Little Crumbs

My toddler’s on strike…

I havn't written this post in a pathetic 'woe is me, feel free to pat me on the back and tell me I'm doing a great job' kind of way our lil' man is a healthy, loving, intelligent, beautiful mini person so I know deep down we are, like many parents we're just doing our best, I wanted to write it to say you know what this parenting lark is bloody well hard work! I'm realising admitting that doesn't make me a horrible mother a failure or ungrateful…just honest.

Fairly recently a writer I follow on Twitter Bibi Lynch (well worth following by the way) wrote a piece about whingey mothers tripping over the bags under their whingey tired eyes to meet with fellow whingey tired mothers to whinge into their latte's about how tired they are.

At the time of reading the article I was heavily pregnant with little lady, lil man would have the odd strop out of frustration but nothing I couldn't handle, I really felt for Bibi and other women in her situation, I strugled to understand the backlash she received on twitter for voicing her feelings and made a concious effort to be more sensitive to our friends struggling with fertility.

…it has been the most amazing blissful few weeks on so many levels, and I do realise how blessed we are to have 2 beautiful children that said I do find myself regularly joining the cue of whingey mothers *yawwwwwwns* with a full on caffeine crammed fat coke in hand.

Little lady's absolutely no trouble at all, she's a content, healthy happy beautiful baby, taken to feeding like a duck to water quite happy to sit in her own company, so it's not like I have a super clingy baby and I'm being pulled in all directions (those mums that are I am writing to queenie demanding you receive a knighthood toot suite!) and yet still i find leaving the house is a military operation, i make a real effort to not 'blame the baby' i try and get lil man out to do fun things irrelevant of the previous long night of feeding and missy's hiccups. What has happened however, is since Edie's arrival lil man has had a chat with his union reps and gone on toddler strike… (I knew something suspicious was going on with those boys huddled around the messy play at pre school)

He's just started to take a genuine interest in his little sister, which has been a work in progress of encouragement, quality time and giving him space. She's started smiling, and gurgling away it is just amazing to see him chuckle at her squeaks he watches her totally engaged, fascinated … Interested, interest it seems he has swapped for the interest he had in getting out the house in time for pre school, eating well, brushing his teeth without running around, walking holding my hand, sleeping anything that generally involves listening to me, all the things I took for granted we had down to a 'T' he's now refusing to do as a protest for having to share my attention and time….it is this that is hard work.

I am finding myself at the end of some days kissing him goodnight feeling that all I've done is bark orders at him frustrated, tired and begging him to listen to me…. This makes me feel awful, frustrated, tired and guilty…..oh the guilt.

I admit much to Mr G's annoyance I am one of those people that you bump into and I apologise, I worry about what people think of me (despite making new years resolution to myself to do less of that…failing) i thought the guilt I felt for accidentally deleting Mr G's 'Robson Green's Extreme Fishing' off the sky plus was pretty intense (if he'd have done that to Mad Men there would have been hell to pay) but wow, since becoming a mother I have felt guilty on all levels from forgetting to add lil mans favourite flavour smoothies to the shop to 'has my staying at home hindered his confidence'.

And now the recent guilt of feeling like the 'bad cop' when daddy gets home for the fun of bath time with bubbles, pirates and bedtime stories, I sit googling 'dealing with tantrums' looking to Jo Frost and Gina Ford books for advice on the transition for lil man to understand how he must feel what im doing wrong and what I can do to get my lil man back … This 'Damien' character is draining! I know its a phase and I know how I should deal with it, ignore him, take a deep breath and stay calm, not react or give in, but wow when he decides he isn't ready to leave the park and lays down on the path to let me know just how peed off with me he his…..oh joy of joys!

So any mums I may have seen in the past in supermarkets struggling with their toddlers having total meltdowns for no apparent reason, while I strolled by (probably stepping over them) with my lil 'butter wouldn't melt' man with an air of 'my lil angel wont behave like that'…I apologise for not giving you a knowing smile of support as now I am that mum …on regular occasions, lil man pops up his toddler strike picket line where ever he sees fit at parks, shops, car parks, soft play, restaurants….. Today he chose in the middle of the high street …literally the actual road… Because ..well …I have no idea in all honesty.

