Coping with the demands of parenthood

I assume that most people probably hear the phrase ‘high demand child’ and think ‘come on, aren’t all children demanding?’, and yes, I presume that most kids will have high expectations of their parents and want/need a lot of stuff done for them on a day to day basis, however, I believe that the way my eldest son, JJ, is hardwired means that he takes ‘demanding’ to another level.

The thing is, he’s always been like this – as a baby he had colic and cried non-stop so I could never switch off and think about anything else. As a toddler he was unable to play imaginative games on his own and didn’t much like TV so I couldn’t do what other people seemed to be able to do and pop him down in front of cbeebies for five minutes while I had a quick shower or tune out with an hour cuddling up and watching a Disney movie (he’s still not much of a one for feature length movies).

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Good Dinosaur, good parenting?

good dinosaurI was on my own with the boys for a good proportion over the weekend and am happy to say that we made it through and even managed a few play dates with friends. I also decided in advance to have at least one scheduled ‘outing’ and, in the absence of anything really Christmassy going on I thought it might be fun to book us in for the latest Disney/Pixar offering at the cinema.

What I didn’t realise until we were sat in our seats chomping away on our popcorn was that The Good Dinosaur has a PG rating. EJ is only three. I was concerned, and with good reason.

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It’s the fort that counts…

Unexpected FortsThe other day I was alerted to just how bad a mother I actually am. My six year old had decided to play an impromptu game of hide and seek (there’s nothing like a small boy flying out at you from a dark corner when you’re least expecting it) and found his way down the side of the sofa in our back room (which doubles as a general dumping ground – lets not even mention the urinal in the corner). It wasn’t long before he re-appeared excitedly wielding a shiny white box with brightly coloured pictures on the side. “Mummy, what’s this, can we open it?!” he gushed as his little brother got in on the act, squealing with delight at the suggestion of *new toys*. “Put that back now!” I snapped – it was essentially a baby toy for 18 months plus which I’d picked up in a sale a few weeks ago to save for a friend’s son at Christmas.

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Mind your own ‘business’

Potty lion in dino pants

It’s that time isn’t it? Your child is rapidly approaching the age of three. Pre-school looms on the horizon like the gallows but instead of nooses hanging down there are brightly coloured potties and pants with monster trucks and dinosaurs dangling tauntingly as the bells chime… Other children at toddler groups, younger than yours have suddenly got much smaller bums. Time is running out.

I may have been lulled into a false sense of security by my eldest picking up half decent toilet habits within a couple of weeks of turning three. I never had to deal with a ‘code brown’ on the sofa, or a slow painful transition into and then out of ‘pull ups’ (essentially the equivalent of taking a broken leg out of a stiff cast and winding it up in ten layers of bubble wrap – I’m an all or nothing kind of girl).

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Parenting: the good, the bad and the ugly

JJ's flowerI’m not going to lie – today (Saturday) has been a tough one. I’ve been on my own with the kids (more or less – I had about 50 minutes off to run to Sainsburys in the middle!) for the whole of 12 hours (Hubster on late shifts). Some of my blogging friends met up for a fun lunch out in London today.

It was dry but mostly cloudy and cold out. I took them to a child-friendly pub for pancakes and syrup and some fun in the outdoor play zone in the morning. They were happy there for an hour and a quarter. After that things went somewhat downhill. I ended the day in tears feeling like I had shouted too much, not been mindful enough, let anger and disappointment and lonliness get the better of me.

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Imparting your knowledge to the next generation

numtums

The other day Reneé of Mummy Tries wrote a post in which she talked about the possibility of taking her daughter out of a formal school setting and home schooling instead. This made me ponder the idea too (in the idlest of ways).

I do worry about the way the government is taking schools and the National Curriculum, over- crowding because of the population explosion and the talk of a lack of pastoral care in favour of results and measurable achievements in some cases. When you factor in a parent’s natural fears about the possibility of bullying/ social pressures then the concept of home schooling definitely takes on a warm fuzzy glow.

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The Truth about… the unplanned weekend

The unplanned weekend

So I’m quite the old hand at this parenting lark these days. Unfortunately that doesn’t actually mean I know what the flip I’m doing at any given moment all the time. As bad luck would have it, I’m constantly being left on my own with small children (and sadly a degree in American literature is no qualification for dealing with the task of herding two full on, obstreperous little people). At no point, for example, has either child referred to naturalism in the novels of Mark Twain, and sadly, What Maisie Knew by Henry James hasn’t shed any light, for me, on what goes through a child’s mind (then again, my husband hasn’t left me for the governess yet – pah ha ha!!).

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My Sunday Photo: Ludo

Ludo

After what has been quite an unbelievably relentless period of obsessive introversion with the help of my Kindle tablet and Peppa Pig on You Tube, JJ has recently been introduced to the boardgame Ludo by his Grandma and cast aside advanced technology in favour of the live action dice rolling thrill of a real board game. It was nice to actually play a game like this with him, watching his excitment over rolling a six and listening to him confidently counting out his moves.

However, come Tuesday evening I soon realised that his obsessive nature was back – and this time it involved holding Mummy hostage to game after game and refusing point blank to go to bed!

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The Truth about…

Hello and welcome to the first ever edition of The Truth about… a chance for you to share whatever you want about whatever subject takes your fancy, the one rule being: no gloss allowed.

Too many of us get sucked into a cycle of self doubt when we read about the ridiculously glamorous and glitzy things our online friends seem to be up to all the time 😉 . In such circumstances, comparing ourselves to others really does suck the joy right out of our own windows – it’s true, I feel that this is a very post-modern phenomenon with regards social media.

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Wicked Wednesdays – come baaaaack!!

Scooting into the distance

That moment when you realise that you probably shouldn’t have given your two year old access to a very nippy scooter – as he disappears into the distance, heading rapidly for a massive pond…

Linking up with Wicked Wednesdays over at Brummy Mummy of 2!!

brummymummyof2