Tantrums, Tears and Mayhem

So…the threenage months are proving somewhat trickier than the terrible twos.

In a nutshell, we are living in a battleground – it’s like trench warfare out here: the gunfire starts around 6am and the ceasefire commences around 7pm – what happens in between can only be described as a whirlwind of untidy mayhem, fierce tantrums, tumultuous tears and cries of joy, anger, laughter, frustration and pleasure mixed with NO, STOP, COME HERE, LISTEN & AAAAAGGGGHHHHHH! I wish I could say this was all emitted from the 3 year old, but I hate to admit there are murmurings of unrest from the thirty somethings too…yes I know we should know better…!

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Here’s what I’ve learnt so far about life with a 3 year old:

  • that’s one mixed up little individual – a myriad of emotions all seem to be clattering around at once with a rather limited understanding of what they mean or how to express them (other than zooming around the living room at 89mph refusing to ***READ ANYTHING MUMMY ASKS HIM TO DO***)
  • he requires more tlc than ever – the one with the most patience (I thought I had lots – computer says NO!) holds the greatest power in this battle – at this point it turns out it’s Mr Tum…who’d have thought it?!
  • he just wants to play, albeit with a bra tied around his waist flying out behind him as his ‘superman tail’, but playing is still his number one priority despite it seeming to be winding mummy up. He also likes ‘helping’ in the kitchen A LOT and filling and emptying a variety of vessels with any liquid he can get his hands on – bath time is surprisingly calm – is it wrong to be bathing him 3 times a day?!?!
  • Forget any of the following strategies: REASONING, CO-OPERATION, POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT, we even tried the pretty controversial TIME OUT (a gentle version with the ‘thinking spot’ – yeah right think about the next act of monkey business!) – not a lot works and what worked 20 minutes ago may not be well received now – it’s a minefield and we’re still working through it. To be honest, bribery is our current ‘if all else fails’ go to – I can see this ending in more tears!
  • it’s still worth it – it might not feel like it at 6pm when the witching hour commences but he’s still worth every gasp, tear and sigh.

So excuse me now – I must retire to rebuild my energy…battle set to recommence in circa 8 hours!

Blown Away

Sometimes, the tiniest of moments, the fewest of words, the slightest of looks just blow me away!

Tonight was one of the those times – “You’re just the best mama I’ve ever seen.”

Just those few flippant words, right on bedtime, as my little man was drifting off to sleep, were enough to melt my heart and make me hug him a little tighter before he’d completely entered dream world. Don’t they just do it to you every time?!

And usually, after the most testing of days!

I read something yesterday that made me smile:

What little words of toddler wisdom have blown you away recently?

 

An Open Letter to my Baby…now you are 3!

Dear Noah

Wow – you’ve recently turned 3! I really am not too sure where the last 36 months have gone.

Let’s rewind 4 years – we were in the middle of a house move at this time, April 2013 and what they say is true – new house, new baby.

I became pregnant with you in July 2013. I knew you were in my tummy really early and I showed daddy the pink line (you’ll understand this once you’re older) on a Saturday morning in August 2013. He was so happy – tentative because so much could still go wrong – but so happy!

Telling auntie Linny was easy, she was expecting it! She made mummy take another test, just to double check and there it was – in numbers and words – 3-4 weeks pregnant! This is what we used to tell nanny and grandad “me” (your current name for them). They were over the moon – also a little tentative of course – but ecstatic, nanny and granddad “woof woof” too!

Those first 3 months were full of excitement – we took you on your first holiday when Photo 11-04-2014, 06 48 43you were just the size of a poppy seed – only to north Wales but it was a fab few days – with daddy and nanny and grandad Me. Things got a bit tricky when you’d been inside mummy for about 12 weeks but we got through it and although mummy had to go to hospital lots of times for them to keep checking you while I was pregnant, you arrived safe and sound at 12:19am on a Friday in April 2014 weighing a tiny 5lbs 9oz.

I had to have a little operation to get you out in the end so it was daddy who held and cuddled you first – both mummy and daddy got to see you quickly as the midwife showed you to us, but daddy had to look after you while the doctors made mummy better after having you.

Daddy cradled you for a long time while you both waited for mummy – he told you how special you were, he told you how much we both loved you and how we were both going to look after you the best we could. Eventually, once mummy was pushed into the room, out little family of 3 was complete.

There have been other people along the way who continue to hold a special place in your heart and who certainly hold you very dear in their hearts – nanny and grandad me, nanny and grandad woof woof, auntie Linny and uncle Dan and Uncle Nick. They were there from the start and continue to be a huge part of your life right now.

So let’s fast forward, quite quickly, because there’s a lot to cram in from the last 3 years!

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Unique Dude!

You grew, and grew! You rarely slept! You didn’t do what any of the baby books said you’d do – you are a beautifully unique, defiant, independent, stubborn, happy, loving, amazing little man and we could not be more proud of you. I hope, if you want to, one day you will experience life asPhoto 01-08-2015, 16 09 57 a daddy – you’ll find out it’s the hardest job in the world (along with being a mummy of course!) but it’s the most rewarding – you never cease to amaze us every single day – you make us laugh, cry, melt, gasp and wonder at every thing you do and say.

