I’ve got a confession to make…
For the last (nearly) 3 years, I’ve been feeling pretty bloody smug about this parenting lark. I mean you hear it all the time, don’t you? How it’s sooo hard, kids are a nightmare, you get no sleep, all the crying and tantrums, then there’s potty training, and the list goes on…
So here’s the thing… Both Amelia and Wills have been great sleepers, which I’ve written before about. Admittedly Amelia more so than Wills as a baby, but what I mean by that is that he wakes just before 6 where she slept until 7 most mornings (oh woe is me!), and he might occasionally stir in the night (obviously if he’s unwell this can be a different story). Granted Amelia now crawls into our bed EVERY night anywhere between midnight and 5am, and an extra set of flailing arms and legs in the bed can be a cause for a few grumbled “Amelia, stop it that hurts”, but really it’s not that big of a deal.
Potty training with Amelia wasn’t so much training, rather adapting very quickly to the kid’s new lifestyle choice! I mean literally, she woke up one Sunday morning and said
“Mummy I don’t want to wear a nappy anymore”
So off we went to *popular budget clothing retailer*, bought like a thousand pairs of knickers (because we were definitely going to need them all, right?!) and put them on. Obviously she wet herself. But I’ve got to be honest, after the first couple of days she had already reduced her “oops I pissed myself” to “yes, I made it!” ratio to around 1 in 5. I don’t remember the exact timeframe, but I’d say within a week or two I was noticeably less wary of accidents, and by week 3 I could leave the house happy in the knowledge that she’d use a public loo when she needed it (or an alleyway if there was no loo, because we’re really not proud!).
Tantrums: The Terrible Two’s
Then there’s all the crying and tantrums. Or not… Now I guess I have to kind of put this into perspective a little bit, because what each of us might deem “too much” is going to very much differ. But in my opinion, the kids have been pretty easy as far as crying and tantrums go. Wills cries when he wants something, but shuts up pretty easily with the right fix. Also, we’ve not really had the “Arrrgh, this baby has been screaming for hours for no bloody reason why won’t it stop?” moments with either kid that so many parents report.
We were totally
prepared for expectant of the terrible 2’s, and knew that we’d had it pretty easy up until then so it was more than likely going to be a complete shit storm. Then we started tentatively watching the 2’s fall away in the distance of the past with no meltdown tantrums in sight, our hair still intact and brains still functional. In fact , we got all the way to 2 years-10 months-14 days (give or take a few days), totally thinking we were on the home stretch.
Where It All Went Wrong!
Oh how naive we were, my friends! Again, I want to add a little perspective here; of course Amelia has had tantrums up to now, but the thing is they’ve been pretty easy to handle, she
responds responded well to reason, and her tantrums were usually limited to one or two small ones a day, sometimes not even that. BUT OH MY GOD IT GOT SO MUCH WORSE!! For the last two or three weeks, it’s like she’s been possessed with some evil child spirit intent on causing the household as much misery as possible!
I swear to you, this Sunday went like this;
Pretty good morning, laid back and chilled. I could hear daddy and the kids playing while they let me have a lie-in – result! All seemed fairly calm. Eventually I get up, get dressed, persuade Amelia to get dressed so she and I can get out of the house for a bit. We think we’ll go for a mum-daughter date and grab a coffee and a chocolate coin, why the hell not?!
We arrive at the coffee shop, and Amelia asks for water. Cool, there’s a jug of water and cups over by the sugar, so I pour her a cup. Cue epic tantrum! She throws herself to floor screaming something unintelligible about a cup, pounding the floor with her fists until eventually I establish that she wants a bottle of water not a cup. #sorrynotsorry but there is no way I’m buying water when there’s perfectly good free stuff right there! You can imagine how that went down.
After a while, she concedes that water is water, regardless of the receptacle, and settles down for a story and a chocolate coin. Except – and never before in the history of kids has this been an issue – this particular chocolate coin is too big. Yep, you read that right. She wants a small chocolate coin, you know the type that come in a little bag at Christmas.
No matter how much I reason with her that a big chocolate coin is way better than a small one she’s having none of it. By this point I’m finding it hard to justify to myself why I’m still even allowing her to keep the damn thing, let alone trying to persuade her to eat it! In the end she eats the bloody coin, finishes her damn water and we get the hell out of there (p.s. to the couple with the baby who kept looking over at us all judge-y; Remember me in 2 years).
One of the things we had discussed when we left the house was that Amelia would really like some cherries today.
“Raspberries mum. The ones you go pleurgh and spit the stone out… Oh yeah, cherries, I mean cherries.”
So we’re on our way to get cherries (why after the morning so far I have no idea, I’ve given up justifying it I’m just trying to salvage the day), when Amelia starts screeching at the top of her lungs that she wants to go and get… err… cherries… even though that’s where we are actually going… I’m so confused right now.
Once again, it matters not how many times I tell her we’re going to get cherries (“you crazy person” I might have muttered under my breath) she’s having none of it. By now I’ve lost the will to live and decide to just let her scream it out while we walk. I need some bits and the shop is on the way home, so we just walk, her screaming, me silently praying, and members of the general public staring with a mixture of sympathy, incredulity, and (of course) some judgement.
All of a sudden, she stops dead.
“Seriously, Amelia. What is it now?”
You’ve never heard screaming like it! Anyone who didn’t have eyes on us could have been forgiven for thinking I was trying to murder her.
“I don’t like the wind! I don’t want the wind! Make it go away!”
What the actual fuck? I have no words. By now, she’s screamed herself out to the point that she looks like she’s going to fall asleep where she’s standing, so I ask her if she wants to be carried. She says yes, so I pick her up. Apparently this is a mistake. We’re walking and she starts screaming again;
“What is it?”
“I want to walk!”
I put her down and take her hand. More screaming;
“You put me down mummy!”
Finally we get home. We walk through the door, she removes her coat, goes and tells her dad why she’s been crying and 2 minutes later… she’s cool. I swear to you, it’s like the whole thing hadn’t happened. I have no shame in telling you that I went to my bedroom and cried. I think it was the effort of holding in an emotional outburst for all that time rather than actually being upset at the situation, but I bawled like a baby for a minute or so. Then to top it all off, Amelia waltzes in the room and says;
“Aww mummy are you ok? Is it because you missed daddy when we was out? Here, I’ll give you a cuddle and then you should go and cuddle daddy.”
Later we baked biscuits. What. The Actual. Fuck?