Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Thursday, 30 August 2012

A Film Review

Return of the Jedi aka "The Green Star Wars!", as reviewed by The Big'un.

"I like the green Star Wars. Look, there's the story! I don't know the story. Daddy knows the story, but I know the baddie's name is DARF VEEADER. He is angry.

Jabba the Hood is green and I don't like Jabba the Hood.

It's Princess Leia in there! She's hiding. I love Princess Leia.

I think there's a nasty mouth and wiggly worms in there.

Where's the cheeky robot? He's called DeeDee Artoo.

I think Luke Skywalker likes Princess Leia. I like Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker and Hanson Swallow, but I don't like Darf Veeader.

The baby bear does a roly poly and goes "yip yip".

It's a trap!

Luke Skywalker has a light saver. Luke Skywalker uses the green one and Darf Veeader uses the red one and the big angry baddie does some NASTY THINGS.

They all happy now. I want a snack."

Monday, 20 August 2012

Where Did My Baby Go?

No, I haven't misplaced her. But The Littl'un appears to have had something of a developmental spurt of late. She is getting big (well, not physically big, she's still a titch, but you know what I mean), and good at stuff (Yes, sorry, it's a "Look, look! Look what my child can do!!!!!-type post). Said stuff includes.....

 - Climbing on things, as already reported, but also, she can now get down from things too. Which is very good, because I can leave her on the bed watching TV while I have a shower, instead of her crawling around the bathroom floor sticking her head in the bin and unwrapping my tampons.

 - Using cutlery. She is very nice and civilised. In fact, somedays she eats more of her tea with her fork than The Big'un does, which is simultaneously a source of great pride and intense frustration.

 - Answering questions. She can nod and shake her head, and I think she might actually know what she means when she does it. Well, I say she can shake her head, but to be perfectly honest, she hasn't quite got the hang of it, so she's pretty much throwing her head around as if she's taking the piss out of a Timotei advert. Still, this is a vey exciting development. It means that I am nearing the end of that phase of parenting where you have to "follow your motherly instincts". Or, if like me, you are not entirely sure you have those, "guess". Now, we can do actual communication. I like.

 - Pointing at her hand while saying "Gar-DAH!", then scratching herself on the chest and making a clicking noise. I eventually figured out that she wasn't just being weird, she was trying to do 'Round and Round the Garden'. She can also sing an approximation of the "Roll over" bit of 'Five in the Bed', usually while whacking me with the book that said song lives in, which is pleasant.

 - Starting to grasp the concept of animal noises. It would be a major exaggeration to say that she could do any, thought, as they all, apparently, say "Oooooooh".

There's possibly some more, but the poor little Littl'un suffers from being the second child, where I am too busy trying to answer a three-year-olds' relentless questions about which of my friends I saw yesterday, and trying to unravel what of what she is telling me actually happened outside of her own head, and persuading the two of them that they don't both have to play with the same toy, and here have some raisins, to sit there eagerly awaiting and watching out for each milestone. These ones have all just crept up on me, and Lord knows how long she's been doing them for. But I'm proud anyway.

Right, there you go. I'll return to whingeing about them next time.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

An Inventory of Bedtime

2 over-tired and sweaty children

2 tired parents

1 bath

17 bath toys

400 warnings not to use the bath toys to drink the bathwater

2 children feigning deafness

1 premature removal from bath (for water-drinking)

1 massive tantrum

2 flailing child-arms

4 slaps to the chest

3 trips to "the corner"

4 serious discussions about hitting

30 screams of "I'm really tired!"

35 screams of "I'm not tired!"

1 flailing 3-year-old

1 split lip (mine)

2 children eventually in bed

2 huge sighs of relief

3 requests to go to the toilet

20 minutes of screaming

12 attempts to put dummy back in toddler's face

2 glasses of water

1 dose of teething powder

1 threat to take toys away

1 toddler brought downstairs to watch 'How I Met Your Mother'

1 suspiciously quiet 3-year-old

1 more attempt to put the toddler down

4 crossed fingers......

Friday, 10 August 2012

A Little Trip Out

Right, I think I have sufficiently recovered and gained enough distance to tell you about our day out on Wednesday.

On Wednesday I took the girls out for the day, to meet some people I chat to on the internet (don't worry, it was a public place, and people knew where I was just in case they happened to turn out to be crazed, axe-wielding psychopaths instead of perfectly pleasant mothers of small children). This involved taking the two of them on a train, on my own, to York, then letting them loose in the National Rail Museum all day, and then taking them back on the train, still on my own. As you can probably already tell, this turned out to be not the easiest thing I have ever done in my life.

The bit that was scaring me the most was actually getting them through the station and safely on to the train without losing one of them. Memories of my little sister toddling towards the edge of the Metro platform and getting her leg stuck between it and a train perhaps have something to do this anxiety (I was supposed to be holding her hand while my mother folded the buggy, which I was, I just kept holding it while she walked forwards, instead of making any effort to keep her still. Ah well.). As it turned out, I didn't really need to worry about that part. The Littl'un was strapped into the sling, so she was safe. Heavy, but safe. And The Big'un was BRILLIANT. She held my hand, stopped when I said stop, stood where I told her to, and just generally behaved in an exemplary manner. Perhaps my vague-but-dire warnings about falling near trains (it's quite tricky to try to instill caution but not sheer terror in small children) had some effect and she actually did some listening for once. Wonders will never cease.

