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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5 Ways Kids Ruin Your Holiday

We’ve just come back from a fabulous week in Devon. The weather was great, we got out and about quite a bit and the kids were mostly good. BUT here’s 5 ways that they (OK that’s mostly the toddler) wrecked the holiday:

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The Toddler looking pensive moments before she threw a huge tantrum about walking up the hill.

1. Waking Up Time. The toddler woke up between 5.30am and 6.30am EVERY SINGLE day on our holiday. I mean come on, it’s a holiday, couldn’t we possibly get a 7am lie in just once? Typically, the first Monday after we got home, she slept in until 7.30am. How do they know how to do that?  Yeah… thanks for that.

2. Wanting to Go Home. How bizarre that despite having a daily countdown for months on end about when we were going on holiday, the toddler after 2 days of finally arriving, asked -“When are we going home?” This line of questioning happened all week. Every day we’d go to a beach or out somewhere and she’d be asking “When are we going back to the holiday house?”

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Having a tantrum & wanting to go home after a complaint about too much sand.

3. Food. Meals out had to be catered for the very limited palettes of the kids. No fancy seafood restaurants for us. No browsing the range of eateries and bistros perhaps taking in a pre-dinner cocktail. Now choice is instead restricted to – Which restaurant is most likely to do sausages or pasta? Which burger joints might be open at 5pm? Which would be fairly child friendly? And which would best tolerate the noise of a tantruming toddler?

4. Going to Bed. Just when we thought we could properly relax with a bottle of wine and enjoy some grown up time alone. The toddler refused to go to bed. Up – down, up – down – I felt like a bloomin yo-yo putting her back in to her bed for hours on end. Eventually we had just enough time to drink a glass of wine before going to bed, exhausted.

5. Not Walking. We have ditched the pushchair a while ago. The toddler has mostly coped well with not wanting the buggy. But on one particular day, decided to throw the most God awful tantrum at the foot of an enormous hill with the car at the top. Husband had already gone on ahead with cool bag and older child leaving me to carry bags, blankets, towels and other gumpf along with the screaming toddler under my arm in full view of the beach up the steepest hill in history.

As you can guess, we’re going through a particularly “difficult” stage with the youngest. But despite her many grumps and grumbles, we still did manage to have a marvellous holiday!

Any other ways that kids spoil your holiday? Let me know.

 

And here’s some of the nicer moments!IMG_1593

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Cuddle Fairy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Pink Pear Bear

An Interview with Alice aged 4 Years 7 Months

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Inspired by the recent interviews with fellow blogger Laura at 5 Little Doves and her daughters, I thought I’d try the same thing with my two.

This post is all about Alice who will be five in the summer.

  1. How are you feeling today?

Good…..

(Eyes me suspiciously).

2. What makes you happy?

Going to buy something. Something for me and Eva like …. chocolate.

(Said whilst smiling almost pleadingly at me. Nice to know my children are so materialistic at such an early age).

3. What makes you sad?

When Eva hits me.

(Eva seems to accept this and carries on munching her Rice Krispies).

4. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Errr…. A Butterfly.

(Seems I may have to shatter her career aspirations early).

5. What is your favourite food?

Pasta

(I’m surprised there’s no “And Cheese” mentioned which is frequently demanded for tea).

6. Describe Mummy?

Good……

(Thanks, although surely there’s some other qualities we can think of here. Mental note to discuss this more later).

7. Describe Daddy?

He’s good too.

(Hhhhmm… Again must be discussed later).

8. Who created the world?

I’m not sure. What do you mean like the leaves and things?

(She still had no idea when I confirmed, Yes the leaves and things).

9. What is the queens job?

Knitting?

(This was prompted by Eva).

10. Who is the Prime Minister?

The Prime Minister lives in London (announced proudly) and I think it’s a man.

(Pretty good. And that’s about as much as I know too).

11. What did you dream last night?

About being in the holiday house.

(We are going to Norfolk at Easter and it is consuming Alice’s every thought right now).

12. What would you like to do tomorrow?

Dressing Up?

(Easily pleased. Fine by me).

13. Where in the world do you want to go?

To the Zoo.

(Ditto).

14. Why do we celebrate Christmas?

Because it’s the end of Christmas.

(??? No idea…..)

15. Where does the tooth fairy live?

In a toadstool.

(Could be inspired by a jigsaw that they have been playing with lately).

16. What is your favourite animal?

A baby lamb.

(As opposed to an adult lamb).

17. Who is your best friend?

Katie.

(A little girl down the road).

18. What makes you laugh?

Clowns.

(Random. I didn’t even know she’d seen any clowns).

19. Are you going to get married?

No.

(Surprised about this after a recent conversation where she declared she wanted to have a baby and asked all sorts of questions about how to “get” a baby and I said she’d need to have a husband first).

20. Tell me a secret?

(Whispers)….We’re nearly going to the holiday house.

(It’s going to be a long couple of weeks until we go!)

21. Where do babies come from?

Mummies Tummies

(Said confidently and matter of factly).

