilst 6 months pregnant is like moving through treacle. Although that's probably more fun.

I was going to write more, but I think this is long and boring enough. I will save my exciting tales of cleaning for another day. Bet you can't wait.