As I type this I'm half chuckling thinking back over the last few toddler strikes how unnecessary they were, how ridiculous we must have looked and I know it will pass in time, he's not a horrid child in the slightest. He has a gorgeous nature I adore him with every inch of my being, as I do his little sister, its just that he's 2 and well, some days it's blimmin well bloody hard work, so if some days I need a whinge to let out steam I apologise to Bibi and alike but feel free to 'La La La' in a playground manner over me, I'm just having a 'piss & moan' to save myself from rocking in a dark corner 😉 .

Ramblings ...

Daddy Day Care

Mr G was coming to the end of his paternity leave and with the glorious weather we've been enjoying lately we postponed our plans to take lil' man to the zoo and opted for a big soft play warehouse for him to let off some steam after experiencing that 'cabin fever' feeling you get when just had a new born.

This particular visit was quite refreshing for me, I got to sit and savour a Late while it was still hot… throwing in a slab of millionaire shortbread for good measure… Up until a few weeks before lil' lady arrived I was right in there playing with lil' man making up games, scrambling around enjoying his giggles at my hair going static in the ball pool and squeezing my backside through ridiculous spaces..followed by a styled out glance to make sure no one clocked just how much of an effort it was… *note to self to go easy on formentioned biscuit treat*

I can't be in that much of a minority as friends I go to soft play with are exactly the same, to sit and have a natter is only possible in the car on the way there and back or while the little ones are 'refuelling'. However whenever I go to these places without fail there will be a small child that will have a 'bump' will be bawling their poor little eyes out and you frantically look up for a concerned mother dashing towards them…..Urrrrm nope maybe she's popped to the loo or ordering food….urrrrrm nope….seeing to another sibling….Urrrrm nope, oh look there she is sat at the table in the corner cackling with her mates on her upteenth chocamocha all singing friggin dancing coffee oblivious.

Now don't get me wrong you can't have your eyes on your little ones 100% of the time, they're there to relax and enjoy themselves probably the last thing they want is 'over protective' mummy dear standing over them constantly reminding them to be careful (guilty as charged) but what gets my goat is such Mum's more than happy to clock that you're there and assume you'll 'babysit' their kids, passing a glance every now and again with a smile as little Jonny is telling you his life story, asking you millions of questions following you around staring at you and getting under your feet …generally in my experience desperately in need of mummy introducing his nose to a wipe…

Mr G was in full flow of playing 'Dinosaur' with our lil' man, looking on I sat taking in his histerics watching my boys spend some quality time together. Gradually over some time Mr G turned into the Pied blimmin Piper children flocking to join in the 'Dinosaur' game, before long lil' man was on the sidelines with awkward forced smile competing for his Daddy's attention, this broke my heart. I could be accused of being a selfish mean cow, but after lil man had had such an intense couple of weeks with little lady's arrival, my being away for a few days and a team of builders descending on his home I just wanted him to have some fun. Just him and his Daddy.

Perhaps I'm being over sensitive, uptight even but its how I felt. Mr G soon killed off the 'Dinosaur' and the crowd of little people he'd gathered dispersed, he and lil' man went off to build a tower instead, lil' mans face was a picture. Obviously people aren't mind readers and I didnt storm in all chief of the fun police telling small people to clear off it just left me a little disappointed, if this was an isolated event I genuinely wouldn't mind if anything encourage lil' man to enjoy himself with other children and be sociable, but it wasnt it seems to happen nearly every time. Which led me to think where were those kids parents to do the same? Do we not take our little ones to these places to have a good time, together, enjoy each others company not to assume others will keep them amused. If the boot was on the other foot, I'd feel compelled to ask Mr G equivalent if he minded, or ask if my little one was playing nicely… Surely?

On Daybreak this morning they were discussing 'disciplining other peoples children', These Soft Play places are a minefield of such politics. I for one don't believe it's my place to discipline anyone else's children, if they're in my care and they're naughty a firm telling may be required, or a gentle reminder to share toys I don't see an issue with, I for one don't want my children to grow up to be spoilt brats with no respect for others. I've had incidents where a child's got a bit rough in the ball pool with the smaller ones, or not letting others down the slide and have gently suggested with a smile and tilt of the head that maybe they don't do that, not sure what I'm more scared of them bursting into tears and looking like drill sargent mum telling off everyone in my path or thier mum storming over livid that id had the ordasity to imply precious little jonny 'wasnt playing nice'!.

Parks, soft play, even at a friends house I would expect out of respect a parent to come to me before taking it on themselves to discipline lil'man …which would be easy enough as I'd be right there, static hair, flushed and dishevelled, not off in the corner immaculate and surrounded by empty coffee cups having a gossip with the girls.