22. What do you like to watch on television?

Dora The Explorer into the City and Jake and The Neverland Pirates

(Arghh… And don’t I just KNOW it!)

23. How much money do you have?

I’m not sure, I haven’t counted it all up yet.

24. What do you do that is naughty?

Hit someone….. like Eva.

(Sisterly love).

25. Describe yourself?

Good.

(Must have a conversation about adjectives).

26. What is the best job in the world?

A fireman.

(Pleasantly surprised that the answer wasn’t a princess or fairy or anything else girly).

27. Where does Father Christmas live?

At the North Pole.

(Said confidently and with conviction).

28. Who is Jesus?

What’s Jesus?  A baby?

(Hhhmm…. not bad considering knowledge is limited to the school nativity.

29. What is your favourite vegetable?

Carrots.

(Pretty much the only vegetable that will be eaten).

30. Are you bored of this quiz now?

No. Can you ask me another question.

(OK. What’s your favourite colour?  – Pink).

 

So there’s a quick glimpse into the mind of a 4 year old. I’ll  write a separate post  later to find out what Eva (2.5) thinks.

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Super Busy MUm

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A Dummy Free House at Last!

 

Dummy, Dummies, Pacifier

Last week, after 4 and a half years we finally became a dummy free household. Both my children had a dummy and I’ve had mixed feelings about them. On Friday – D. Day, I had a few emotional thoughts about the dummy going and how we truly no longer have any babies anymore, but my overwhelming feeling is relief that they’ve NOW ALL GONE!

Dummy, Pacifier

 

Here’s what I liked and hated about the dummy and how we finally got rid of them for good.

The Good

  • I can still remember the first time my eldest daughter, Alice took a dummy. My sister suggested we try one after 2 weeks of constant demands for milk and crying. It was like magic. She immediately stopped crying and was comforted. We had peace and quiet for the first time ever!
  • Babies look so sweet when they’re asleep and you can just see the dummy bobbing up and down.
  • I know some people disagree with me, but I preferred the idea of a dummy rather than my kids sucking their thumb. Once the dummy is removed that’s it, it’s all over. But with a thumb, they can go on sucking them for years.

The Bad

  • My youngest (2 and a half) developed a habit of wanting the dummy during the day, especially when she was tired.
  • I was worried about the effect on her teeth.
  • The biggest issue for us was that in the last few weeks she would only have the pink one and on a daily basis she would lose it. We’d spend over an hour every afternoon looking for that blasted thing!

The Ugly

  • Say no more. It looks fairly cute on a little baby, but the older a child gets the uglier it looks.

The Dummy Fairy

Dummy Fairy

 

My sister told me that the dummy fairy came to visit my nephew. “You have to buy a present that they really want,” she said. My eldest daughter readily gave up all her dummies on the understanding she would get a scooter. Sure enough, she went to bed fine, with no dramas and that was the end of the dummy for her.

With Eva, our youngest, I knew it would be harder. For her present, she wanted some new swimming goggles, hair clips and a toy truck. Bonus for us, much cheaper than a new scooter, but I wondered if it would be enough to lure her away from the pink dummy.

She excitedly packed all her dummies away into a pretty bag, did a drawing for the fairy and we hung the back up before she went to bed.

Bedtime wasn’t great. She sobbed for ages until she fell into an exhausted sleep. I was then up and down a few times in the night.

Each day since then has got a little easier and I think we are over the worst now. She’s only asked for it once during the day. She’s so desperate to be keeping up with her older sister that I think this drives her on.

 

What’s your view? Have your children ever had a dummy? Do you agree with them? And how did you get rid of them?
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11 Lies We Tell Our Kids

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Whether they’re threats that we resort to that we know we are never going to carry out or whether they’re downright blatant lies, we all seem to fib to our children at some point.

Some of the lies are for their protection, others are to try and redeem some scrap of good behaviour. Lies can also be told simply because we don’t want to do something.

Here are some of the porkies I’ve told my kids:

1) No, that fluorescent / hideous top isn’t in your size unfortunately

I constantly tell this lie to my children whenever we are clothes shopping. Both my 4 year old and my 2 year old seem to be inexplicably drawn to the craziest, outrageous clothes and shoes, often covered in characters from a certain film or TV programme. They haven’t yet worked out that I’m lying but I’m sure it won’t be long before the eldest figures out that she can read her own age from the hangers and then I’ll be rumbled.

2) Stay here then if you don’t want to put your coat / shoes on

This one has been uttered several times to both girls in an effort to get them out the door. Of course it’s lie of the empty threat kind. I might have several parenting fails under my belt, but leaving my children on their own whilst I go out isn’t one of them.

3)  Sorry there’s no chocolate left in the cupboard

A blatant lie which I once told my kids whilst burying my head in the fridge cramming chocolate in my mouth. I consider this a cruel to be kind lie which I mostly use to prevent my 2 year old overdosing on sweet stuff.

4) The TV isn’t working

I first said this lie to my children in the morning of a school holiday day when they were bickering over what to watch. I somehow managed to make the lie last for the entire day but it backfired because by 5pm I was desperate for some peace.

