Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Monday, 28 November 2011

Not Interesting Or Funny Or Good

I haven't written anything for the last week, as I do generally like to make my posts a little bit funny if I can, and there's not all that much humour that can be injected into "I feel like an abject failure".

It's just been one of those weeks. You know, where you feel like everything you do is somehow not quite right, and that every single human being on the planet would make a better parent than you, even your own children could probably bring themselves up better than you're doing it.

I could go into detail, but that would be tedious. It can be summed up thus: nightfeedsmessyhousestopclimbingonthatItoldyounowhywon'tyoueatyourdinnerohgodnowyouhaveahorridcoughtooandyou'vegivenittomeandIcannotpossiblygetanymoretiredthanthisohwaityesIcannonightfeedswooIcouldgetusedtothisnightfeedagainwhywon'tyoujustsleepstopdoingthatyoucangoandsitinthecornerIhavehadenoughofyou!

Tis not the stuff great blogs are made of. Normal service will hopefully resume when I've had some sleep, a tidy of my house, and a large glass of wine.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Feeding Time At The Zoo

It's all about food this week. The blog, that is. I'm all about food all the time.

The Toddler has been getting over croup, and then a chest infection, so has not been eating or drinking very much, which always alarms me. As we made increasingly desperate attempts to get food and water into her, I found myself saying things like "Well, eat some more of your chips, and then you can have more of Grandma's poppadom", and "No, you can't have milk, have some Ribena", which feel all kinds of wrong. She's also being very contrary indeed, and keeps asking for things, and then saying she doesn't like them. This confused me greatly - what two-year-old says "I don't like cake"? Certainly not mine, usually - but then I realised that this has come about as a result of one of my vain attempts to teach her some manners. Bored of hearing "I want...", I tried to teach her to say "I would like...", and she, as usual, has got hold of the wrong end of the stick and is beating me with it. Ho hum.

As for The Littl'un, I got impatient. I said I wasn't going to wean before 6 months, as why would you introduce another thing into life before you have to? But she kept getting ridiculously excited when we were eating and trying to grab my plate, so I thought perhaps I should give it a go if I didn't want her to wean herself on a slice of Pizza Hut Chicken Supreme (did actually almost happen). I had already decided to bypass the puree stage - I am far too lazy to dig my mini food processor out (although I do love it and am sad I don't get to play with it anymore) and faff around with sweet potato, and have got used to being able to eat my own meals without having to shovel food into someone else - so I have started doing baby-led weaning.

Ish. Baby-Led Weaning (with capitals) is an actual proper thing. It's a book by Gill Rapley which is all about a philosophy where babies are introduced to family meals and can control their own intake. Or something. I have no idea. I haven't read it, and have no intention of reading it, because I am lazy, so I am undoubtedly doing it all wrong. All I'm actually doing is cooking some sticks of vegetables, and putting them in front of her so she can wave them around and throw them on the floor. She's not very good at eating them, but she's getting better. Tonight she might even have ingested some cauliflower. It's tremendous fun to watch.

It's good I'm enjoying at least one aspect of feeding this child. Because, the breastfeeding - not so much. On the whole, I love breastfeeding. Let me say it again, to remind myself: I love breastfeeding. I do. It's free, and convenient, and I have no intention of stopping at 6 months like I did with The Toddler. But bloody hell, is it testing my patience right now. I had forgotten what 5-month-olds were like. They're nosey. Which means that everything in the world is more interesting than feeding. My boobs feel insulted. And exposed, as there we'll be, doing a feed in the middle of Costa, and all of a sudden a speck of dust or strange noise will attract The Littl'un's attention, and her head will bob off so she can have a good neb around, while I sit there with my boob hanging out, waiting for her to decide she's still hungry. I hope this passes soon, before I have to resort to feeding her wearing an eye mask and ear muffs. Her, not me. Or maybe me, just for fun.

