Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Stoke Pride - Schools Out!


Schools out!! It’s been out for four days now and the plan to make sure we leave the house to participate in a constructive activity every single day of the holidays has not quite got off the ground! So far the school holidays have consisted of

·      Attending Stoke Pride (grown-ups not kids) and getting very drunk for the hen party of two of our gorgeous friends, Jodie and Katie. They are due to marry each other in September and we are super excited to be part of their special day.

 

·       Replacing Sunday lunch with a trip to McDonalds, a treat for the kids and nothing to do with the hangover from hell!

 

·        Disney DVDS, I’m actually watching the princess and the frog for the third time today whilst writing this and Leo and our princess our nowhere to be seen.

 

·        My favourite…… Cleaning spaghetti bolognaise off the walls and floor after the babies decided they were not keen on eating it!

 
Because I want our 7 year old to have more to report back to school than just food disasters and his parents alcohol habits, I am going to (try to)  plan some amazing days out.

I did ask both Leo and our Princess what they would like to do over the next seven weeks if they could choose anything. Leo made a list a few pages long which consisted of various outings including Disney World, going inside a space rocket, a visit to the beach and a lake, so I am going to plan our days out based on his suggestions! I will report back and let you know how successful I was at keeping all four children entertained over the summer!

Our Princesses response to what she would like to do was simply ‘PARTY!!!’
 


 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Tantrums, Toads and Tiaras!

Two is a fantastic age for your child to be! I am able to have the most amazing conversations with my little girl who is two, my favourite one over the last few days was how Cinderella stole her dress and ran to the monkeys in the wood!!! As well as the amazing insights into her mind, I am also seeing her develop a unique sense of style as she enthusiastically puts her outfits together in the morning! She is becoming a strong headed independent and curious little girl and watching her grow up is an honour.

Our Princess!

It’s not all princesses, loveliness and sparkly things though as a mother of a seven year old boy  I have already survived the crazy tantrum times of a  two year old and have come out the other side relatively sane and our boys tantrums were bad, really bad!

Everyone who has a child around the age of twenty months old will at some point describe how their child has hit the ‘Terrible Twos’ stage early. This is what parents actually believe. This is what I actually believed!! When my first child our little boy was around eighteen months old, I would find his resistance to eat his breakfast or sit in a high chair an indication that the terrible twos had hit our home. What was actually happening was Mother Nature giving us a very gentle insight into what was to come.

By the time our boy reached two and half the tantrums were in full swing. As a first time Mum I had absolutely no clues as to how to handle a child who seemed to have the ability to let the whole city hear how upset he was! I took advice from my Mum, Health Visitor and even watched ridiculous parenting programmes. I call them ridiculous but I am sure their strict routines and punishments worked if you had a spare fifty hours in the morning before you went to work to implement them to a screaming child.

The hardest tantrums were without doubt the morning ones! I would never give myself extra time in the morning to deal with them, I would just convince myself that the next day would be better. Nothing ever seemed to be right for my little boy and these were just a few of the morning triggers

He didn’t want to brush his teeth.

He didn’t want me to brush his teeth.

He didn’t like his socks, his cereal bowl, his cereal, his clothes, his hair, his bloody bag!!!!

He didn’t want to get dressed and by this I mean he point blank refused. Now you may think a grown woman in her late twenties would be able to outsmart a two year old child and somehow be able to get him dressed in a suitable state for him to attend nursery….. You would be wrong! He would go as stiff as a board, he would scream and roll around on the floor. I used to use every tiny bit of energy I had to attempt to dress him and I would manage to get his leg into his trousers and then he would take them off again. I sometimes got his top over his head and again off it would come!

The other thing I would do would be to bribe him. On one particular morning I had managed to get him half dressed, his other clothes thrown into a carrier bag to hand to the nursery staff, but I could not get him to sit in his car seat he just would not sit!. Other than tie him to the roof of the car and drive to him to nursery or carry him over my shoulder I had no clue what to do. I was flustered, late and annoyed so the bribery started! ‘I will give you sweets’ …… ’Noooo’ he screamed ‘a new toy??’ Nooooo he screamed even louder! So I told him that Mummy had a big piece of chocolate cake in her bag and if he was to get in his seat, he could eat the yummy cake on the way! He sat in his seat ‘where’s my chocolate cake mummy’ he asked ‘There is no cake you naughty boy’ I shouted and slammed the door! To which he replied ‘That’s ok mummy I know you didn’t mean to deceive me I understand why you did it and I am going to be well behaved from now on.’

I wish!!

He screamed and screamed and screamed all the way to nursery and when we got to nursery he stopped. Yeah that’s right he stopped. No more screaming

I also have a supermarket tantrum that stands out in my mind, well it was in Boots actually. He wasn’t keen on shopping and he kicked and screamed as soon as I started to get him out of the car. He was obviously hoping I would feel too embarrassed to even enter a shop, let alone walk up and down aisles with him in this state. I was not giving in to him, I was not giving in to a two year old, I was determined to win this one! I was going to purchase conditioner and waxing strips if it killed me!!! I entered the shop with him in under my arm kicking and screaming. I was determined. He struggled out of my arms and grabbed onto my foot so as I was walking I was dragging him along the floor. I could shop like this, it felt perfectly acceptable until two elderly women walked past and mumbled something about how some people don’t deserve children. I was completely mortified I dropped my basket and spent the next thirty minutes attempting to put him back into his car seat! I drove to my Mums house where he turned into a golden child within seconds of falling through the door! I lost again!

