Yesterday my mam timed a visit perfectly with collection time, so I decided to leave my baby with her while I went to pick up my son. My two year old asked if he could come along and decided he wanted to walk. I thought it might be a good idea to give him a little practice at it, as Iâ€™m hoping to move him to a buggy board type thing soon. Â The whole excursion reminded me why I usually restrain him!
â€œDonâ€™t worry mammyâ€ the five year old said as I muttered in disgust â€œI got most of it out with daddyâ€™s toothbrushâ€â€¦….
10:00 p.m. The two year old comes down the stairs.Â He has decided itâ€™s morning time
Iâ€™ve realised recently, that my two year old believes the rules of Ben and Hollyâ€™s Little Kingdom apply to this house. For anyone who has a pre-schooler or younger school child, youâ€™ll appreciate that magic always leads to trouble so that part doesnâ€™t come into play. The threat of it, however, does. My toddler has threatened to turn me into a frog, with his breakfast spoon, a calpol syringe and our sitting room table lamp, on more than several occasions over the last few days. Reason being, he wasnâ€™t getting his own way. Today he poured his Rice Krispies on the floor – because he didnâ€™t want them, he wanted chocolate eggs instead. When I, in my humble opinion, quite rightly told him off for his behaviour, he put on his best Nanny Plum voice and Nanny Plum did not agree with me. â€œYellow card for being naughtyâ€, I was told. As I reiterated that this was not to happen again, he continued â€œred card for talking backâ€. Its hard to keep a straight face when I look at his earnest face and hear him quote lines from a programme now much more familiar to me than Eastenders, but I did my best. Once again the breakfast spoon was waved at me. This time I was to be a slug. That was enough to cause the breakdown that followed. â€œWhereâ€™s my wise old elf slugâ€ he said, remembering suddenly that the slug was missing. Tears followed, as did frantic searches under the couch and behind the television. But no slug was to be found. We did eventually however, find the â€œwise old elfâ€ under one of the cushions. This is my sonâ€™s favourite toy. â€œSilly old elf, back to yourselfâ€ he said, pacified once more. As we all know, elves donâ€™t do magic, so now that the wise old elf has been found I am safe from being turned into a frog, slug or snail for the time being. Elves however, do blow bloody loud horns every time they say â€œand Iâ€™m an elfâ€ so the six month old wonâ€™t be napping for too longâ€¦â€¦..
Friday is generally playdate day here. Sometimes my kids go to their friendsâ€™ houses, sometimes their friends come here but, because I havenâ€™t quite mastered the skill of managing to farm them all out on the same day, there are generally always other children here on a Friday afternoon. It can be a great way to see how your children mix with their peers. It can be a fantastic bribe (or threat) during the week to get them to focus on their homework, eat their dinner, put their underwear in the wash basket (tick as appropriate). It can also be a great way to keep the kids occupied on a Friday afternoon or, depending on the child who comes over and his/her effect on the group dynamic, throw the afternoon into excited chaos!ng the week to get them to focus on their homework, eat their dinner, put their underwear in the wash basket (tick as appropriate). It also can be a great way to keep the kids occupied on a Friday afternoon, or depending on the child who comes over and his/her effect on the group dynamic, throw the afternoon into excited chaos.
Playdates have changed a lot here over the years as the children have grown up. Obviously we still have a lot of younger kids coming over for the younger children but the older kids donâ€™t have friends on playdates anymore. They have friends over to â€œhang outâ€. It can be very funny to observe a cool â€œmeeting of mindsâ€ taking place around the dining room table over pizza as my daughter and her friends discuss important things in life, such as the Kardashians, whoâ€™s meeting who these days, and other stuff that I couldnâ€™t possibly be cool enough to know about because Iâ€™m mam. Whatâ€™s even funnier is to see my daughterâ€™s reaction when the two year old walks into the dining room and interrupts the deep and meaningful conversation to proudly declare â€œIâ€™ve done a smelly poo in my potty! Want to see?â€ After initial looks of absolute horror the girls burst out laughing and my daughter takes her brotherâ€™s hand and says â€œsure baby, show meâ€.
Meanwhile, in the sitting room, where the potty has taken pride of place in front of the T.V., boys have gathered from every corner of the house, some related, some not, to admire what has been produced. No looks of horror here! Then after the two year old has been congratulated, everyone returns to what they were doing. Itâ€™s like feeding time at the zoo when the kids and their friends are called for their dinner and excited chat takes place around the table. I have to admit I love that part! Collection time involves a mad search for shoes which were discarded literally everywhere, as soon as the kids came into the house. Most recently, one child went home with different shoes, my sonâ€™s shoes, not noticed by me or the other childâ€™s mother for several days! In our defence, there were a lot of black similar sized shoes, to wade through.