And of course, I still get to do night feeds. Woo. Probably because she hasn't eaten enough all day, what with all the gazing at random strangers and pretty lights. I had two lovely nights where she settled with just a bit of head-stroking, and I started to see a glimmer of hope that perhaps she'd go back to sleeping through. Hope is for fools. 1.30 this morning saw me standing at The Littl'un's cot, declaring "But I don't want to feed you!" I did, though, don't worry.

Who needs sleep anyway?

I do I do I do...... *weeps*

Monday, 14 November 2011

"Right, Here's The Plan...."

"I'm going to the loo, you two be good..."


"She's gone, quick, stop putting MegaBloks in her handbag and get over here and listen. Last night was pretty good, but I think we can do better."

"Last night was good, wasn't it? I especially like the way we lulled her into a false sense of security by being totally silent until 11pm."

"Yeah, I think she even came in and checked I was still breathing a couple of times."

"She still does that to me, aren't parents weird? Anyway, do you want to take the first shot tonight?"

"I'll do the first proper ambush, but I think you should do a bit of prep first. Dad will leave for work about 9.30, so once he's out of the way, why don't you have a few squawks every now and again?"

"Sounds like a plan. Shall I do it early, so she has to run up and down the stairs, or wait til she's in bed?"

"Try a bit of both, but save the best of it until she's upstairs, finished faffing around in the bathroom, and then just got herself all cozy in bed."

"Gotcha. Think I'll start with that thing where I shout "No no no!" a few times, and then immediately go quiet again, so she doesn't come in and see me, but also can't drop off to sleep because she's wondering if I'm going to do it again."

"That's brilliant. Then, just when she's decided you're happy and asleep, and is dozing off, I'll bring out the big guns. She'll probably try and fob me off with that dummy, and the rabbit, and all that head-stroking nonsense, but I'm not letting her hold out on me."

"And once you're settled and getting fed, and she's playing that stupid game on her phone, I'll start making noises again."

"Not too many though, I'm not really a fan of having my midnight snack interrupted."

"Oh get over it, she always puts you back on. Where is she, by the way? Shouldn't she be back by now?""

"I think she's making coffee. She's done that a LOT today."

"OK, so you're feeding, I'm making noises. I might mumble stuff about sandwiches or something, that always confuses her. Make sure you don't go straight back off to sleep once you've finished. Do that mad thrashing thing for a while."

"Oh yeah, that's well fun. And then I'll go to sleep..."

".. and it'll be my turn! I did water last night, shall I ask for a wee tonight?"

"That's a good idea. Make sure you wake right up once you get in the bathroom and tell her that it's dark outside."

"I always do. She might not know. That's probably taking us up to about 3am. Shall we sleep for a bit then? You can always do a random early-morning feed if you think she's getting too much."

"Yeah, I think I will. I like those, she can't be arsed to sit in the chair to feed me, so I get to go in the big bed and feed on and off for hours!"

"And I'll get up for the day not long after that. Must make sure I don't coincide it with Dad coming home though, that's a wasted opportunity. Speaking of Dad, make sure you screech a lot in the morning so he can't get any sleep either..... Quick, she's coming back! Look innocent. Stick your foot in your mouth."


"Are you OK?"

"Yes, Mammy. Want Beebies?"

"Fine, whatever."

Sunday, 13 November 2011


Husband picked The Toddler up from nursery last week, and was told by the nursery staff that our delightful daughter doesn't help tidy up. Oh, the shame, the shame! I feel like I'm the naughty child being told off, and I wasn't even there. Thank goodness, I probably would have cried.

I know why she doesn't tidy up, it's because I'm so impatient, that I just tidy up for her, so that it's done in 30 seconds as opposed to an hour. She sweeps off up to bed, and then once she's asleep, I repair the damage sustained to my living room, and she comes down in the morning to find it shiny and new. Like the shoemaker and her elves. Or something.

So, cue lots of desperate attempts to teach her the necessity of tidying-up, so that I can show my face at nursery again. We're getting there. I hope.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Crap Parent's Arsenal

My weapons are ineffective, but they're all I've got.

