Did you know I have a 6 year old? I wouldn’t blame you if you hadn’t realised: my writing is so heavily dominated by the antics of my ToddlerMonster, that my ‘big’ girl hardly gets a mention.
Well this one is for you my dear Darcie, in the week you have turned 6.
I am a parent of 2 halves; half of me is riding out the Toddler years in all of their warped glory. The other half is enjoying what can only be described as ‘the sweet spot’ of parenting.
You see, age 6 really is the holy grail of parenting. I have been thinking for a while now that my mini-me and childhood doppelganger is at a golden age, and I don’t want it to end.
I couldn’t count the amount of times I have been told variations along the theme of ‘It’ll be over in the blink of an eye’, and I have muttered (not quietly) That it’s not effing quick enough, as the smell of the latest missed-potty-poo explosion still lingers on my fingers.
Perhaps those ‘well wishers’ were meaning that THIS bit will be over in the blink of an eye: The Sweet Spot, age 6. Ahh, that makes more sense…
An age when an innocence prevails, and that naked trampoline time won’t get you arrested.
An age when a Saturday night means X factor and popcorn with dead pan discussions over who Simon should have sent home, instead of performing Ninja-rolls out of a darkened bedroom.
An age of sitting and concentrating on colouring, beads, painting, sticking and all things crafty without looking quite like a glitter yetti by the end of it. However, maintaining a strong intolerance for clearing up doesn’t change.
An age when I’m still a mummy shaped hero who can solve the worlds problems through my daughter’s eyes.
An age when Mummy still, just about, knows best (even when I absolutely have no idea what on earth I am talking about). Hanging on my every word, this gullible innocence is priceless.
An age where school means just school, and homework is weekly but minimal. We don’t argue over homework- it’s not yet important enough to warrant such effort (Sorry Mr T!). In fact we very often don’t even remember to do it. There are no consequences for a 6 year old.
An age where their enthusiasm is infectious. The squeals of delight as the days are counted down to a holiday, birthday, or the Xmas bomb make the copious planning and pounds worthwhile. Nothing is more important to a 6 year old than fun, the age of truly letting the good times roll.
When the going gets tough with the ToddlerMonster I have to remind myself that I won’t always know the dry cleaners weekend plans as I see him on an almost weekly basis to wash yet another wee-soaked pure wool sofa cushion.
It won’t always be like this, the magic 6 is waiting just around the corner. I tell myself this on a loop. Well, a 3 year corner, gulp: better pass the Woo Woos.
Our prize for weathering the sleepless nights, the unauthorised co-sleeping, and the many many demonstrations of ‘spirit’ – (usually made at the Lidl check out where we all know there isn’t enough time to so much as right a wedgie in that bagging area let alone pacify the ‘Arched Back ‘n’ Kick’ sequence.) The Prize, is age 6.
Darcie, I wish I could capture your imagination, that infectious dark laugh and bottle your needy cuddles. I know age 6 is once again, ‘just a phase’, and I will miss it when it passes. For now though, let’s just build dens and be silly: growing up can wait a while longer.
Welcome to The Lila Show. Starring Lila: Diva extraordinaire, ASBO deserved.
I’ll be honest here, when people have allured to the wrath of a threenager in the past I may have raised my need-to-be-did eyebrows and wallowed in self pity for the gruesome twos I was being forced to endure. Thinking that surely Toddlerhood couldn’t possibly exceed the floor licking tantrums of age 2 (which peaked at Lego land incidentally- I’m sure it was a very clean floor).
We are staring Lila’s 3rd birthday in the face and I do not feel the end is neigh with this ASBO behaviour. In fact, I fear it could just be the beginning…
It is no secret that sub-4 kids don’t do sharing. (To be honest I’m not a massive fan of sharing even now, but that’s another story.)
Lila is very blunt about this hate of sharing. It’s more than a little off putting to her friends who look blankly at me as Lila snatches whatever plastic tat they might have dared to touch, upon a rare play date.
Lila has fast worked out that she cannot snatch n grab every toy at once, evolution is still one step behind with that 3rd hand that she requires. One of her favourite solutions when facing this predicament is to select one of the 456,000 buggys we have and simply pile it all in.
She will happily wheel about shopping tills, random candles, a naked sylvanian, the odd shoe, her beloved inflatable mic, the cat… you name it. Lila will stack it high to ensure that no one else can touch this sacred stash. I like to call it her tramp trolley, I mean no disrespect, but it is bares an uncanny resemblance.
