The sorry/not sorry mummy
A tantrum in public is a WMD in a toddler’s arsenal in the battle of wills against mummy.
The other day My Little Toddler (MLT) and I were meeting friends at the South Bank. What is normally a jovial 15 minute bus ride became an arduous expedition: a groundhog of a journey spent explaining and apologising.
MLT was exhausted but refusing to nap. He had decided he wanted to walk to our destination. Except he couldn’t decide between being adamant that he wanted to walk or inconsolable if he wasn’t being carried. Oh and he didn’t want to walk-he wanted to run, especially across roads.
So MLT had to go in his pushchair and as it was getting late, we took the bus. The two outcomes the tired toddler didn’t want. You could almost hear him scanning through his weapons inventory and deciding to pull out the big guns.
1:34pm MLT put in the push chair and we get on to the bus.
1:34pm The crying started.
1:34pm and 3 seconds
“Why is your baby crying like that?”
It was a mother who we knew from playgroup. A mother of two toddlers. As I rolled off my explanation-“He hasn’t taken his nap and so he is exhausted but he has decided that he wants to walk to the river…”– I couldn’t help but wonder why a mother would ask such a stupid question. What answer was she expecting?
But it wasn’t the most ridiculous thing I heard. I was informed by a concerned pensioner that my child was really upset. As I rolled off my explanation-“He hasn’t taken his nap and so he is exhausted and he has decided that he wants to walk to the river…”– I couldn’t help but wonder if the kindly old gent really thought that I hadn’t realised that the child in my arms was in fits of (tantrum) tears.
I appreciated the understanding nods of support, passing smiles and brief distractions that passengers offered MLT and they fuelled my continued need to apologise and explain. But when a women came and sat next to me and practically tried to take my child out of my arms- I became the unapologetic mummy. I wonder, if I looked different (or even more similar to the her) would this complete stranger still have found it completely acceptable to infringe on my personal space uninvited?
A couple of minutes more passed and MLT settled. I had distracted him with a passing aeroplane and a remixed rendition of twinkle twinkle little star. Interestingly the women’s (who previously was so desperately eager to help) expression had changed. Rather than looking happy that MLT was now content she actually looked annoyed. I had not needed her help.
Toddlers throw tantrums over the most ridiculous things. But it doesn’t sound like they are crying about not being allowed to wash their hands in the unflushed toilet or not being allowed to touch the naked flame on the hob or run in the road. It sounds as if they are being maltreated by the evil overlord who is trying to soothe their cries… and I understand that. But they are just having a tantrum because that’s how toddlers express themselves. So if there is a clearly concerned parent/carer trying calm the child you need not worry that the child is in serious danger.
So please do not be offended if you see me and my toddler is throwing a tantrum and I don’t offer you an explanation as to why he is crying. He is a toddler, he is throwing a tantrum that’s just what they do.
*Supportive nod to all the parents of toddlers having tantrums in public places
Polite ways your friends tell you your baby is fat.
How many times have you had to politely smile, nod your head or feign interest when the village (well meaning friends and family members) comment on your baby’s weight? As I take him to get weighed regularly I know that he is perfectly within his “percentile”, tracking along nicely, but this of course is irrelevant, amateur expert opinions dominate conversation.
Annoying as it is at times, I have to admit hearing the creative multitude of euphemisms and round about ways villagers use to broach the tubby bubby topic makes me chuckle. (Very discreetly of course, as I nod my head and look concerned). So being it’s a long weekend and I clearly have a lot of spare time on my hands today, I decided to order them on a scale of intensity from Mild Adoration to Severe Concern and share them and hopefully a giggle with you.
Do you have any to add to the list?
Going cray cray in Sweden
Ahhhhh what a difference a break makes! The bubba and I escaped to Sweden for a week.
Housed in a beautiful summer house just outside Stockholm, our hosts brought the warmth and quirky humour of the Swedes to life.
…the bubba literally discovered that food grew on trees and tried to appreciate (pronounced eat) every blue berry he could find!
But of all the sights of Stockholm and peace of nature, my most cherished moment occurred after an arduous night time toddler tantrum. My host sat me down and reassured “We’ve all been there…” Then fed me Cray Fish and Cider.
Life is good.
Anyone in London in September should attend The London Crayfish party if you too need a little relief from daily life. Be prepared for crayfish, vodka, and silly hats and Swedish drinking songs.
And to get you in the mood…
“I don’t think you’re ever to young to learn about how society works. All children have a keen sense of what is fair and what isn’t and it’s easy to harness this along with their natural inquisitiveness to talk about why some people have opportunities and material goods and others don’t.”
The story is based around two children Alex and Evie. Alex’s parents support the Stripy Party and Evie’s the Spotty Party. No spoilers however, you’ll simply have to read the book to find out who wins.. The story uses simple language and child friendly illustrations to introduce key aspects of the election process including canvassing, voting and results night. The Election is a great conversation starter for parents and teachers to introduce political concepts to the future rulers of the world.
10 very undisney baby moments
I should probably state very clearly at the beginning of this blog I love being a mummy and how it has changed my life and of course my little one means EVERYTHING to me. Now that I have made that perfectly clear, lets cut to the chase..