The Bare-Faced Lie: "Monster game's broken", "The cheese has all gone", "CBeebies doesn't work until later".

The Corner: As in "That was not very nice, go and sit in the corner/step". Not becuase you think they'll sit nicely and reflect upon what they've done, but because you need, just temporarily, to be somewhere they are not.

The Reckless Abandon: When faced with a throw-body-on-floor-and-refuse-to-move tantrum. "OK, I'll just leave you there then", walk away, and hope like mad they will get up and follow.

The Desperate Bluff: "If you don't do as you're told, we won't go to Grandma's". You have absolutely no intention of staying in the house with them for one more minute, so you hope the threat is sufficient, and you won't be exposed as the fraud you really are.

The Beebie Sitter: When you cannot have any more stickers stuck to you, when "That's Not My Lion" has completely lost any charm it once had, when all you want to do is sit down and have a cup of tea in relative peace, let Show Me Show Me, Waybuloo, and Mr Tumble do your child-rearing for you.

The Food Bribe: You swore you would never encourage an unhealthy relationship with food by linking it to behaviour, but the sentence "Alright! If you stop having a tantrum you can have a biscuit" still slips out.

The Reasonable Chat Charade: You come down to their level, and explain in kind but assertive tones why their behaviour is not acceptable. You know they're not listening, but don't want the people around you to hear you barking "Oh, just pack it in, will you?".

The Inappropriate Plaything: You know they shouldn't really be playing with that phone/pepper grinder/expensive ornament/bottle of hairspray, but it's guaranteed to buy a few minutes entranced quiet.

The Full-Body Lockdown: When no amount of bribing, cajoling, threatening, distracting, game-playing, or outright yelling will persuade them into their nappy/socks/coat/trousers, you take a deep breath, pray your neighbours won't look in through your window and call Social Services, and tackle....

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Mammy, Wha'choo Doin?

I swear to God, child, if you ask me that one more time the answer is going to be "Braying my own head in with the nearest blunt instrument".

Friday, 4 November 2011

Curses, Foiled Again.

Last night, in readiness for this morning, I actually made a concerted attempt to be a nice wife. Husband was on nights, and normally I'm a bit crap at getting us all ready and out of the way quietly so he can have some sleep. But last night, I was good and got myself a bit organised. I picked out some clothes so I wouldn't have to fumble around in the semi-darkness looking for something that looked vaguely presentable. I went in the shower. I even straightened my hair. Everything was all in place so that I would have little more to do in the morning than throw on said clothes. Which would mean I could leave The Toddler playing in her room without her really noticing I've gone, because if she knows I'm going in the shower, she demands to watch Peppa Pig in our room., and is seemingly incapable of doing this quietly, preferring to jump around the bed, regardless of who else is in it.

The morning started quite well. The Toddler woke at 6.22am, which is less than ideal, but after a wee and a drink of water, she, to my complete surprise, capitulated to my usually-futile request to go back to bed for a bit. We got another hour's sleep (although I was rudely awoken by Husband coming home in the middle of that, hmph), yay. After breakfast, I was about to implement my "get ready efficiently and with considerate stealth" plan, picked up The Littl'un..... who threw up on me. All over my back (she somehow managed to be sick, not on my top, but actually down the back of it, which is quite impressive really), and all over the ends of my painstakingly straightened hair. I'm normally a bit scummy about going about my day covered in regurgitated milk, but this was too much even for me. Cue showering, noise, DVDs, Daddy-climbing, and all the other things I had hoped to avoid.

Ah well, as the late, great Solomon Burke once said (great in stature as well as in music, I know, I once sat on his throne. Not a euphemism.), "There's always tomorrow". 10.30am should see me meeting my mam in the Metro Centre, having got us all up and dressed without getting showered in sick or waking up Husband. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Nappyless: Abort

My head is a bit bashed after two days of dealing with Toddler whinges (if I never hear the word "No" again, it will be too soon), so I will expand more later, but in brief, The Toddler is back in nappies. Fail.