Theft is becoming a real problem in our house. Crucial items tend to go missing, often for days on end. I have now found a Grinch like cupboard in her toy kitchen which has basically got trophies from her bin raids. I discovered old milk bottles, yogurt tops, coffee pods, the crucial sellotape wheel thing, a fitbit, even the garage keys. I offered to clean this revolting collection up, and retrieve our stuff. That didn’t go down well. Who knew it was possible to have such an attachment to junk? One girl’s trash is another girl’s stash…
The latest victim of Lila’s venomous tongue is ELFred. This has at least given Darcie the week off from hearing her sister shouting,
“Darcie is a poo and a worm, I hate you Daadaa”
It’s fair to say that ASBO-toddler has not taken kindly to this invasion of her privacy. This morning when ELFred was found straddling Lila’s train, she could take no more.
“ELFred need to go home now Mummy.”
“Bye bye ELFred, don’t forget your Hat”
– Oh yes, don’t let him forget that, it cost more than mine!
My annoyance has reached boiling point. There are a whole bunch of parents out there that hate the elf, who don’t have the time or inclination to deal with elf-shit. But their little treasures love Chippy, dingbat and Zaton so much that they begrudgingly move him between Christmas tree branches for 24 nights.
The thing is, try as I might to loath this additional ball ache at the busiest time of the year, I don’t. I was loving this damned tradition. I love moving him about – albeit not very imaginatively, but I’m just warming up! I was just getting started! I loved those first 4 days of them discovering what Elfred had been up too. But I’ve been halted by my child, the only child that seems to hate him.
Oh the irony is not lost.
I had imagined that ELFred would have been a pretty useful bribery tool,
“Don’t spit on the carpet, Elf is always watching”…
“But he’s in the Woooooooooownge Muma!” Followed by deafening cries.
Well that went down like a shit sandwich. I did not see those screams of protest coming: Rookie, rookie, Mistake.
“No, no he’s not watching you all of the time, he just watches you in a nice way… ”
I don’t think I was helping. And to be fair it did all sound a bit pervy.
So Elfred is in the fireplace, with a farewell card – at least she remembered her manners.
Here is the conundrum: If I send ELFred away, Darcie shall be devastated. If he stays, Lila will be terrified.
You know what, sod you elf. You have just succeeded in turning your No.1 (and quite possible ONLY) adult fan against you.
Lila has just given me the perfect ending for this post. She has just returned from bossing the nursery room. Actually she looked quite sweet as she snuggled up to her bunny on the sofa just now. I began to feel bad that I was mid sentence on a post that brands her a total A-hole. Then she took something from her pocket…
She looked at me with her devilish eyes but at least had the good grace to add a nervous giggle. She’s only gone and stolen baby Jesus from the nursery nativity scene.
I rest my case.
Is anyone else living under the duress of a crazed ASBO-deserving nearly threenager?!
We are living in an age where we can run our entire lives from our phone, listen to music via headphones sans wires, and enjoy processco literally on tap in some of our favourite bars.
But until last week we were still living in a world where grown ups doing adulting, grown ups doing parenting and kids doing the kid thing were all mixed up like a badly organised wash pile every time you dare to board a plane.
Well not anymore, not if you travel in India! IndiGo has adopted a ‘quiet zone’ policy which basically means if you are 12 or under you aint getting in.
HURRAH! It’s 2016, but we got there in the end! We have been enjoying air travel for over 80 years, but finally, FINALLY an airline has engaged brain and realised that Little Tarquinn, age 3, doesn’t like to fly. It makes his ears pop and there isn’t room for him to stand on his head while he sings the theme tune to Paw Patrol at levels that only dogs should be able to hear. This makes Tarquinn cry, he dissolved into full blownn Sh*tbag mode. This makes Tarquinn stamp his feet and kick the seat in front. It makes Tarquinn throw his crisps into the lap of the tight lipped passenger next to him -not Muma… she’s swigging Gin on his other side. Tight lipped passenger begins to tut, gradually the tutting turns to the intake of breath followed by loud breathaliser sounding sighs.
Mumas no longer need to mutter “I hate my life” or “I’m so sorry” and “send me the dry clean bill” on a flight anymore! Because guess what – the passengers that really minded being sat next to the little Tarquinns of this world have paid a few quid extra to escape this particular endurance test. So long, huffers and puffers. So long, Muma-guilt. IndiGo, I salute you.
