To be honest Eva, it feels like a miracle that we have reached your fourth birthday. When you turned three, I thought we would be over the worst of the tantrums. I thought the feistiness and the attitude would calm down. But if anything, this year has been harder work than I ever imagined. And even as we approach your fourth birthday, we have experienced, just in the last few weeks, some of the most difficult behaviour yet.
Ever since you followed Alice into pre-school, two years ago, you’ve loved it. You wanted to be with the “big girls” playing the grown up games. But in the last few weeks, there’s been a huge change. I’ve had to coax and plead with you to get your shoes on to go and then finally end up half carrying and half dragging you down the road whilst you’ve been screaming at the top of your lungs. You enjoy it once you are there, but the performance we seem to go through most mornings is wearing and I dread to think what the neighbours think. Some bedtimes have been no better either!
How many people can say that they are related to an author?! I’m so proud to say that my Mum hasn’t had just one book published, but 3 weeks ago she’s just had her 17th (yes – 17th!!) novel published.
The latest book is a called The Vets at Hope Green which she was commissioned to write by Ebury Books. I’ve read the story and have to say, even though I’m biased, that I enjoyed it a lot! I read it in a matter of days rather than the usual weeks and weeks that most other books seem to take me!
Buy this book
We’ve had some really bad behaviour going on with our youngest daughter Eva these past few weeks. She has been aggressive, demanding and during time out periods, continues to wet the floor or her bed deliberately.
At my wits end with how to deal with these situations, I spoke to the staff at her pre-school, who were incredibly helpful. They did some one to one sessions with her and essentially, discovered that she is anxious about starting school. Eva told them and she has since told me that she is scared about making new friends, which breaks my heart.
Like most children (and perhaps like many adults), my kids will be quick to complain about the terrible things going on in their lives like homework, being made to get dressed or having vegetables for dinner, but they won’t often see the good.
I realised with a jolt this week that there are several things that they have where they’re better off than me! Here’s a tongue in cheek look at the injustices us parents face with what our kids have versus what we (don’t) have.
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.
Back in January, I wrote a list of the books that I wanted to read this year.
Before I had children, I would read frequently and quickly. Reading on the train, on the tube and before I went to bed. Now it seems to take forever to get through a book. Small children, work and life seem to get in the way, but I’ve been slowly plodding on and noticed that I seem to be steadily reading about a book a month.
As an aside – how cool is this book exchange? What a great use for the now defunct red telephone boxes!
Last week, my youngest sister sent a text to me and my middle sister in a frenzy asking, “What’s the name of the person in Michael Jackson’s song Smooth Criminal?” I immediately sent a text back saying “Annie.” She was gobsmacked. It turns out she’s been singing “Eddie are you OK?” for the past 30 odd years and only discovered it was wrong after her husband challenged her mid chorus on a car journey.
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!
I’ve had a couple of weeks break with the kids for Easter. We had a few day trips out, saw friends and family and spent a week in Norfolk with my in-laws. It was the same place we went to last year – a fantastic converted barn with indoor pool for the kids.
Unlike last year, I completely switched off from blogging. Last year, I was organised and had blog posts planned and scheduled ready to go. I diligently responded to all comments that came in and was busy on social media. This year, I did the complete opposite and did nothing. I had no blog posts planned and I didn’t really care, I just wanted a break from it all. Which made me think. Is a blogging break a good or a bad thing?
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.