Creating a tailored reward chart

Reward chart finished article!

For a while now I’ve been thinking about the best way to encourage my kids to move to the next level with their behaviour and the way they think and act. To be fair to them (particularly JJ who is obviously no longer a threenager), they are generally good boys and can be sweet, loving and thoughtful. However we do have plenty of meltdowns – often when tiredness or hunger kick in, but there are certain issues which do come up time and again and it can be really hard to negotiate with a small child when they decide to be stubborn!

read more

An Ode to Three

three of heartsI don’t remember the ‘threenage’ years all that clearly with JJ although I was plunged into the newborn juggle at that point and I’m pretty sure there were some testing times! Just lately I have had the pleasure pain of a full re-introduction to just what the age of three can bring to the unsuspecting parent. One minute you’re minding your own business, going about the old routine, the clothes, the breakfast cereal, the inevitable choice of Cbeebies brain freeze, when bam! Out of the blue, displeasure, defiance and downright dissention rear their ugly heads.

read more

Further adventures in potty training

EJ on the jobI remember those early-ish days with JJ, my eldest, when me and my NCT friends began discussing the possibility of second children. We all knew that most siblings turn out like chalk and cheese so half of us got to feel a little bit smug while the other half laughed nervously and we all secretly crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

For my part, I just longed for a child who would be chilled, completely by-pass the five hour an evening colicky screaming session, sleep half decently and just be contented. Don’t get me wrong, I love JJ with all my heart but unfortunately I will never be able to look back on the baby days through rose-coloured spectacles. It was sheer hell.

read more

The Secret Tinkler

Secret tinkler

Yesterday was day number 8 in the further potty training adventures of EJ. Day 6 had left me traumatised after I happened to detect the familiar eau d’excrecment wafting in my general direction post –breakfast as several magnetic Chuggers and two engrossed children crossed my path. I had one of those anti-eureka moments when the rolodex of emotions in your brain suddenly clicks from ‘medium alert – nappy change gear up processing’ to ‘HIGH ALERT – Oh Sh*********t!!!!! Fire in the hole!’. Not only had he failed to recognise the signs or mention the nature of ongoing events in the pant-department but he had done so in *brand new* *pristine white* pants. FFS.

read more

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).

read more

No point crying over spilled Pantene…

Smashed screenDestruction: is it all boys? I’m lead to believe that it’s all boys, but I’m not 100% sure because, you know, some people with boys seem to manage to own things like glass terrariums without ever once considering the literally shattering outcome that might ensue at any given moment.

In the last week I’ve discovered my five year old’s Hudl face down next to the toilet like a particularly pissed up/hung over youth, smashed – literally smashed – across the screen. I have ‘scene of the crime’ bloodstains Ribena spatter across a once cream carpet. I have patted myself on the back for winning a particularly pleasant smelling bottle of bubble bath in a school raffle before realising that it was actually the entire contents of my (large) bottle of brand new Pantene conditioner floating in clumps across the surface of the bath like the last polar ice cap. (Thank F*&£ I gave up with salon touted brands years ago – three Smurfs floating on a Charles Worthington oil slick would have brought new meaning to the words ‘beyond pee’d off’).

read more

My life in servitude

As I was attempting to get myself ready for work this morning (after having brought the boys downstairs, got them two different kind of breakfasts and made sure they had the right TV programmes) I was summoned, mid-wash by a shrill demand for ‘dinks, mummy!’. I had literally been in the bathroom for about 15 seconds. It then occurred to me that I might as well have one of those old fashioned bell pull contraptions installed in my ‘quarters’ like the servants downstairs in the big house back in the olden days, as, essentially, and without realising it, I appear to have signed myself up for a long term contract as a domestic skivvy.

read more

Word of the week: unsettled


It’s been JJ’s second full week at big school. He seems to be taking it in his stride but just at the point where you think a new routine is bedding in, it seems that the dust is once again un-settling as tiredness creeps in. What started off as a pretty chaotic madcap pre-bed ‘routine’ has rapidly descended into the ninth circle of hell as JJ not only encourages his little brother to ignore me and defy my every wish but also seems to be possessed by the devil a little himself, kicking, screaming and seeming to relish this new found naughtiness.

read more

Wicked Wednesdays: when bedtime routines go bad…

I realise that this little montage shows everyone laughing and all good fun but by God it’s the most chaotic, nutty, manic time of day which inevitably ends in someone getting either head-butted, flying off the side of something and getting well bumped on the way down, my poor knees/tummy/boobs getting either elbowed, kicked or kung-fu chopped, tears and screaming, lots and lots of screaming. Then we all sit down together and read Each, Peach, Pear, Plum. Sigh.

Linking up to the fab Brummymummyof2 and Wicked Wednesdays.

read more