It seems it’s not just me that feels this way either. The concept of the Quiet Zones has been praised by both Adulating Adults and Parenting Adults. I asked a few of my fellow bloggers their thoughts on the subject (I was concerned I might be having a very unmumsey moment rejoicing at this idea!). Surprisingly it was almost unanimously positive feedback. There were some suggestions for other zones which I thought might have legs too. Kate Tunstall of Refined Prose suggested an area reserved for inconsiderate adults, after all, it’s not only children that can be irritating! I see where she’s coming from! While Alana Perrin of Baby Holiday did make a good point, and one that will probably have the air stewardesses drawing straws to man bucket class over at IndiGo; Imagine how noisy it will be when all the babies and toddlers kick off, because of their proximity it will be like a chain reaction… Ear defenders for the long suffering parents?! Frankly, the mind boggles. But that still wouldn’t put me off casting a vote for this genius division.
I wonder if IndiGo might be interested in a little ‘idea development’? Children’s entertainment packs? Disney channel on a big screen? Hell, how about a kids entertainer (Mark Warner are you listening?!) And while we are at it, a loo facility which actually allows the task of nappy changing to take place. One last life changer please airlines, could the Mumas have reserved seating in said Quiet Zone for the duration of the flight, along with several large bottles of Processco. Pretty please.
I am sending a plea to UK airlines to adopt this genius and absolutely nessesery Quiet Zone initiative. Please don’t let tourist space travel happen faster than this, the most basic of travel needs. Come on Branson – lead the way!
What are your thoughts? Would you be offended if an airline offered the option of a ‘Quiet Zone’ for 13+? Or would you breathe a sigh of relief?
I wanted to share something with you, possibly it’s a little bit controversial- I know: Me, controversial, surely not..?!
This is the story of why we are not potty training our nearly 3 year old.
Lila is potty training herself; you’ve heard of baby led weaning? Well this is the toilet version. I’m not sure if this is an actual thing or if I am just breaking out of the Muma- society mould here, I’m sure you’ll let me know…
She stood in a puddle of wee, in the middle of the park, sobbing; Wet knickers, wet leggings and wet shoes…
It had been 1 week since we declared ‘potty training’ had began. this is back in 2013, and I am talking about our eldest daughter Darcie. She was exactly 2.5 years old, and numerous ‘experts’ (Butty-in elders and judgemental Gina-ford types ) had been surprised that Darcie wasn’t potty trained-
“What with the baby on the way…”
I was panicing that the world would stop spinning as I knew it with ‘the coming of baby No.2’, and decided that we should of course get cracking with this potty training lark.
We lasted 1 week before I couldn’t bare to see her wet herself and struggle anymore.
I had listened to other parents tell me of their potty training antics – us Mumas have great chat, right?! MONTHS some of them had spent watching their toddlers wet and poo themselves. In public, in the car, at home: you name it.
I just couldn’t do it. It just strikes me as a bit demeaning really. I would HATE to Wee myself in morrisons, so why would I think it ok to have my child do this? Why would I make my daughter wear knickers day after day standing by while she poos herself, looking helpless, telling her “she’s almost there”. Nah, that’s not my style. So we made the decision to avoid putting pants on our kids, until they ask.
I know using that word demeaning in association with potty training is probably going to get some backs up. I know that it’s all about personal choice and we all want what’s best for our children. Of course we do- that’s a Muma’s mantra. I also realise that using the loo and making that leap of faith from nappies needs to be taught, and learnt. But do we really need to force a round peg into a square hole here?
So we waited. We waited months, and months, our new baby arrived, and we celebrated Darcie’s 3rd birthday. STILL IN NAPPIES.
And then it happened; one spring afternoon, down the stairs she came with her Peppa Pig knick-knocks on.
Darcie never put a nappy back on again. From that moment she used the toilet, not the potty. She was old enough to tell me when she wanted to go, she was old enough to sit on the toilet without having to lug a potty EVERYWHERE with us.
Darcie is now 5 years old, and we have never had to remind her to use the loo before we go out. Nor do we check if she needs it when we are out and about. I leave it up to her.
Her accident record is Zero.
I’m not saying that’s purely down to the approach we used, that, we’ll never know. But I am sure that never making a big deal out of all of this toilet related stuff has helped her.
So now it’s Lila’s turn. When she wants to wear knickers she does. When she wants to wear a pull up, guess what: she does! Sometimes she likes to use the loo, and other times she doesn’t. But you know what, more and more she is opting to use to use it. I have checked that nursery aren’t pushing her with toilet training and they have been very supportive of our choice to let Lila decide when she is ready to ditch the nappies- and start saving us a fortune.