Common to most Mums To Be, I savagely devoured every book, magasine, and website about pregnancy and parenting that I could lay my chubby little hand on. Even so, for the first few weeks I often found myself fretting whether something was “normal” and would end up spending hours trawling the internet for reassurance and relief. Was it just me or had those books censored out the “Not So Disney moments”?
So I’m defying the censors! Here are my top ten “Not So Disney” moment experiences, those random things that have kept me amused, confused and bemused over the past couple of weeks as a new mum.
Please feel free to add yours in the comments and reassure me I’m not alone 😉
1) The Circle of Life
Newly born babies do not look like they do on the TV. Oxytocin had blinded me to the white slime and blood splattered across Our Little One’s body BUT his head shape startled me. The distaughted conical shape of his head was concerning simply because no one else seemed to acknowledge it. Were they just being polite? No, they were just aware that this Not So Disney moment would pass and was part and parcel of birth. Unaware of how his fleeting looks would change, my main thought was that he was healthy, a mothers love is boundless. My son was this beautiful grey baby; covered in blood, white slime and slicked back hair covering his conical head and I loved him to pieces.
2) Shadow Land
Our Little One was born with a full head of black curly hair, fuzzy arms and legs and we watched (practically) his eye lashes grow within the first 24 hours…. But not one lash on his brow. This seems pretty insignificant but a 5 0’clock shadow over your first son’s eyes for the first couple of months is a slightly distracting sight.
3) Can you paint with all the colours of the wind?
Ante natal classes were brilliant for showing me how to wind my little one correctly, but never did they mention that- ahem- the wind would blow from Northern and Southern directions. Previously, it was inconceivable that such a loud noise could originate from something so cute and little. Although rather amusing (accept in public when suspicion naturally falls on me – and is almost 50% of the time misplaced), OLO’s gas became so excessive that I had to change my diet completly. Bizarrely it was all the healthy options that were the worse culperits.. greens, brocoli, onions, chick peas.. Yep Pizza O’clock.
4) The Bare Necessities
In the first couple of days of life bowel movements are one of the few obvious ways of telling whether a newborn is ‘thriving” or not and so naturally we were on instant nappy watch. Now the consistency, colour and range of baby poop is well documented but the regularity not so! Our Little One went for three days without passing, and I kept worrying until I hit the parenting forums and discovered that even up to four days is perfectly normal! Never had I imagined I’d become a nappy stalker, willing him to soil his nappy just so I was reassured that everything was working fine.
5) Friend Like Me
We spent a fair amount on time and molah decorating the nursery, buying all those eye catching educational toys and wall stickers. But OLO loves nothing more than staring at a blank wall, ceiling, window, shadow, the metal bracket that holds up the expensive educational toy etc. It must be pretty cool when EVERYTHING is a brand new hypnotising experience for you to explore, ok that’s a Disney moment, I can feel a song sequence brewing as I type.
6) By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Sleeping through the night is a myth. The Not So Disney truth is that “sleeping through the night” actually means sleeping for a period of 5-6 hours. Pre baby that would have been a sign of a good night out, now that’s considered a good night’s sleep. That said OLO has recently managed to “sleep through the night” and it did feel marvelous. How things have changed.
7) Let It Go
Planes fly low over head, pneumatic drills pound the pavement outside, Guy Falkes Night firework displays light up the night sky and still OLO will stay fast asleep. That is until I sneeze. OLO’s selective hearing is incredible, his timing comedic, although most of the time he is the only one who seems to be laughing 😉
8) Under the sea
The first night we laid OLO in his crib all I wanted to do was watch him sleep and listen to him breathe. If I had known that babies breathing patterns can include ten second pauses this experience may not have been so traumatic. Turns out after swimming about in a sac of water for nine months, baby lungs don’t have much on the job experience. For the first couple of weeks breathing regularity was more novelty than function.
9) A Whole New World
The first couple of weeks in OLO’s social calendar was fully booked. What with midwife, doctor, health visitor, and immunisation appointments; and friend and relative visits, OLO was very much the baby about town. However, the unDisney truth is newborn babies have their own plans and from the moment they are born they then become your plans. You cannot rush a newborn you will miss that 9 am doctors appointment and you will breastfeed your baby in a public place.
10) Hakuna Matata
For all his strange smells, sounds and eccentricities OLO makes my heart explode with joy, pride and love. The amount of love and happiness he has brought into my life is overwhelming! Never could I have known how amazing being a mother would feel. Ok – that is also a very Disney moment, but you knew this blog post had to have a happy ending 😉
Aunty why is your baby a monkey?
Maybe the parental joy and pride of the first ultrasound is lost on a beautiful five year old little niece who loves Hello Kitty, Doc Mc Stuffin and believes Mc Donald’s is a farmer.
There again I have to admit that the idea of a mini human growing inside me right now is just as bizarre. Inside my body there are two heartbeats and two brains simultaneously working independently together.
Seriously nature is incredible…
I’m sure all first time M2bs enjoy this stage of wonderment, awe and general disbelief but for me it’s just hard to believe that it’s really happening.
Soon, the proof of this journey will be in my arms and maybe I’ll look back at this post and smile.