Growing Pains of Eva Barry aged 3 and 3/4

The other night at about 1am I was woken by my 3 year old crying out.  I rushed in to her bedroom to see what the matter was and she immediately stuck her leg out of the bed, thrust her foot into my face and demanded that I rub it better.

I spent 10 minutes massaging her foot, which seemed to ease her pain enough to let her drift into a sleep, but every time I tried to back out of the door, she woke up, yelling “Owh my foot, keep rubbing it mummy.” This continued for another 10 minutes before I eventually gave up and ran downstairs for the Calpol.

This is not a one off scenario. I’ve been woken up in the middle of the night many times in the same way. She always wants her feet or legs rubbed and it always ends in me giving her medicine.

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Bribery. What’s Your Weapon of Choice?

My youngest daughter, Eva will be 4 this summer. She can be sweet, affectionate and charming. But when she’s tired or determined to do something on her own, she can turn into a monster and things can get hellish.  If she’s in one of her moods, time outs don’t do anything. Just last night, I tried shutting her in her room so that we could both calm down after bath time went wrong. She howled in protest and when I refused to open the door then she called out, “I’ve done a wee on the carpet.” She’s done this before – using this tactic to provoke a reaction in me to open up the door which of course I did.

So what’s a mum to do? When threats don’t work and time outs are ignored? How can we discipline and encourage good behaviour?

Why, bribery of course!

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It’s Just A Phase

How many times, as a mother, have you heard these words?

Probably, just like me the answer is countless! At the age of 9 months, my youngest child went through an extremely clingy stage that lasted for months. I couldn’t even leave the room to go to the toilet without her screaming blue murder. She would become hysterical whenever she was left with another person even my husband or mother-in-law. We had to actually leave the childminder because she spent the whole time screaming for me to come back and the staff couldn’t work out what to do with her. “It’s just a phase,” said practically everyone as I almost drowned in my own tears of tiredness.

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How NOT to do The School Run

You might think that the trick of getting your child out the door and into school should be a relatively easy one right?

On the good days it can seem effortless to get everyone fed and dressed without too much whinging, out the door on time and deposited into school without any clinginess or crying. Then there are the more hellish weeks where everything goes wrong.

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Dealing with My Lack of Patience

Let me start by saying that generally I am impatient about most things. Impatient to get the kids out to school, impatient to hear back from a client about work, impatient to get the kids to bed, impatient to get the sodding decorating finished!

I may or may not have inherited this particular trait from my dad who is  not the most patient person I know either. But this week has seen my levels of impatience reach a new high (or should that be low?!).

Refusing to Get Dressed

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For some reason the youngest, who has always been chatty, over confident and loves pre-school, has now decided that she doesn’t want to go. Her avoidance tactics this week has ranged from refusing to get dressed, to hiding around the house when it’s time to leave the house. I’ve tried to deal with this calmly. I wish I was one of those jolly mums who laughs at such behaviour and joins in the game of hide and seek, but I inevitably end up losing my temper and insist on her getting dressed and going to pre-school because “I’ve got shed loads to do today!”

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Bah Humbug! 9 Reasons This Season Sends me Crackers

Before you all think I’m a complete Ebenezer, let me start by saying that I adore Christmas. I love spending time with family, seeing the kids faces as they get excited by the tree, the presents, the advent calendars and what not. I love the fact that it’s an excuse for more drinking, eating and partying with friends. BUT there is no doubt about it, this season is, quite frankly stressful! So here’s my list as to why this season sends me slightly crackers:

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5 Things that No Longer Embarrass Me and 5 Things that do

It has dawned on me recently that along with the big changes that happen in your life after having kids – you know,  like a permanent lack of sleep, being suddenly responsible for the life and survival of a new human being and err… watching more kids TV than your own programmes, there are other smaller changes that affect us as parents. Things that used to embarrass me, no longer bother me at all. And likewise, things that I never thought about much, now seem to take on a new meaning in the embarrassment stakes.

Things That No Longer Embarrass Me

1. Doctors – I used to cringe whenever I had to go to the doctor and reveal certain body parts. Now I couldn’t care less. They’ve seen it all before, I’ve had to pretty much show everything off before so let’s get on with the job shall we?

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Sod’s Law

The last blog post I wrote 2 weeks ago was about changing schools for our daughter. We knew that if we were going to move schools for Alice we would have to it before we applied for a primary school for our youngest daughter Eva in January 2017. So when the chance came up 2 weeks ago to move her to a lovely little village school a couple of miles away, we didn’t hesitate.