I suppose the point of telling you all of this toilet related goodness is because I wish I had read that you don’t have to potty train like its a military operation, and you don’t need to label it:
“WE ARE POTTY TRAINING” *like a declaration of battle*
Just introducing the potty n knickers combo and offering those things, rather than pushing them is enough.
They will get there eventually. It’s not a race.
I felt a huge pressure to succeed at potty training. And for what?! To gloat like a Gloatey McKnob that my daughter is wearing knickers before she’s learnt to pick her nose?
Our nearly 3 year old has enough on her plate- she is learning to speak, to form opinions, deal with frustrations, realising that book cases make great ladders, and all the while, brewing her next UberTantrum.
She doesn’t need this kind of shit in her life right now: literally.
I’ll keep you posted on how the Toddler-led toilet training is going- I know you’ll all be on the edge of your seats awaiting this update…
Until then, I’d love to know if anyone else has had a similar experience to me and has used, or is using this method?
Blackpool: A bit like Vegas, there’s a casino, a roller coaster or 2, loads of hotels, and a tower. Totally the same place.
Viva Las Blackpool.
I’m pretty vocal when it comes to the subject of holidays and kids. Our eldest is now 5, and toddlerMonster is smack in the middle of her twos. We have never, until this week, been away just as a family of 4. I’ll be honest: To me moving your family to a temporary alien location, kissing goodbye to normality, and undertaking this alone was a step too far. We have always gone on holiday with my parents and siblings – a bit like the Khardashians, but with Easyjet not the Learjet. In my book, this is by far the best way for everyone (except probably my parents and siblings…so just me then) to have a holiday.
Anyway, without banging on too much about the dear god merits of cross generational holidaying, I’ll get back on my Blackpool bandwagon:
We did it, we took the plunge, and scarpered to Blackpool as a family of 4, for 2 whole nights, and 3 whole days, amounting to a total of 12 hours of car time. I think I may have had a little too much Isla Negra the evening we booked.
Here’s a little summery of the trip, including our top tips, in case you fancy hot footing it up to January. Blackpool.
It is literally big and blue. So it was pretty easy to spot. That and the fact that it backs onto the Pleasure Beach theme park, so has 3 sodding great rollercoasters for a back yard.
I couldn’t recommend this hotel enough, the location is great and has its own entrance to The Pleasure beach which is open between 10am-11.30am everyday. The hotel offers discounted tickets, AND more importantly 50% discount on speedy boarding. I’ll get onto this point later, but suffice to say it’s an essential add on if you value your marriage.
We opted for a family room (because we are mad) which consisted of bunk beds (aka climbing frame) which were tucked away by the door and buffered by the bathroom before reaching the main bedroom. Anyway, bla bla it had a bed, it had a bath. It was comfy… and clean. Big tick. Oh and room for our travel cot (which the 5 year old slept in. Don’t ask). The 2 year old slept in our bed and so actually it was a total waste of money paying for a family room after all. We may as well have opted for a sardine can.
The girls LOVED the hotel, although there taste is a little warped – they also loved being taken to PoundLand to spend their holiday money…
The Hotel’s Restaurant was a thumbs up – and another tinkle on the high chair. I fear this may be becoming somewhat of a signature move for ToddlerMonster, perhaps tablecloths make her nervous.The Kids were really well catered for, a really impressive full menu just for them. Most guests were staying with children, so I shrugged the Peepee incident off, as did I the red wine going all over the table and carpet; they just replenished my almost gone glass with a full one. FOR FREE. They totally get The Issue of Kid.
If you have really young children then this theme park is ideal. There are 19 rides which are considered ‘family friendly’ and as long as the Dinky is on board with an adult then there is no height restriction. We did have to purchase a speedy boarding pass pronto after waiting an hour for a truly shite racing car ride though. This was purely a move to save our marriage from the cursing pit of horrors into which it was falling after that queue.
As I said if you stay at the big blue then the speedy boarding, beat the queue, walk into the exits (feeling a bit of a tit for doing so) and ride with no wait, is half the price. Of course we only found the half price voucher AFTER we arrived back at the hotel. Law of the sod at work once more.
With an hours wait on most rides we would have only got a few in, with the passes we managed to ride everything. Every. Signle.one.
Yeh yeh I was getting my money’s worth and refused to leave before it closed, frog marching the fam from one Kiddie coaster to the next.
