You give birth, you don’t sleep for months, brain cells dissipate..you think you’ve got through it, but then the Mum Fog descends and you start to forget to do everything….. 1. Shave You get to the swimming pool, you get into your costume and you […]
One of those questions which makes you wonder why they’ve asked it…. Recently I have had a similar conversation with several people at work. They ask me how I am doing, I usually say busy, and tired, they ask me how many days I […]
Nobody asks for a 2 year old. Nobody gets pregnant and thinks ahead 2 years.
Before, when I was thinking about getting pregnant, and when I was pregnant, all I thought about was babies. Little, chubby little babies. You know, the ones that giggle and laugh through nappy adverts. That’s as far as I could think. Just having the baby was something I could barely contemplate. Giving birth was my biggest fear.
Well, I’ve been there, and I’ve done that.
Not many people talk to you about after babyhood. Everyone loves to coo and goes bananas about babies, feeding, weaning, poo, wee, blankets, toys, winding, baby smells, lullabies – you catch my drift. Having a baby is a total shock, like drowning before being rescued and then taking a massive intake of breath as you wake up to this reality which is nothing like you remember. You wear heaviness like a blanket. But babies are babies, and eventually you do sort of get the knack, even if they throw you a curve ball.
As they get older, people, and advice, start to drift away. Which is nice, actually. Life goes from new to…normal. Having this little person is no novelty. It’s real. Everyone gets to know each other. Lines are redrawn. Lives are adjusted. Babies turn to toddlers. And they start to be….them. A personality, a character. Thoughts independent, unknown and secret. They have a will, and they want their way.
Suddenly, you look down at this little person, with a scarily large head, who’s actually talking to you, and it hits you, you wonder how this has happened at all.
You have a 2 year old. A person. This was all your own fault.
And this is the unchartered territory. This is the bit that I should’ve worried a bit about. When a 2 year old kicks off, no one is there quoting anything at you, you can’t think back to that antenatal class which showed you the correct position to rugby tackle your toddler as they run off in Sainsbury’s Car Park.
This is really when parenthood begins. She’s looking up to me and she thinks I know everything. And I have to pretend that I do.
I never really thought about what it meant to be a parent. The baby bit was all I could even imagine. To be here now, it’s wonderful, exciting, terrifying. I think I’m doing alright. I know there are books and TV shows and yes a lot of great blogs out there I can refer to, but nothing really prepares you for having a little person. Your little person. You just want to make everything perfect for them, and I’m sure, to them, it is.
But I’m cacking myself.
Screaming. Screaming high pitched and over and over again.
She’s not upset. When I walk up the stairs she has a great big smile on her face.
She’s challenging me.
I am trying my best to ignore. I don’t want to make it a game.
But in the car. In her cot. In her high chair.
It’s hard not to resort to wine, beer or in fact hard spirits. Headache looms and I can feel myself tense.
She knows what she wants to say, but she can’t find the words yet. Her mind must be jumble, a scrabble of words trying to make sense of this mad world.She will point and gesture wildly. She will grizzle and groan. It must be exhausting. I find it exhausting trying to interpret it all.
She finds boxes, and pulls everything out of them. She will rummage through my bag and pull out my purse and all my cards. She threw my shampoo down the toilet today. Little things chipping away at my mind, my soul.
She takes off her shoes and throws them out of her buggy. In my mind I feel like screaming too. Or throwing my shoes.
Yes. She challenges me.
But I must challenge her.
I talk to her, naming objects and singing songs.
Playing games, showing her new ways of doing things.
I give her new foods to try. I wipe her face when she doesn’t like it. I change her bum and make her wash her hair and brush her teeth.
I put her into her cot and tell her when to go to sleep. Sometimes we are early, sometimes we are late.
I stopped giving her a bottle. (She wasn’t drinking out of it at all but she still got very annoyed at me the first time her bedtime milk came in a cup).
When I think about it, I challenge her every day to learn, to grow, to be looked after.
So when she screams, I am trying not to get wound up. I still have a good glug of my wine and chocolate helps. It’s easy to get frustrated and agitated. But I’m trying my best to be calm and collected and to understand things from her point of view. She’s little, I’m not. She’s still figuring it all out – as am I but I guess I have a 30 year head start on her.
Because she can’t keep screaming like this forever. Can she?!
What do you do when you feel challenged by your children?
I am also linking up to the reading residence Word of a The Week as I think “Challenges” sums it up!
10 Survival Tips for the first few weeks of parenting For what it’s worth I have been compiling a list of Tips for surviving the first two weeks. This has made night-time feeds slightly more interesting for me, and I hope that someone may find […]