Once safely on the train, I immediately went for my fall-back parenting plan, entitled Operation Give Many Snacks. This can usually be relied upon to buy me peace for as long as the food keeps coming. It worked well. However, eventually, The Big'un decided she needed a wee. Anticipating this, I had cleverly booked seats near to the toilet. Which was broken. So gathering up my stuff and my children, we schlepped down the carriage to the working toilet, whereupon, naturally, she decided "I don't need a wee-wee!". Schlepped back. You can guess what's coming, surely? Yup, five minutes later "I need a wee-wee!". Four wee-less trips we made to that bloody toilet. The people around me were wearing amused smiles. They'd been there, I sensed. (The situation, not the toilet. Although maybe the toilet, I don't know).

Train trip one, done. Now for the museum. For some reason, I had thought this would be the easy part. Pahahahahahhahahahahah! No. It seems that unleashing two small children, in what is essentially a very large shed filled with giant things to climb on and hide behind, in the company of older and bolder children who they are desperate to play with and impress, is not actually all that relaxing. Who'd have thought? After a couple of hours of "Get down off there!", "Share!", "Come back here right now!", and "Has anyone seen my other one?", I couldn't take any more and headed for the play area, where there were fewer hazards and places to hide. There was a flaw in this plan, however, and it was that eventually, I would have to get her to leave it. This did not go well. If you happened to be in the play area of the National Rail Museum on Wednesday and saw a very harrassed-looking woman literally dragging a screaming three-year-old in the direction of the toilets, that was me, and I hope you didn't call Social Services. The tantrum only got worse when I tried to get her to actually go to the toilet, and I had less than no idea what to do about it. You'll probably know that I am not the best at the discipline anyway; discipline while out and about is bloody impossible for me. When you're far from home, booked on a specific train so you can't leave early, you don't have favourite toys to take away or naughty steps to utilise (although I did plonk her in a random corner at one point), and you know she's far too tired for a promise of later sanctions to be effective in any way, you got nothing. And she knew it. Boy, did she know it. Defiant is not the word.

Anyway, I finally managed to bundle them back onto a train. The Littl'un had missed both her naps and veered from screaming to hysterical laughter every couple of minutes. The Big'un played with her tray table the whole. freaking. time. Thankfully, my mum came to pick me up at the station. If I'd had to do bedtime on my own I think I would have just sank into a heap on the floor and hoped they'd put themselves to bed. They had Burger King for their tea because it was nearest and quickest and finding anything else to eat might have finished me off.

Still, they had a lovely day. And so did I, between the bouts of stress. But I'm not doing that again in a hurry. I might not take them both on a train trip on my own for several years. Possibly about 50 years, and then it will be their turn to take me to the toilet and run around trying to find where I've wandered off to.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Thinking Of Titles Is Really Hard

So I'm just going to not, if that's alright with you?

I had a lovely moment when I picked the girls up from nursery tonight, of the type that makes you love being a mother. I came through the door, saw them both, looking happy, then they spied me and both came running towards me, arms outstreched, shouting "Mammy!". Actually, that's a lie. The Big'un was shouting "Mam!", which I am not impressed with - I want to be Mammy for a good while longer - and The Littl'un was shouting "Mumumumumumumum", but close enough. We had cuddles, I found out they'd both been lovely all day and had fun, then they laughed and chattered/babbled all the way home. 'Twas very nice.

But then came bedtime. I do not like bedtimes when Husband is not in. To be perfectly honest, I am not a fan of bedtimes when he is there, but at least then there's someone to share the load. Tonight it was me, and me alone who got to witness the full splendour of the tantrum The Littl'un threw when I stopped her from climbing in and out of the shower - a tantrum which not stop for stories, or milk or even "Wind The Bobbin up". I also had the sole pleasure of The Big'un deciding that she did not want to brush her teeth, although that tantrum was slightly shorter, as she can now be persuaded into or out of most things (not pooing in the toilet, or wearing trousers though) with the promise of a story about Boris the Dragon. Boris the Dragon is going to become either the saviour or the bane of my life, I can't tell which yet. Boris the Dragon is something that I invented out of sheer desperation during one of last week's flying-solo bedtimes. He is pink with purple spots, and accompanies me on mundane trips to places such as work, and the supermarket to buy yoghurts. Boris the Dragon is an outrageously stupid concept/character, and everytime I am telling one of these inane stories, I am simulataneously kicking myself in every part of my body that i can mentally reach (which is all of them, my mental self is more flexible than my phsyical one) for not coming up with something better. I once wanted to be a writer. Several of you people who read this blog have told me that I have a way with words. And yet Boris the Dragon comes to work and types my letters for me - THIS IS WHAT SMALL CHILDREN DO TO YOUR BRAIN!!! But she adores them, and they cheer her up instantly, so I end up weeping with self-loathing and profound gratitude all at once.

Ah well. They are in bed, and, if not asleep, then at least not screaming at me. I believe that makes it wine o'clock.