Our little Princess hasn’t got to our boys standards yet she’s doing pretty well though. She’s defiantly not as fussy when choosing her subjects to tantrum about. Over the last few weeks the strangest tantrum has come from when I asked her if she would like a piece of cake, I was been serious this time! I asked her 'Do you want some cake Princess' and she threw herself onto the floor kicking and screaming I was baffled so I asked her again, she kicked and screamed ‘no cake!!!’ What the hell??? I was offering her one of her top 5 favourite things in the world and she was having a meltdown about it!! It was bloody hilarious I couldn’t stop laughing the more I laughed the more she screamed and kicked the floor. Laughing at your children is not a good way to deal with a tantrum and almost certainly something you should avoid in public but it did bring some humour to my day!

A lot of my fellow Mummy friends often believe that I know what I am doing when it comes to parenting obviously because I am the mother of four children! This is often not true and certainly not true when it comes to tantrums. With our boy I got through and came out the other side and I discovered making false promises only adds fuel to the flames but I still do it! I have learned how to cope with tantrums and sometimes avoid them however I do think that two year olds tantrums are just a part of life and no matter how many times you watch re runs of super nanny you’re not going to find the answer.
 
Our Little Prince!
 
When you’re in the thick of the tantrum phase and they are occurring almost on a daily basis you can’t imagine that life is ever going to be ‘normal’ again, but they do get better we have a lovely respectful seven year old that is living proof that naughty little toads do turn into charming little princes! The trouble is we have got another three toads that still need transforming before we get our happily ever after!!
 
 

 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

A Serial Killer in my Parking Space!


A Couple of weeks ago I made the somewhat brave decision to go and do some food shopping with our Princess and the babies. Of course I am not confined to the house when I am alone with our youngest three children but trips out are usually limited to the park or play area. Anyone who has a two year old knows that there is something about supermarkets and toddlers that don’t mix well, as soon as they walk through the front door they turn into some horrible, unrecognisable creature who most suffering parents would be happy to deny all knowledge of! This was probably not my best decision and anticipating the possible outcome of this trip put me in a questionable mood before I had even left the house.   

It was early on a Friday afternoon. We pulled onto the car park of our local supermarket it was ridiculously busy. I drove to the parent and child bays but they were all full!

 
Great!!!!

Not only that in one of the bays a van was parked, a man was getting out… on his own!! No child!!!! I was fuming and really felt I needed to tell this inconsiderate man how annoyed I was. My plan was to shout to him through my open window…

‘Excuse me, what do you think you are doing, I have three babies with me and we need this parking space’

I didn’t shout. I stopped myself what if he was a serial killer or some kind of gangster (A bit of a random thought pattern I know but one I learned as a child when my Nannar would convince me and my sister that every single person beyond the garden gate was a child snatcher) I then had the fabulous idea of taking a picture of his van and uploading it to Facebook with an explanation of his inconsiderate actions! But quickly thought against it just to be on the safe side!      

I pulled off and continued to drive around the busy car park trying to find a parking space for this horrendous, huge car that we have. That’s another thing on my ‘most annoying list’ our car! It’s more like a bus, parking it is a nightmare and Mr S notices every little scratch.   The Babies were starting to get restless and our Princess was getting agitated and wanting out of her seat. I found a couple of spaces at the far end of the car park and yes even with my questionable parking skills I would have been able to fit in them but I defiantly would not have had enough room both sides to get the babies out and there was also no place for me to safely put the buggy whilst I was transferring the babies from the car.

The next time you drive to the supermarket and decide to park in a parent and child space because you’re only going to be a couple of minutes or you only need a pint of milk or a loaf of bread, spare a thought for Mums and Dads like me who have just spent the morning trying to leave the house only to arrive at our destination to discover it’s almost impossible to leave the car!

Parent and child spaces were not designed because parents become lazy when they have had children and can’t be bothered to walk an extra few steps to the entrance. They are needed by parents. The extra-large spaces allow you to load and unload your toddlers or babies safely in and out of the car and they are usually closer to the entrance in order to avoid small children crossing a large car park. They provide the much needed extra room to erect buggies and have enough space around the car for your child to sit in their buggies without being in the path of oncoming traffic.

Baby and Toddler spaces are a godsend to me and thousands of other Mums and Dads across the country. They are one of those little things that makes life just that little bit easier. We need those spaces so please leave them for us!!!
 
And just in case you were wondering I did manage to get my shopping done that afternoon. After collecting my mum from work I pulled into the drop off point just outside the entrance of the supermarket and left her in the car with the children while I quickly got my essentials. I was only gone a few minutes! Surely that’s allowed? Right?