It’s raining its pouring, it’s actually January.
So what I thought to have been iffy weather the previous day was in actual fact the height of the Balckpool summer. Normality reigned for the rest of our stay in KissMeQuickLand, but actually that was ok because there is a tonne of stuff to do which is on the inside.
We bought a Blackpool Tower ticket which allows you access to all of the attractions which are inside the Tower building. I had no idea all of this was there – I assumed the tower was just that.
Anyway, this ticket got us access to the Blackpool Tower Experience which is a 4D film of Blackpool which strangely is all done to a background of sunshine and blue skies. Perhaps the makers were having an ironic moment. We also got to go and stand on the glass floor hundreds of feet up which totally freaked both girls out – and Dan. I don’t mind heights , just queues. It was alright, but let’s be honest, the view was just a grey town, with a sea.
Blackpool Tower Circuswas also on this ticket and was one of the highlights of the trip – it was Darcie’s No.1. Set in a really ornate area at the base of the tower, it even had a sinking floor which flooded for the final act. I was impressed. ToddlerMonster slept through most of it. Bonus.
If you venture to Blackpool I really recommend this!
Blackpool Tower Ballroomwas also included on our pass. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, I certainly hadn’t been expecting to step into THE BALLROOM, The Strictly final ballroom. It was stop-in-your-tracks stunning. You are allowed to just rock up and take to the floor, lots of oldies were being persuaded around the shit-you-might-slip shiny dance floor. It was a hard sight to process. I just stared on hoping there wasn’t about to be a hip op situation. Darcie did cartwheels, ToddlerMonster got YouTube out, Dan bought coffee.
Soft Play at the Towerwho sanctioned this? I thought we would escape the foam rollers and contagious ball pits for a few days, but no. Some bright spark decided to put a fat soft play IN the Tower. Christ… it was included, so in we went. I cannot recommend a soft play, it’s against my beliefs. (kid’s loved it).
The Blackpool Dungeons – obviously we didn’t take our girls into the attraction which has a severed head on the poster. That would be asking for trouble. So I can’t comment – I’m just letting you know that if you want to take your kids into a living nightmare, then you can. It’s included!
We did this on the morning before we came home – the beach plan flopped due to January invading. That’s ok, we thought. We’ll go to that waterpark, the largest indoor waterpark in the UK.
So did EVERYBODY else in Blackpool. The queue was out of the door to go in. If you venture here then arrive for when it opens at 9am, and book on line, 24 hrs ahead. You’ll also get a 10% discount. Obviously we didn’t do any of those sensible for-sights.
Again, the kids loved it. I felt like I was taking part in a capsized boat epic and we were all the extras. Hundreds of bodies, all bobbing about, water cannons going off, buckets filled with the wet stuff coming down on you, a lazy river which was actually quite the opposite, squatting whist a 5 yr old tags on for dear life (even though they can touch the bottom).
It’s worth a visit – just be prepared for The Masses.
Blackpool was brilliant, I honestly do mean that, equally it was great to hang out as a 4. It’s totally geared for kids which is half of the battle when taking the fam away for a few days. I don’t want to see another chip for a while, but then, that’s not exactly a bad thing. If you are wondering about a few days away somewhere then there is plenty to keep a family occupied in Blackpool, come rain or rain.
Today is the first time in a long time that I have had to bite my lip to stop myself from crying in public. This used to happen a lot in the early days, and mostly because we were making Rookie mistakes like attempting to go clothes shopping with a baby in tow. Or supermarket shopping with an 18 month old hooligan. I have since discovered shopping on line is the only way to remain clothed, and fed. You adapt.
A while ago I began a quest to seek out the most child friendly eateries around where we live, East Sussex. I have now become a fully fledged food reviewer (dream gig for me… Nom Nom Nom!) So far we have been to Uber-kid friendly territory, easing ourselves in gently if you will.
Today we had what I thought would be a real treat of a review: one of the best restaurants in Brighton (and one I’ve been dying to try but can never justify the huge price tag) wanted us to come and review their Sunday lunch menu, with a true family slant. Careful what you wish for: Family slant is exactly what they got.
How can I put this; we were the Ying to their Yang.
The restaurant wasn’t just classy, it was classy with a touch of Mega Chic. By contrast our 2 year old ToddlerMonster was living up to her namesake, whilst our fiveanger was exactly that. I naively assumed that the girls would be as excited as I was to try 35 day dry-aged roast sirloin of beef. They were not. Not remotely.
