Mummy said no so I asked…

I saw a t-shirt in a window on holiday that filled me with so much rage I simply had to write about it.

I was a cheap touristy gift with the words: Mummy said no so I asked Nanny and got two!

Or some similar shitty sentiment.

There are many variations, Nanny, Grandad, Aunty, Uncle, on t-shirts, hats and onesies.

Well let me tell you, in no uncertain terms: THIS SHIT HAS TO STOP!

I want to get a new t-shirt printed: Mummy said no, so I asked Nanny and she also said no because she respects my mother as a parent.

(Insert grandad/Aunty/Uncle as appropriate)

Parenting is hard enough, one day there’s just the two of you and suddenly two become three (or four or five) and all of a sudden it’s your responsibility to keep this tiny human alive and have it grow up into a responsible adult. You need help and support. Not contradictions.

If Mummy or Daddy say no, but Nanny/Grandad/Aunty/Uncle say yes, what kind of message is that sending to kids? Saying no isn’t always easy but what kind of adult are you creating by denying a child nothing? What kind of message are you sending by undermining parents? Worse still you’re putting it on a shit t-shirt!

On holiday my niece asked my sister for something, she said no. This was not the answer my niece was looking for so she asked me the exact same question, in-front of her mum. My reply was simply ‘What did Mummy just say?’ Niece knew she was facing a united front and didn’t ask again. (But made her feeling on the whole ‘no’ thing very clear!)

This is what children need to see. United fronts. It’s perfectly natural that if they want something they’ll keep asking the assembled adults until they get they response they’re looking for. But show respect for your child/sister/brother by following their wishes about their child. You might not agree with their choices, chances are your family didn’t agree with yours it seems to be a cycle. I am fully prepared for a few sceptical eyebrow raises when William brings home his own bundle of joy, but I’ll keep them to myself and if Will and his partner say no, it’ll be a no from me too kiddo.

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Shopping with two under fives: The reason why I’ll be drinking tonight.

On Fridays I’m looking after my nephew whilst my sister is on a course. It’s lovely to spend time with the ‘phew, and Will adores ‘Nenny’.

When he arrived he asked if we could go to soft play. Request denied. I told him it was closed, but the truth is we went last Friday and I’d rather stick hot pins in my eyes than go two weeks on the trot. Especially as last week I came closer than I ever have to throwing an obnoxious little shit off the highest point I could find. His crime? I am 99% certain he threw a ball at William, from his reaction and William’s but my back was turned asking Lenny if he wanted lunch. A wizened old crone who smelt of stale cigarettes bade the demon children come for their lunch. She hobbled off on her bunioned feet and the little shits completely ignored her. So that’s why I don’t yet have the mental strength to return. Another thing I’ve noticed about soft play is I collect children. I don’t want to, but they follow me and before I know it I’m surround, whilst their guardians enjoy a coffee in peace.

So soft play was out. I was on ‘mission dress’ I have some weddings coming up and naturally I want to look nice. However I have piled a few pounds on recently and want something flattering. I told the boys I needed to look in two shops and if they were good, I’d take them to McDonalds. Shop one, no good. (The ‘phew had asked a second time if we could go to soft play instead, my ‘no’ was not well received) Shop two. Pick out five dresses. Headed to the changing room. Hadn’t even taken the first one off the hanger and the ‘phew pipes up ‘That’s too small Aunty Chesney’, he was right, curse him. In fact they were all too small. Who needs self confidence?

We went to McDonalds the boys we’re excited, so imagine my surprise when the ‘phew announced he didn’t want anything. ‘So you’re going to watch me and Will eat and sit there with nothing?’ was met with downcast eyes and a surly silence. ‘Well I’m going to order you something’, repeating the options ‘I just have chips’ a small voice pipes up. I add nuggets. What drink do you want? ‘I’ll just have water.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes’.

‘You don’t want orange or a fruit shoot?’

‘Just water please’.

I click on the water pleased we’ve gone to the self service so we don’t go through the decision process with a bored employee and a queue of short tempered patrons. I check the order, click ‘pay’ hear a voice pipe up ‘actually I want orange’.

Wooooooo

Sarrrrrrrrr

It’s too late now. You have Pookie’s fruit shoot and he’ll have your water.