We thought that would be the end of it and we’d all be hugely relieved that there would be no more blog posts mentioning any issues with schools again.

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But NO!

Just 8 days after moving Alice into her new school, just 8 days after stressing myself out about the transition to the point where I couldn’t eat or sleep, the unthinkable happened. We got the phone call from our local primary school down the road to say that a place had become available. This was our original first choice of school. The one I’d fought hard for a place for, the one I’d written countless letters and emails to MPs, councillors, school admission team members and even the Department of Education about. The school that all my local neighbours and friends go to. The one we were seemingly excluded from. The one I’d given up ever getting a place at before the all important January deadline.

Primary School Gods

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Holy Crap! You literally couldn’t make this sh!t up. I could not believe my ears. Some primary school God was literally looking down on me from his playground of alcohol and debauchery and pi$$ing himself laughing. At us.

The timing absolutely stank. Just a week earlier I would have moved Alice to this local school like a shot. I would have been jumping for joy and over the moon. But now that we’d already gone through one transition, as a family we came to a fairly difficult decision to not move her again because a) she had settled in so quickly and brilliantly seemingly loving her new school and b) we couldn’t face the upheaval of going through it all again. It just didn’t seem right to unsettle our 5 year old for a second time and risk the fact that this move may not be so good second time round.

I THINK we have made the right decision.I certainly hope we don’t live to regret it like some people have suggested.

Sod’s Law

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Since this phone call last Tuesday I seem to have had Alanis Morrisette’s Ironic’s lyrics going round in my head. You know the one that goes.

“It’s like raaiiin on your wedding day. It’s the free advice you just didn’t take.”

With me adding the line in “It’s the local primary school you’ve always wanted,  get offered just days after you’ve already switched.”

Or something like that.

A few people have since said to me “That’s sod’s law.”

Which got me thinking. What exactly is this term and where does it come from?

Wikipedia defines it as being “If something can go wrong, it will.” And the British culture have added “that it will happen at the worst possible time.”

Well yes, that sounds about right to me. The timing on this couldn’t have been any worse.

I’ve also been pondering what other notable (if less stressful) circumstances of Sod’s Law I have experienced recently? Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. Spending an afternoon making a lovely home cooked dinner for the kids only for most of it to go nowhere near their lips and a huge proportion end up on the floor.

Spaghetti Bolognese

2.Trying to get the kids to bed early because of having loads of work to do in the evening only to have one or both of them up and down the stairs refusing to sleep.

3. Meeting up in London with some friends who I hardly ever see only for them to get lost and be very late so that we had far less time to catch up.

4. Queuing for a taxi to get home on a night out to find out that our cab driver was going on a break.

5.Thinking your child is potty trained so removing the last pair of spare knickers from the handbag only for her to have an accident that same very day.

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So there you have it. The classic case of Sod’s Law!  Always lurking around threatening to bite you on the bum when you least expect it.

Have you got any tales to add? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

 

 

 

Pink Pear Bear

Mummuddlingthrough

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Changing Schools

People who follow this blog will know the complete fiasco we encountered last year when we didn’t get any of our original school choices. People who follow this blog will remember too the knife in the gut moment when we later realised that this in turn would mean we would not get a place at any of our local secondary schools.

In a nutshell the whole starting primary school thing has been incredibly shit. But despite all that and some initial upset with Alice settling in last year, she now loves school and really enjoys learning as well as being with her friends.

changing-schools

The Offer:

We found out last week that we had a place at another school. Not our local school which is in walking distance (I’ve given up on ever getting in there), but our original second choice which is a  lovely old village school, very small and friendly.

I was completely amazed to get the offer and almost immediately my husband and I felt it was the right thing to do to move Alice. It will still mean we have to drive to school (always one of my biggest bug-bears) but the biggest advantage is that if we move her now she will get a place at the local secondary school which is in walking distance of our house. I can’t believe we even have to think about this when she has only just turned 5 but the thought of going through what we went through last year in another 6 years’ time is unbearable.

This Past Week:

I got the email last Friday and have spent this week in turmoil. I’ve not slept and barely eaten for worrying about how Alice will handle the move. Whilst I feel deep down like we are making the right choice, it doesn’t stop me feeling like the biggest bitch ever for separating her from her friends and the teachers that she loves. She is so happy and settled at the current school. Can I really upset her all over again?

Like most things in life I also got incredibly bogged down in the detail of the process. When would I tell her teacher? When exactly would we tell Alice? When should I mention it to the other mums?  All this and more were keeping me awake every night.