The food and service were top notch, seriously outstanding, unfortunately today was the day that our children decided to turn up the notch on Demon Mode.
Lila, (The ToddlerMonster) would not be consoled. A machine-like-whinge had been especially programmed in and it would not be stopped for anyone. Oh, hang on, it did stop to watch her beloved YouTube as our last ditch attempt to save the other diners ears and tempers. She likes to watch this American family who film themselves going about their daily business: Today she was watching them in a traffic Jam. I’m not kidding.
Darcie sat with her fingers in the ketchup, stuffing some chips down whilst Dan and I tried to make conversation over how to write up the ribs, We don’t know many ponsey foodie words so it went something like this:
“Mmmm it just falls off of the bone, Darcie please put your legs down, cor what a marinade, sweet, sticky DELICIOUS. Darcie please take that napkin off of your head…ohh don’t eat it all, oh shit we haven’t taken a photo of the dish…Lila don’t spit your water over the table. Darcie could you get down from the windowsill NOW”
Yey, It was dreamy. I could feel my stress levels rising as the restaurant filled up with lots of people adulating, all set for a swanky splash the cash Sunday lunch.
The waitress staff were on the level, They were lovely! In fact I wanted to ask them to join us. The 1:1 ratio needed bumping up a bit.
The main event arrived and I have to say it looked incredible. The kids were delighted to see enough gravy to sink a battleship, the largest, thickest cut of beef with the biggest roast potatoes I have ever laid eyes on. It came as one big Sunday roast sharing platter which is a really lovely idea. The girls were finally quieting down. I had a glass of Melbec.
“Maaaaaaa I done a weeeeeeee. I done a weeeeeee I done a weeeeeee”
Toddlermonster had indeed ‘done a wee’. Her nappy had clearly hit capacity but as I had been so busy farting around trying to get some decent food shots, I had failed to notice.
The wee was spilling off the highchair and splashing onto the floor tiles below.
A sort of waterfall effect.
Oh dear god.
Our daughter was peeing on the floor, we had to let her finish. I would have been horrified if this had happened in McDonalds, let alone this Uber-Chic haunt.
I’m not sure who was more mortified, Lila or I. The oversized napkins came in handy as I wrapped it around her waist to make the trek through the length of the restaurant slightly less conspicuous!
The waitress deserved a gold medal (or the huge tip we left), by the time we arrived back at the table it had all been cleaned up. Good as new!
By this point the girls were past the point of being reasoned with. I bribed them with a chocolate lolly each to buy Dan and I a few minutes to throw this decadent roast lunch down our necks. I have to say, it really was the king of roast lunches.
The straw that broke the camels back, or should I say, the point where the prickly eye cry feeling crept up on me wasn’t the peepee incident. It was when Dan made a dash for the loo before we left. That was it, as soon as dear daddy was out of sight ToddlerMonster kicked off BIG TIME. She went shitcrazy bonkers. Right in the middle of the restaurant, screeching,“My Daddy, my Daddy”, at the top of her voice in between deafening sobs.
She had been working up to this very moment, and the girl let rip.
The dead weight back arch was in play. No amount of consoling or begging was going to stop her. Everyone was looking up from their fortune lunch plates. I had to carry her out to the street, leaving our bags behind, like she was a hot sheet of screeching metal.
I have no idea if we shall ever be asked to review somewhere ever again.
For now, I’m not sure I really care.
If you have a disaster dining story, please share. I really think I would take comfort in your nightmares right now!!
There is SO much baby crap out there, all gleaming and shiny just waiting for unsuspecting adoring (petrified) new parents to splash their cash on.
Sharing is caring, and with this in mind I thought I’d divulge our top 5 parenting purchase nightmares with you… It’s not pretty.
1)A rocking crib.
What a seriously bonkers invention.
This at No.1 because it is without doubt the most rookie of all the bad purchases we made as parents in-waiting. The helpful teen at ‘Babies R us’ swore blind a rocking crib was a new born essential (I’m sure she knew best). Jolly good; we’ll have one of those then.
The first time I attempted to put the baby-that-did-not-sleep into the rocking crib proved that this ‘essential’ was in fact the polar opposite.
Into the crib she went milk-drunk. I looked just like a member of bomb squad edging nearer and nearer to the crib with the armed device, armed with this sleeping new born. One. False. Move… of course the rocking crib did just that– it bloody rocked all over the place. Bam and that was it: baby rave time, mummy cry time.
We tried it a few more times before we chopped it up and used it to re-board our fireplace
Desperate times call for desperate measures. And we were just that. Our 2 year old had never slept through the night, and never in her own bed. We were trying everything and anything to try and achieve just one night’s sleep before baby No.2 made her appearance.
Make way for The Gro-Clock. Promising that toddlers will obey its creepy sun face.
The Gro clock should come with a warning that you will only be able to figure out how to program the bloody thing if you have the IQ of a frigging genius. I don’t.
It is not simple to use. Even less simple if you are heavily pregnant, sleep deprived and quite literally a Muma on the Edge. When we eventually did get it working our daughter LAUGHED at it. We basically spent £25 on a night light.
Fu*k you Gro clock.
3) Skirts n headbands: Baby Accessory Gate
Ok let’s get this straight-
Skirts: They ride up. They look awkward. They show off the nappy to its optimum. And it looks SO uncomfortable.
Headbands: I tried, I really did; to dress up my baby’s wispy bald head. I was always paranoid the gypsy-style headbands would slip down and we’d have a horrific ‘strangled’ situation on our hands. More often than not she would rip it off her head and chuck it overboard. (She clearly has more taste than I do!)
Why did I bother?!
Baby No.2 escaped the wannabe Doll phase, onesies forever.
4) Holiday with a baby
(Ok this isn’t strictly an ‘item’ but I just felt I couldn’t leave it out of this Rookie list.)
Just why?! If it isn’t hard enough to look after a sub-1 human at home with the entire contents of Mothercare at your fingertips, how do we convince ourselves that a holiday will ever be just that?!
We were so lucky to go away with my parents and sisters when Darcie was 3 months old. A ratio of 7:1 is the ONLY way I would ever recommend a holiday with a baby.
The heat was too hot for her, the cot was too netted for her, the pool was too cold for her, the air was too airy for her, she wouldn’t sleep OR she only wanted to sleep.
How is that a holiday?! That’s just normal life thrown in with a touch of nightmare.
5) The baby sling
It was awkward. I swore. The baby cried. We gave up: Back to ebay it went.
I have seen serene ‘Baby Carriers’ in the real so it must be possible to front tie, back tie, strap up and pop the bambino in. I however found it impossible: frustrating and confusing in equal measure, and frankly a complete and utter bloody mystery.
I tried again and again to get to grips with Slinging. I tried different brands with ties, & knots to clips & Velcro. I ended up looking like id been subjected to Mummification; Wrapped up in endless cloth with a screaming baby hanging out of the front of me.Bugaboo I salute you.
So come on- spill the beans on your useless baby impulse buys…!!????
2) Uber cab driver, USP: Providing a 3 course meal whilst in transit. Will that be the crusts off marmite on white or the mini chedder’s sir?
3) Hostage negotiator: If I can talk a Toddler in arsehole mode down from throwing a cold cup of coffee over cream carpet…
4) Cleaner: speciality tool, wet wipes. Kitchens, bathrooms, walls, arses. I got this…
5) Community police officer: you really don’t want to be leaving your dog’s shit on the pavement or park in the Toddler / Muma spaces on my watch.
6) Laundrette skive, is that Dot Cotton or me? Blurred lines.
7) Teaching assistant, I haven’t suffered at the hands of an enthusiastic 4 year old armed with a Biff n Chip book for nothing, and don’t even get me started on the ‘Pen Licence.’
8) Risk assessor: Stairs, streams, fire pits, ovens, big dogs, small yappy dogs, busy roads, quiet roads, bees, spicy food… you name it, I’ve risk assessed it.
9) Red Coat: entertainment covered 12 hrs a day, special skill: leading a dance off whilst folding washing, singing just like Adele. No lies.
10) Chef, speciality diets: no beans for one, only carrots for the other, no courgettes peppers or spice on another. No carbs, low carbs, only ‘good’ carbs. Gluten free, meat free, extra meat. Only meat. No sauce meat balls, naked pasta… with ham sprinkled on top of everything.
I have been following the story of the 17 year old Gorilla, Harambe’s tragic death with horror. Harambe was shot to save the life of a 4 year old boy who fell into the Gorilla enclosure at Cincinneti Zoo this weekend.
‘What if that was MY child’ – a line which seems to run through my head whenever tragic stories involving children hit the headlines.
I have also been paying attention to the barrage of abuse that the Muma of that 4 year old child has been facing, almost with more horror than the tale itself.
The daily Mail led with the story today claiming that the parents could face prosecution for their negligence, and ‘letting’ their child slip through the railings.
Excuse me? Prosecute a mother whose child was almost killed by an animal that has been described as “very dangerous” by Sharon Redrobe who is CEO of Twycross Zoo in the Midlands.
Surely the buck stops with the Owners and management of the Cincinetti Zoo for not having effective enough barriers between visitors and their dangerous animals. Surely the safety of their visitors is paramount, surely it should be the parents of this 4 year old adventurer that are prosecuting the zoo and not the other way around.
Children are naturally inquisitive, they are quick, and they love to play hide and seek: these basic instincts are not the fault of that mother.
When you visit a zoo or theme park you expect the correct safety measures to be in place. Tweets slagging off this Muma are totally uncalled for. Yes, it’s tragic, of course it is, not least because this Gorilla is so rare and endangered. But it is the job of the Zoo to keep its visitors safe, which is why their decision to shoot the Gorilla was 100% the only choice they could have made. Many have claimed that using tranquilisers would have been a better choice, but this could have taken up to 10 minutes to become effective and in that time the Gorilla would have almost certainly become very agitated, probably ending with lights out for the little boy.
So let’s not hate on this Muma. She probably has blamed herself and relived what she could have done differently, if anything, a hundred times and more already. That’s what I do when one of my girls has an accident.
The Zoo should have prevented this truly tragic event from ever happening.
As many of you already know: I am a stay at home Mum. I think that phrase is a bit naff, but it does what it says on the tin (although I am allowed out occasionally…). I used to have a career outside of our home. But now we have 2 little girls, my career is here, in the middle of my family. All day. Everyday.
It’s like any job really: it has its ups- mostly when the bosses are out. No, not at the quarterly finance meetings, but at school and nursery. And it has its downs, like when I miss my weekly washing targets. The hours are slightly longer than I was used to, I seem to be in my office by 6am. But the commute is a staircase and dressing gowns seem to be acceptable office attire. The slight stinger in the tail is that the pay is shit, well, non-existent actually. My bonuses are now paid in kind; lots of snotty cuddles, kisses and the odd punch in the face. Don’t get me wrong, those are priceless bonuses right there for the taking. But they aren’t exactly a lunch-hour-Warehouse-dress-spurge are they.
So this Mummying thing is my profession now. A professional Mummy in my mind creates innovative organic meals, has a home which may as well feature in House Beautiful – a place for everything and everything in its place. The children must attend a host of clubs and after school jollies – ferrying around is quite high up on the JD. Weekends can be nothing but activates and socialfests as all of the house work can be done during the week… surely.
But somewhere I seem to have taken a wrong turn. This isn’t how my approach to Professional Mummying is working out despite my very best efforts to be a real life super mum and nail this job.
Muma Guilt has reared its ugly head once again. And not just guilt that I should be doing a better job at home, but guilt that I DO have all day everyday, to get my shit together, while so many Mumas work long hours on top the full time Muma gig – and seem to be doing a better job!
If I were to have an appraisal tomorrow, I would be issued with a disciplinary. I stopped and glanced around at the chaos that seems to have tied itself around me: my car is always a wreck. From chewed sweets to fruitshoots, abandoned items of clothing and half of shoe zone seem to have a magnetic force to our foot wells. Darcie actually decided that the undetectable smell in our car was in fact, Bum. Great.
It shouldn’t be this way. My car should smell like freaking roses, using tips I picked up on pintrest, during research on ‘How to avoid your car smelling like bum’, because that’s the sort of thing I should have time for. But I don’t.
The wash bin is always overflowing (should I introduce naked Tuesdays?!) even though I am at home all the time. Doing washing. And folding. And putting away. We run out of bread and milk, nappies and formula on a weekly basis – but never coinciding with the weekly shop and at crucial shit-explosion moments, or the breakfast rush.
I dish up ready meals, Ready meals!! I’m at home all the time. This shit is my job and I dish up ready meals. We never seem to have enough time (or calm) to fit in reading the school book every night. I should be devising word games and *crazy* maths challenges to get those intellectual juices flowing through my 5 year olds head. Instead we get our interior design heads on with their Sylvanian world, and cut up Kinetic sand.
I am getting better at remembering own clothes days and those super fun random music shows that the school seem to enjoy springing on us. Clearly the parental form of SATs. So maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps the first 5 years of being a professional parent is just your probationary period.