We sit down. Will keeps eating ketchup off his finger until he finds his chicken nuggets. The ‘Phew refuses to eat his chicken nuggets. I tell him it’s okay, we’ll take them home for Mummy. We troop back to the car, to find some bint has parked so close I can only just squeeze myself in. (Regretting the quarter pounder and all other food choices for the past six months) I look for my novelty notepad, that thanks a driver for parking so close and advises them to take a bus in future, although there are a fair few expletives thrown in for good measure. Pad is not in the glove box. Curses. Woman who can’t park turns up and gives me evils!! I understand how ‘ordinary’ people suddenly go on killing sprees. Start the engine, focusing on the sanctuary that is home. The ‘Phew pipes up, ‘ I want my chicken nuggets now’.

Sorry Sis, no nuggets for you!

The afternoon has followed a similar pattern, my darling son keeps throwing himself on the floor and wailing. Most recently because I wouldn’t let him eat a bag of brown sugar. I’ve given him a yogurt but most of it is in the carpet. FFS.

In other news!

The boy is ‘counting’ to four. (Well he can say the numbers one to four, he has no real concept of numbers yet, but don’t shit on my parade okay?)

The boy also climbed out of his cot, I fear bedtimes will never be the same again.

I still have nothing to wear to a wedding.

A family day out with a raging hangover.

Hubs and I went to a wedding reception last night. NannyGran was babysitting, hubs was driving and I let my hair down. Pretty sure I let it all the way down, in a way that would put Rapunzul to shame.

Fast forward to this morning, I hear my son calling for Mummy and hubs telling him ‘Mummy’s in bed. She got very drunk last night.’ I got up, drank two cups of tea and made poached eggs.

Impressed?

You shouldn’t be. The earlier I get up and the more functional I am, the more stinking the hangover will be when it finally kicks in.

Hubs and I decided last week that we’d take William to the air museum today. He loves watching planes fly over the garden and can spot them before anyone. I got dressed. My makeup still looked okay from last night so I put a bit more mascara on and was ready! (I’m not ashamed that I’m not ashamed of that.)

Hangover issue one: I’m in no fit state to drive.

No problem, hubs is driving.

We arrived at the museum with a very excited toddler, who kept exclaiming ‘Ooooohhh’ loudly whilst pointing at all the planes.

Then we encountered hangover problem number two: Museum smell. Most of the exhibition was outside, thank Lordy because the hungover body doesn’t tolerate smells very well. Chundering on an old jet engine wouldn’t have gone down very well with the over visitors.

Will was given the freedom of his reins, which leads me to hangover problem number three: when you can see the earth spinning the last thing you need to see if your toddler running round in circles. Pretty sure chundering on my son would have been frowned upon too.

We left the museum and popped to the supermarket. It was crowded and Will, after being an absolute treasure in the museum screamed blue bloody murder the whole way round. Hangover problem four: I’m barely humaning, parenting is out of the question.

On the way home my hangover hankering for a McDonalds peaked and we took a detour. Hubs doesn’t eat anything from this particular fast food outlet and only goes at my request. (or my preggo rage that could only be quelled by their chips!) Hangover problem five: do as we say not as we do. We’re trying to make sure Will eats the best possible food to help him grow into a healthy young man. He’s had one McDonalds in his life and we’re in no hurry for him to have a second. (Although he got so excited when we pulled in to the car park we have some questions for his grandparents…)

We’re home now and this hangover is really kicking in. (And kicking my arse) which leads us to hangover problem number six: Will has no idea I’m hungover. So he’s been climbing on me. Kicking a ball at my back (repeatedly) trying to claim the blanket I’ve wrapped round myself and yet more climbing on me, and needing all the things from me he always does. And throwing in a few extra tantrums for good measure. I’m letting hubs take the reins.

Can you have a family day out with a hangover?

Yes. Yes you can.

Should you?

Not unless you like torturing yourself.

In over news:

Will crushed a snail in his hand and then licked it. Must keep sharper eye out for snails. (Think of me as a one woman snail protection unit.)

Will has named his bedtime bunny ‘Me me’

I’m never drinking again. (Until Saturday)

Am I a ‘helicopter mum’?