 

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Our lives without you would be less bright, less joyful, less rewarding – in fact though the last 3 years have gone in a flash, I can barely remember a time when you weren’t an amazing part of our lives. My goodness you keep us on our toes, now as much as ever –the sleepless nights have been replaced by early mornings (and sometimes late nights!), Photo 24-10-2016, 14 42 26fun-filled (and sometimes rather stressful!) days – usually involving a stick of some type, den-building, climbing something you shouldn’t and of course picking up frogs and worms and mud and anything else you really probably should leave well alone!

Your inquisitive little mind is forever questioning things – right now you have so many questions, mostly starting with where and why, which we try to answer as best we can though sometimes it’s difficult to provide you with the detail you insist upon! Your words and sentences are coming on too – you have an ever-expanding vocabulary which amazes us and you are trying so hard to put together your ideas and sometimes it’s still a little tricky to understand everything you are saying.

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Catching Frogs

I especially love how cross you become when we don’t quite get what you are saying and you get louder and then shout it at us as though you’re in a foreign country and wish the natives to understand!

Life isn’t always so rosy – when you were just 14 months old, you were poorly, very suddenly and mummy and daddy didn’t know what had caused it. That was your first epileptic seizure – you’ve had a good few more since then, but we’re learning to live with you having epilepsy. You have a seizure every so often now thanks to the medicine you have to take every morning and every night which helps to stop you having too many. You know what, mummy and daddy have come to realise this is just part of you – you have this condition, which you may or may not grow out of, but we’ll deal with it – we’ll do whatever we can to make it easy for you to live with it; you’ll be fine!

So what else have mummy and daddy learnt from the last 3 years? We’ve learnt that life is unpredictable. Life doesn’t follow a set of rules or guidelines. You can develop routines but they have to change every so often. Life can be great but there are a fair few curve balls thrown your way which you must find a way to overcome – it’s what makes you appreciate the great times! Life as a mummy or daddy, as I’ve already said, is the hardest job in the world – you’re on call 24/7 – in the last 36 months, mummy and daddy have been your carers, your nurses, your chefs, your cleaners, your taxi drivers, your playmates and your champions – we encourage you to become the best little human you can be, we cheer you on to succeed in every challenge you try to overcome and we pray that you will be happy along whichever path life takes you.

Most importantly, mummy and daddy have been your teachers – we’ve tried and we continue to try to teach you right from wrong every day, we teach you it’s ok to make mistakes and we teach you how to overcome them, we teach you that life isn’t always fair but that it’s ok to feel frustrated with that, we’re teaching you how to evolve into the amazing little man you are becoming. And you know what, you’re teaching us an awful lot more than you could ever realise – you’re teaching us how to be a good mummy and daddy – we are better people for being your mummy and daddy and for that we will be forever in your debt!

So, now you are 3 and we’re about to embark on the next few steps in our journey – the 3 of us together. Just around the corner is nursery school – 5 mornings a week in school with other people trying to teach you. But I want you to remember no matter who is in your life, no matter who is trying to teach you, care for you, encourage you, knock you down, help you up, support you, be there for you, love you, there will be no-one more focused on you than your mummy and daddy.

You, Noah, are our world and we will always be here for you.

xxx

TODDLER TIMES

So, we’ve got ourselves a toddler! Actually, technically now, I think he’s deemed a pre-schooler, as he’s just turned 3 – where did those gee-whizz years go? But that means I have a fair amount of toddler trials, tribulations and tantrums to share, which may just offer you the tiniest sliver of reassurance that you’re not alone; the craziness of toddlerhood hits everyone (erm, I think?!? Though I’m pretty certain our first-born, a free spirit, wild and now ‘three’ does have his own style which does occasionally seem a little out there!)

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Young, Wild and Three

Still, we’re through the terrible twos (yeah, right, ‘cos we just turned the switch off overnight in early April!) and you know what? Like the way you get through the mind-numbing, newborn exhaustion (which, btw, takes months if not years to overcome, oh wait, I’m still not convinced you ever overcome it), or the way you smile sweetly at the horn-developing stropster, I mean toddler, refusing to sit in the Aldi trolley because there are no straps to hold them in place* while you shovel blueberries (read Babybell and chocolate buttons) into them, or even the speed at which you leave the garden centre soft play when your little darling rugby tackles 3 other kids (all of whom are taller and stockier than him which simply means it’s more of an achievement!), YOU DO MUDDLE THROUGH!

You cling on to every fun adventure, each gasp-inducing moment of joy, and the few minutes of peace between your little creation falling fast asleep (with the appearance of an angel, like butter wouldn’t melt) and you collapsing in a state of exhaustion, drooling as you start to snore, with your laptop sliding off your lap (after all, there’s still planning to get done for school!) – but these are the things that get you through!

And so, as our little man turns from toddler to teenybopper to, dare I say it, teen (it pains me to say teen – he’s my baby!), we’ll aim to share some of those things along the way. Happy journeying folks!

* After contacting Aldi in 2015 about there not being straps to restrain our little darlings in the child seats of trolleys (Noah was forever trolley surfing), I received a reply that it was not something they were planning on adding but would consider it for the future – thanks to a campaign (read about it here), they’ve now rolled them out on all trolleys – hurrah!