Finally when everyone has gone I collapse on the couch, promising myself Iâ€™ll check out the playroom later, when Iâ€™ve built up the courage, to see what damage has been caused by the human tornadoes that went through it. Playdates are great, but nothing beats the feeling after when you know the kids are happy and the weekendâ€™s really about to start. Good luck to all the mammies having playdates this afternoon!
Without a doubt, for me, one of the most challenging things about having a larger family is trying to meet the needs of the relatively vast age span. Stroppy teenagers, tantruming toddlers and a six month old who just wonâ€™t be convinced of the merits of sleep, no matter how hard I try, can lead to a very cranky mammy. Sometimes I find myself in a sleep deprived stupor, unable to correctly link the name to the child and so revert to my motherâ€™s tactic of listing through all our names in the hope someone will come. I have been known to say â€œyou with the curly hairâ€ when Iâ€™m trying to get one particular childâ€™s attention or just â€œyouâ€ after a particularly bad night. Itâ€™s easy to see why sleep deprivation has been used as a form of torture!
I remember shortly after my daughterâ€™s birth, 14 years and 9 months ago ( but whoâ€™s counting) when the mother of my neighbour came to have a look at my precious little bundle who, like her six month old brother now, could not be convinced of the joys of sleep. In addition to this, my daughter (who had colic) could cry, and cry and cry. As I loaded my little pink bundle into the car, my neighbourâ€™s mother said to me â€œenjoy these days, these are the easiestâ€. I thought she was quite obviously off her rocker. Now my bundle of pink stands three inches taller than me and I canâ€™t quite believe that 14 years and 9 months (but whoâ€™s counting) have passed since she came into my life. My now teenager, brings a whole different set of challenges and not just the obvious ones of mood swings and door slamming, but the balancing act of trying to be her mum and protecting her and guiding her while trying to let go a little, to let her find her own way and to continue to become the wonderful young woman that she is growing to be.
These days I think my neighbourâ€™s mother was right. They were the easiest years. Difficult when youâ€™re coping with constant feeding and nappy changes and sleepless nights but the time goes so quickly â€“ too quickly. So when my toddler throws a wobbler because he canâ€™t find his magic wand and my baby gets up for the umpteenth feed during the night I try to remind myself of the mantra â€“ this too shall pass â€¦â€¦â€¦..but hopefully not too quickly…..
ðŸ˜Š -Jen â€ª#â€Žmamatudeâ€¬
My two year old is quite the pocket rocket. Heâ€™s blonde, green eyed and looks like butter wouldnâ€™t melt in his mouth. Heâ€™s full of kisses and hugs and generally has most people wrapped around his little finger as soon as he meets them BUT in a flash, he has the ability to mortify me like none of my other children yet. He has picked up a couple of â€œphrasesâ€ shall we say. His speech is quite articulate for his age (moreâ€™s the pity on this occasion) and so when he decides to share these â€œphrasesâ€ thereâ€™s no denying exactly what it is heâ€™s saying.
Most recently in my G.P.â€™s surgery my little cherub informed my doctor (as my doctor was trying to coax him into letting him look into his ears) that my doctor was in fact â€œa big eejitâ€. I cringed and hoped that my G.P. hadnâ€™t heard the remark but in fairness to my little darling, he repeated the comment, loud and clear and with complete defiance! I muffled my embarrassed apologies with explanations as to how my older children were big Fr. Ted fans and that he was just copying them. Now in fairness to my doctor, he just laughed it off, but I thought out of that surgery I would never get. Bad as that was, I knew my two year old had a few other â€œphrasesâ€ up his sleeve that he was and is quite happy to sing along to the tune of the â€œWonder Petsâ€. Thankfully this time the G.P and the waiting room were not treated to a rendition of this same tune but if anyone has any tips on how to make sure my little angel doesnâ€™t, in the future, treat a poor unsuspecting old lady who might kindly enquire as to how heâ€™s doing, to his lovely song, Iâ€™d love to hear them! In the meantime weâ€™re continuing to alternate between ignoring, distracting and simply telling him not to say it, just hoping it will pass soon. -Jen â€ª#â€Žmamatudeâ€¬ #morto