A while ago I took a quiz on Facebook, ‘What type of parent are you?’ More out of boredom than curiosity I answered the questions and gave a derisive snort when it informed me I was a ‘helicopter parent’ which is basically hovering around your child twenty four seven, not giving them an awful lot of freedom and being a smidge too helpful. Which transpires is actually ‘not very helpful’.

Not me I thought, carefree parenting, that’s my style. And I have noticed that when we are with family, I take a step back, relax, have a rare hot cup of tea. But when we’re out together, I allow him non of this freedom. I don’t let him out of my sight ( although my anxiety tells me if I look away, he’ll get abducted) I follow him around soft-play, at children’s parties, hovering a few feet away.

When William was a few hours old and I was in hospital with him alone, I looked at his tiny form and couldn’t bear the thought of him being hurt or upset. I saw it as my sole job to make sure that didn’t happen. So when I’m wedging myself around soft play, and helping him across the rope bridges, it stems purely from my want to keep him safe.

So imagine how I felt when I noticed that when I wasn’t right beside him, despite my encouragement, he would not explore on his own. Oh lordy, it’s happening, I’m fucking him up already! My desire to keep him from harm, free from worry has backfired slightly. Like it or not I can’t always be there for him, first day of school, new job, driving tests I can’t be there, he’s got to do it alone and I’m seriously restricting his opportunities to be independent with my helicoptering! And how can he ever learn about coping with worry and upset if I never allow him to expose himself to it?

I need to take a step back, I want an independent little boy so I need to let him be just that.

I also need to not think of myself of any type of parent other than ‘parent’. Because doesn’t society already try to put enough labels on us already?

In other news:

I’m furious that hubs has avoided TWO toxic poo nappies.

The boy is becoming quite the bookworm. So reading the same sodding book fifty million times is now part of our daily routine.

My son has just head butted me and acted like I’m the one in the wrong…

The terrible twos… three months early.

The boy is entering a new phase. One that I hope will be over soon. Our once angelic, blue eyed, golden haired boy has changed to a blue eyed, golden haired tantrum machine. His brand new today thing is to shout ‘ow!’ When you try to move him/strap him into his car seat/ put his shoes on.

To the passer-by it looks as if this poor boy is being mistreated by his witch of a mother. To me (and others experiencing a similar phase) It’s the reason why we drink. Toddlers don’t care how loud they scream or how many people are around when they do it. To be perfectly honest I don’t care that much either but why do they insist on being at their worst with an audience? When I’m trying to get us home and he point blank refuses to get in the car:

‘Come on William, get in the car.’

‘We’re going home to see Daddy and the pussy cats.’

‘Come on in you get!’

*Resist urge to shout GET IN THE FUCKING CAR WILLIAM!!! Go to take his hand to lead him in*

He pulls away crouches in the street screaming. I pick him up to put him in the car, he arches his back screaming ‘No no no!’ Get him into car, try and get him in car seat he starts planking, try to bend child so I can get his seatbelt on. Child. Won’t. Bend. Wonder when my child was replaced by steel girder. Child become less plank like as occupied with hitting Mummy. Use window of flexibility to click in seatbelt. Say in calmest voice can muster ‘We don’t smack’, tighten seatbelt to ensure child safe. Child starts shouting ‘Ow! Ow! Owww!!’

Try and placate child with favourite toy.

Child throws favourite toy.

Clamber out and climb into drivers seat with toddler wailing in the back.

Ignore glares from passers by. Drive off with child still wailing.

Question life choices.

Every time we’ve got in the car today.

Every.

Time.

He’s also doing the fun thing of wanting something (food, toy, seat) then instantly changing his mind when he gets it. This causes a tantrum. We are at the mercy of the whim of a toddler. If you need me, I’ll be hiding in the summerhouse drinking wine.

In other news:

Writing this post was interrupted when the boy broke his ‘splat mat’ the one that only yesterday I insisted to friends was ‘very strong’. The boy thought pouring the water that was in it onto the carpet was lots of fun. I grabbed it off him, chucked it in the sink then started mopping up the puddle on the living room carpet. Whilst I was clearing up, the boy pulled the splat mat out of the sink and started pouring the water on the kitchen floor. Spinning round to ensure full cupboard coverage too. I got mad, he laughed at me.

Captain has been trying to catch bees in the garden. It’s obviously been a while since we’ve had an expensive vet bill.

My two year old niece (for reasons unknown) did a poo in her back garden today.

Current stage of parenthood: The I need eyes in my arse stage.

Today began as a picture postcard of parenting. Hubs got the boy and settled him into our bed with his morning milk, Captain joined us wedging himself between me and the bald kitten, then snuggling up to Will whilst the boy gently stroked him. Beautiful, I felt all warm and fuzzy.

The boy got a little fidgety so hubs let him off the bed. We lay there, listening to the patter of his feet, his exclamations of ‘Marm’ at the cat. Then another sound, it was the scraping of bristles against the toilet brush holder. I don’t think hubs and I would have got out of bed quicker if it was on fire. The duvet seemed to be momentarily suspended in mid-air as we desperately scampered out of bed. After relieving the small boy of the loo brush we gave him his toothbrush, he loves brushing his teeth and it’s a most excellent distraction from his second favourite thing (brandishing the bog bush about). Whilst I put his toothbrush back in the pot he did his third favourite thing, unravelling the toilet roll. The speed at which he can reduce an entire roll of paper to a ribony pile on the floor is almost impressive if it wasn’t so frustrating. Today, as I tried to roll it back up he grabbed a big mound and started ‘blow his nose’ on it. As he doesn’t really know what this entails but he’s heard his Grandad do it lots of times he just bends over and blows raspberries with his face buried in the tissue.

Feeling breakfast would be an appropriate intervention to the carnage already reaped upstairs I took the little scamp into the kitchen.

‘Do you want banana pancakes?’

‘YEAH!’

I go to the fruit bowl to get a banana. I turn around to see the boy has pulled some utensils out of the kitchen drawer and is beating the floor with then. Wrestle utensils off the boy put back into the drawer and find he’s used the split second that took to make a good start on taking all the plates out the cupboard.

He has this very second tried to ‘blow his nose’ on my dressing gown.

On Thursday afternoon after ‘helping’ me to change the sheets, I heard a familiar sound and found him in the bathroom plunging the loo brush into the toilet, splashing water EVERYWHERE with a look of sheer delight on his face. Whilst I tried to clean up he emptied an entire pack of cotton buds (Q-tips) on the floor.

I know what you’re thinking, put things out of reach, close the bathroom door! But he doesn’t seem to have an out of reach. I suspect he has secret extendable arms and legs and can make himself at least six foot tall! As for closing the door he can open them now, it serves only to slow him down a bit.

So it sees that for the time being, vigilance is the key. Sitting and relaxing are not an option whilst he’s awake. And whilst not all the things he does pose a danger or risk of damage to property (he’s currently walking round hugging an empty milk carton) you can guarantee if you fall asleep on the sofa he’ll defrost the freezer whilst eating cat biscuits.

If you need me, I’ll be chasing after a toddler.

In other news:

I *think* one of the cats might have peed somewhere but I can’t find where.

Will is still calling both cats ‘Marm’.

I should be leaving the house in 20 minutes but I’m still in my pyjamas.

 

Feeling redundant.

The boy is becoming more of a ‘character’ every day. He’s beginning to really communicate what he does and doesn’t want.

Which would be great if 9 times out of 10 it’s me and hubs that he doesn’t want. 

It’s a wonderful feeling when you pick your child up and they scream and squirm because they don’t want you. He’ll happily snog the cat, but heaven forbid mummy and daddy get a kiss. 

Daddy is also firm favourite this week, if he goes upstairs Wills will stand at the baby gate wailing, then smack at me if I try and comfort him. This smarts, I ruined my vagina and got a daddy’s boy. ‘Triffic. 

Luckily the Captain is extremely needy.

In other news:

The path leading from our front door to our drive has turned into ‘massive spiderweb land’, i just love starting the day sticky.

Marms seems to have rememberd that she is, in actual fact, our cat and  is home a lot more. There are now daily cat squabbles. If a cat squabble causes me or hubs to shout, Wills will start to cry. Hysterically. 

No the boy is picking up language at an alarming rate I really must stop swearing. (But that’s hard when your cats are arseholes.)