Thursday, 9 December 2010

I've been Rumbled

I have been known to exclaim "Jesus!" in moments of stress with the kiddywinks. Particularly while driving. Little Miss, on the ball as ever says,
"Jesus? Why are you saying Jesus Mummy?"
"I didn't, I said er... cheeses!"
"Why did you say cheeses Mummy?"
"Because we've just been to the supermarket and I've forgotten to buy any cheese!"

and she swallowed it.

But now she's doing a Christmas nativity play, and singing Away in the Manger, so when I said
"Why did you say Jesus Mummy?
"I said cheeses!"
"You said Jesus, Mummy. Why did you say Jesus Mummy?"
"Are you going to sing Mummy?"
"Yes! That's it poppet, I was remembering the words to Away in the Manger"
"Can you sing it Mummy?"
"Um, ok.."

and I'm about to launch in to it when a little male voice from the back cries
"No. Singing"

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

It ain't always Plain Sailin'

For the most part, I much prefer writing about the fun stuff the kids get up to, rather than the trials and tribulations. But as every parent knows it's not always plain sailing. Hardly ever, in fact. And I'm thinking back to yesterday's events with astonishment and how a calm and logical parent (that's me, ahem, ok, sometimes calm and occasionally logical parent) can turn into an angry monster at the mercy of a tired 3 year old's tantrum.

A tantrum of volcanic proportions...

which can erupt over the tiniest of things.

Yesterday, because I wanted Little Miss to wear a cardigan

Me: Please can you put your cardigan on.
LM: Faff, ignore Mummy, faff
Me: Please put your cardigan on. It's cold.
LM: Faff, play with toys, faff, ignore Mummy
Me: Please don't make me ask you again, put on your cardigan PLEASE
LM: Don't want to
Me: Well, Mummy's asked you to
LM: I don't WANT to
Me: Mummy's asked you to so please put your cardigan on.
Me: Right, if you don't put that cardigan on you're going on the naughty step.
Me: You do as you're told!

Ok, so it's just a cardigan. Why am I making such a fuss? Well, the problem is this:

Deep down inside you think, if I let this one go, the next thing you know I'll be staring into the face of a 16 year old teenager screaming that yes, damn it, she IS going to see her boyfriend and there's not a damn thing YOU can do about it before you're left standing in the draft of a slammed front door.

But the thing with fear is that it often comes out as anger, and before I know it I'm yelling at her like a Chav knowing the whole time that This. Isn't. Helping. And she's screaming louder and louder. And I'm getting angrier and angrier.

Eventually, I run out of ideas and like a petulant teenager I say say "Fine, suit yourself" and give her the I'm-going-to-ignore-you-now treatment. She yells a little bit longer before calming down. Now that she's stopped yelling I calm down.

Later that afternoon she's had a sleep and she's telling me that she loves me and I tell her that I love her and we snuggle up on the sofa to do a jigsaw.

That night I hit the red wine and drown in guilt over my shouting. But I'm hoping that it's a good lesson learned. Next time I get angry I'll count to ten, I'll switch on the tap and pour a glass of water, I'll employ any number of distraction techniques and I Will Stay Calm.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Imagine that

One of the things I love about hanging out with a 3 year old is the fact that imagination plays such a big part in daily life. We might be playing doctors, building a house with blocks or cooking up a storm on the plastic kitchen... it's all good imaginative fun. It's easy to forget, when you're a fully fledged adult, just how much fun it is to live in an imaginary world.

Little Miss came home the other day with some very sparkly, very pink, tinsel, after a trip out with Daddy, and was very excited about it.

She instructed Daddy exactly where to put it, up in her room, above her cupboard.

"Mummy, Mummy! Look!" she says, brimming with excitement.

"Ooh!" I say, "Isn't it beautiful!"

"Yeah!" she exclaims

"Ooh!" I say, "Maybe your cupboard is now a fairy castle!"

"yeah..." she says

"And the tinsel is the magic entrance!" I say, getting really into it here, "so now, your cupboard is a magic fairy castle with a magic pink tinsel entrance!"

I look at her expecting her to share my excitement at this new imaginary place but she looks at me with that why-are-you-such-a-cretin look, and says: "It's just a cupboard, Mummy".