5) If you do that again then I’ll tell Katie’s mummy that they can’t come to play

What a whopper! There’s no way this is going to happen. Seeing Katie’s mummy could well be the highlight of my day. I need to see Katie’s mummy, preferably with a cup of tea and a biscuit and a chat every bit as much as the kids want to play with Katie.

6) If you don’t get ready for bed right now, we won’t have time for a book

I seem to use this lie at least once a week and yet bizarrely the kids haven’t yet realised that I’ve never ever carried out this empty threat. They love having a book before bed as much as I love reading to them. It’s an important part of their bed time routine, it calms them down and it’s important. So it has the desired effect in that they hurry up and get their PJs on, not realising that I will never NOT read a book before bedtime.

7) Father Christmas is watching you

This worked well initially when we told to our eldest daughter 2 years ago back in November or December. But the fact that she goes on about it to our youngest daughter during the months of May or June backfires somewhat. Yes it’s a blatant lie but surely all parents lie to their kids about Father Christmas.

8) We’re nearly there

Who hasn’t said this lie to their children in the car when asked the inevitable “Are we nearly there yet?” My 2 year old often asks me before we get to the end of the road. Surely this little lie is better than telling the truth and saying “No, just another 2 hours to go.” And suffering the resulting meltdown.

9) It tastes just like fish fingers

I seem to frequently lie to my kids about food in a bid to try and get them to eat something other than pasta and cheese. Whilst borne out of desperate measures, in hindsight it’s probably not the best idea. This lie will no doubt scar them from ever eating fish fingers or trying anything else new again.

10) The park / soft play / café is closed

I’ll be honest, I say this lie if I don’t want to go to the park / soft play / café. Mostly it works but occasionally I get rumbled by the 4 year old who likes to point out “But I’ve just seen people going in there.”

11) The Peppa Pig plate/ the purple spoon / the yellow cup are in the dishwasher

A seemingly minor, little lie, but believe me, this one can act as a quick nip in the bud saviour before an almighty row blows up about whose turn it is to eat with the purple spoon.

So there we have it, just some of the lies that I tell my kids.The irony of all this is that if I catch my kids lying, I’ll give them a telling off.

But we all do it don’t we?

We lie to protect them from physical and psychological harm.

We lie for their own good.

We lie because it can very well make the difference between a fairly calm, peaceful existence and one where all hell breaks loose.

So whilst I know that lying is wrong, I can’t promise to stop any time soon.

You Baby Me Mummy
Super Busy MUm

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My Name Is………

My Name Is.....

Over the years I’ve acquired many nicknames. Some of you will know me as Chez, others Meryl, Beryl, Cherry and weirdly Flo. This week however, I’ve been given a new name by my youngest daughter, Eva. That name is….Carmella.

Since starting pre-school 3 weeks ago, Eva has not only fallen in love with the place, but with her keyworker, the wonderful Carmella. Eva is obsessed with her. Every time I pick her up she talks about what Carmella did and what Carmella said and when she can see Carmella again. This clearly isn’t enough, because 4 days ago, Eva told me “You be Carmella” and “I be Eva.” I chuckled to myself and happily went along with this new role play. What I didn’t realise is that it would last all day and indeed all week. Over the past few days, whenever I’ve made the mistake of saying something like “Mummy needs to put the washing on,” she looks at me as if I’m stupid and says “You’re not mummy, you’re Carmella.”

Advantages of Being Someone Else

The upside of all this extensive role playing is that as Carmella I can get Eva’s attention more than when I’m being the real me. At the age of 2 we are going through a quite demanding phase. I have noticed this week that when she’s stamping her foot and screaming for chocolate buttons, I can get her to stop or listen to me by saying something like “Carmella doesn’t like that.”

A Bit Weird

Let’s face it, the disadvantages are that it’s just plain weird isn’t it? I find it weird that I’m having to pretend to be someone else all week, if anyone overhears me talking as Carmella or being called Carmella then that would be weird. And if Carmella ever found out how detailed this little crush has become I’m sure she would find it ever so slightly strange. I dropped Eva off at pre-school this morning and could barely look Carmella in the eye thinking how bizarre it is that I’ve been pretending to BE HER all week.

I hear about plenty of other children who have had pretend imaginary friends, but I’ve never heard of a child who has insisted on calling their mum after another real person ALL WEEK. Whilst I’m pleased that she’s settled into pre-school so well, I can’t help feeling a tiny bit freaked out by how obsessed Eva has become with this other woman.

It Can’t Last Forever

Surely this phase won’t last forever. We finally had a break through last night when Eva tiredly murmured to me “You be Mummy now.” I’m hoping that will be the end of it. As much as I have nothing against the real Carmella, I’d quite like to go back to being me again. But who knows what will happen later when I go and pick her up today. If Eva’s had another enjoyable day, I may end up being Carmella for a while longer yet.

I’d love to know if anyone else been given an unusual name by their child or is it just me?