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The Deed

On Wednesday after school we took the girls out for Pizza and before we got out of the car I pitched the idea about moving schools using my most excited, super confident voice wearing my most calm mask.

For a moment Alice seemed quite taken with the idea until she realised it would mean giving up her current school, and she then wasn’t too happy. We managed to distract her with dinner and shopping but at bedtime – reality had hit. As she lay sobbing in her bed I couldn’t help wonder, “WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING?”

Resentful

I also can’t help but feel incredibly resentful all over again. Why are we seemingly the only people going through this?  Why am I putting my daughter through all this again because the local schools and authorities can’t cope with the pressure of too many people living here and not enough schools? Why does no one seem to care that the individual school rules are unfair and do not join up.

 

Next Week

Alice’s last day at her current school was on Thursday. She took it all in her stride and seemed happy to be handing out sweets to her friends. I on the other hand was an emotional wreck watching her wave goodbye to her teachers and friends as they gave her a fab send off. It really did feel sad and unfair to be uprooting her.

We took her to meet her new teacher and the new school. We were anticipating some upset but was totally surprised that Alice enjoyed looking around the school and talking to her new teacher. After an hour and half we had to drag her away from the amazing outdoor space and play equipment. Sometimes, kids do surprise you. It doesn’t always end up as bad as you think and maybe,  just maybe I have totally underestimated how she will handle this.

Change

I know we are not out of the woods yet and I know that we are bound to have some upset next week when we start at the new school and a new routine.

I know it’s natural for all of us, not just kids, to dread and fear change. I know we need to push ourselves to do things sometimes that are hard and out of our comfort zone.  I need to keep telling myself this next week. I need to remember why we are doing this. I need to keep wearing my happy face and practising my bright and breezy voice. I need to remember that it will get worse, possibly a whole lot worse before it will get better.

Wish us luck for Monday.

Has anyone else changed schools? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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Pink Pear Bear
Mummuddlingthrough
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Ain’t That The Truth

Kids. Don’t you just love them? They’re inquisitive, curious and speak their minds with absolutely no qualms about feeling  the need to censor anything.

A while back I wrote about some of the bizarre and strange questions that my eldest asked me. She was obviously going through a curious phase with lots of pressing questions on her mind like what farmers wear.

The youngest has always been a bit of a chatterbox, but it seems that lately anything that comes into her head will then proceed to come straight out of her mouth in a monologue of verbal diarrhoea. Sometimes this can be cute, sometimes funny, but other times it can be completely mortifying and embarrassing.

 

Here’s 5 things that the 3 year old has mentioned recently which all have an element of the truth to them.

1. “Daddy is the Beer King.”  Well I did warn my husband that if he insisted on drinking beer so frequently that the kids would start to pick up on it.

beer-king

2. “What do you do all day Mummy?” This was said to me one morning as I dropped the toddler off to pre-school. “Daddy goes to work, Alice goes to school, I go to pre-school, so what do you do?” At which point I stammered and spluttered as if I was being quizzed by a teacher or boss about how I do writing work on my computer at home and how I also do all the cleaning. “Oh yes,” said the toddler, “You do the hoovering don’t you.” Yep that’s right, that’s me.

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3. “Why are you ALWAYS drinking wine?” Errr… In my defence, this was said to me whilst I was making a slow cook casserole with some red wine. I honestly wasn’t swigging from the bottle (at that point) at all. Why am I often made to feel like a naughty school girl by a toddler? But note to self: don’t drink wine too much in front of them again.

red-wine

4. “You’re a bit scruffy today aren’t you?” Interestingly, this wasn’t actually said to me which I could have taken on the chin. More embarrassingly this was said to my neighbour’s husband. To be fair, the toddler was as usual telling it like it was: He was in his jogging bottoms and hadn’t shaved, but STILL, I was a bit embarrassed and had to make a show of feigning mortification.

scruffy

5. “Daddy do you have a baby in your tummy?”  Closely linked to point number 1, my husband has a bit of a stomach. When we explained that no, there wasn’t a baby in daddy’s tummy, the toddler wanted to know why daddy’s tummy is big and if it will will “ever go down?” Whoops. Time for some exercise (and cut down on the beer) methinks.

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It’s funny how kids can talk and talk with no sense of holding back or being less blunt. I wonder at what age we start to censor our speech? I wonder at what age do we begin to realise that telling the truth in all situations even when we might hurt people isn’t always a good thing?!

I’d love to hear any home truths that kids have told you, let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Pink Pear Bear
Mummuddlingthrough
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday