I was chatting with my friend the other day, about dealing with ‘The Change’.
Not of the menopausal kind you understand, more of the two and three year old variety.
You know, the one where one day they are all sweet, and innocent and telling you how beautiful you are and the next where THEY HATE THE WORLD, AND ALL WHO LIVE IN IT, AND THEY WILL NOT EAT THEIR SODDING DINNER (even though you carefully and gently made sure to tailor it to their specific *dietary requirements at that precise moment. *sausages again) OH, AND HERE’S A KICK ON THE SHINS AND A SQUEAL IN YOUR EAR, JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT. One of those Jekyll and Hyde combos?
I really hope it’s not just me, or I’ve done some seriously crap parenting between the ages of two and four. Three times.
I nearly daren’t say it, but I think for the most part we are on the other side of this wide tantrumy river. Although Annie did have an apocalyptic meltdown on Mr M in Toys R Us a few months ago. Over the non-purchase of a doll I believe. He is still a tiny bit traumatised by it all, and twitches a little when he speaks of it.
Toys R Us incurred PTSD – now there’s a headline.
But it got me thinking, that chat (thanks Lis!) about how unaware I was, when they were babies, of all that was to come. How I looked at those little babygrowed, swaddled bundles snoozing, and wondered how I ever could shout at them, or be pushed to my limits.
What an idiot.
Perhaps it’s good that we don’t know.
So…in that vein, take note all you first time mummies and daddies of gorgeous, round faced bundles of one-year-old loveliness. Here’s what’s a-comin’… (mwah hahaha)
Things parents of terrible twosers and threenagers really should know.
*Not a complete guide. (the brats are still working on ways to outwit us)
1. You will be able to do nothing correctly. Every choice you make, even if they have contributed, will be wrong. Walk away from confrontation if you value your ear drums my friend. Walk away.
2. You are going to encounter more poo. Potty training does NOT mean less hassle. Ditto, Wee. Likewise, your relationship with public toilets will become special and longlasting. Armour up folks – hand sanitiser and a Dettol wipe. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
3. That child you have? The one who eats shellfish, and duck a l’orange and loves a bit of Asian fusion? Overnight they will be replaced by one who favours a diet of carrots. Just carrots. And mashed potato, but only if it’s contained in a skin of a) fried coating or b) breadcrumbs. And even then they reserve the right to pick the potato out.
4. They will save all their best tantrums for public places. I mean, if you’re gonna’ put on a show, you want a decent audience, right? Tread carefully peeps, a calm morning at home does not always mean a respectable afternoon shopping trip. They’re conserving their energy for a bit of squealing and shoe-throwing down the freezer aisle.
5. Treat Quiet with suspicion. Always.
6. Afternoon naps will almost certainly always be refused. Arguments will ensue, squealing will occur, sleep will not be had. And then they’ll fall asleep face first in their dinner at 5pm.
7. Snacks will be asked for, oh, pretty much constantly. NOTE: the definition of ‘snack’ is something containing chocolate or E numbers. Fruit and raw vegetables do not apply. And any sort of ‘dip’ will incur that WTF look. And possibly end up down your wall.
8. Disney / Pixar / Barbie movies will become an essential part of everyday life. Your eyes will begin to glaze over the moment the opening sequence of Barbie: The Princess and the Popstar begins. Fight it. You will be asked to recreate several scenes at a later stage, and receive an interrogation if you can’t recite the ‘castle scene’ word for word.
9. There will be a favourite toy. Out of the whole cuddly toy emporium residing in the bedroom / playroom / bathroom THIS will be the toy that goes missing at bedtime. Learn from a veteran – buy spares!
10. Before you know it they’ll be four, and torturing the pre-school teachers instead, and you’ll kinda hanker after these ‘innocent’ days (ha!).
Trust me, I’m a survivor.