It’s a mum’s life: All’s fair in love and war…

Wednesday 3rd November

Before I start, I suppose I should give you a bit of information about myself, and my family, just so you know something about the person who is writing this. I’ll try not to waffle too much. I’m 30, married, and a stay-at-home mum. I have a three year old son, who is wonderful, but always on the go. He never stops, and since he doesn’t even sleep during the day now he’s on the go from about 7.30am until 6pm and hasn’t yet mastered either the art of amusing himself for a period of time, or concentrating on anything for more than ten minutes! Anyway, that’s enough to be going on with I think – I’m sure more will be revealed over time!

The last few days seem to have been one long battle… my son is currently testing every single boundary he can think of to see if they’ve changed – they haven’t, but it’s so exhausting keeping on top of it! Someone recently told me that boys keep ramming up against the boundaries, just to check and this is definitely true of him! I keep wondering when the ‘terrible twos’ are going to end, but my mum tells me that my brother (who he resembles in behaviour and attitude), had the terrible twos, threes and fours – so not holding out a lot of hope! Wednesday is Mums and Tots day, and for once we manage to get out of the house without the battle over the wearing (and putting on of) shoes, socks and coat (this is at least a twice daily occurrence, sometimes more) so I’m quite pleased, and what’s more we’re actually in time to walk there and call into the bank on the way. It’s a fair walk from our house into the town, plus you have to allow extra time for the collection of ‘treasures’ along the way (these include sticks, leaves, dandelion clocks and various other things you might find outside at this time of year and then find in your house for weeks to come!), or a search for the friendly cat up the road (something of a novelty, as our cat sees him and gets away as fast as she can). Walking presents challenges in itself – I’m currently trying to make him walk as much as possible (partly because it wears him out, and partly because I think he should be), but I’m now trying to get him to do it without reins. He likes to walk, so that part is fine, the problem comes because I expect him to hold my hand when we get to the road (this he does NOT like!) So I have the reins with me in case he refuses and today I also have the buggy, because it’s a long walk and after running around like a loon for an hour and a half at Mums and Tots, I may not get him back again walking – plus, as you’ll see, it’s a useful incentive to do as you’re told, because he wants to walk, he’s actually getting too big for it (he’s very tall for three), and the one thing he doesn’t want, is to have to be in the buggy (unless he’s too tired to care!) Anyway, I’ve waffled off the point.

Today I have told him he either holds my hand or holds onto the buggy so he opts for holding onto the buggy and actually, we have a lovely walk into town. As an added bonus for him, the fire engine is going out just as we pass the fire station so it’s all good, until we stop at the bank where there is one cashier and a queue of four people (including one at the counter). And of course, whereas I only want to pay in a cheque, they all want really long and difficult things that she can’t actually deal with and, well you know how it goes! So, queue in the bank equals bored three-year old who decides to try and take the bank apart by attempting to dismantle all the leaflets, magazines etc. he can get his hands on. He gets one warning that if he continues he’ll be in the buggy, and he just can’t help himself so in he has to go… sounds simple? Maybe, but resistant, tall, strong three-year old boys can put up a pretty good fight! After nearly taking out the legs of the person behind us in the queue I do manage to get him in there, but obviously he’s not pleased and is determined that everyone is going to feel his displeasure so is yelling at the top of his voice and in between the yells, shouting ‘mummy, me too big’ (to be in the buggy – if you ever wonder if what you tell them actually goes in, this is the proof as I’ve been telling him that for weeks!) followed by ‘mummy, me out please!’ I try to remain calm (not easy when there’s that amount of noise and you know everyone is looking at you!) and explain that he’s in there because he didn’t do as I asked, and when we’re out of the bank and he’s calmed down he can come out again (all the time counting to ten so I don’t lose my temper with him!). Eventually we manage to complete our errand, and arrive at mums and tots, me looking somewhat harassed, prompting my friend to say ‘you look knackered, did you run here?’ Going well so far!

Mums and Tots passes without too much incident (or as few incidents as you can have with a group of pre-schoolers who haven’t yet got the hang of sharing), and although I do feel like I’m talking to myself on a couple of occasions (sometimes I’m repeating myself six times before it goes in), we have a good morning. However, towards the end of the group, he and another couple of boys decide to have a silly few minutes (running around screaming their heads off), so by the time we leave he’s completely wound up, meaning we have to fight with the coat and the toilet stop and he ends up in the buggy again, because it’s that or drag him on his bottom for the duration of the walk home!

The rest of the day passes in much the same way – some good bits, some where I seem to be fighting the same battle again and again. In the end we go out again to let off some steam on his new bike (bought by my nan at a boot sale, though he hasn’t quite mastered the art of pedalling yet) which works until he starts to get frustrated because not being able to pedal properly means he doesn’t go very far (or very fast – I for one am grateful for this as when he gets it, I’m going to have to run to keep up!), and it’s starting to get dark so we go back in, make a tent out of a clothes airer and a tablecloth, do some drawing, play with some toys and then start on dinner: me preparing veg, him pinching pieces of carrot and mushroom as fast as I can cut them.

Usually, at this point we’re winding down to bedtime, but as it’s Wednesday, my mum and dad are coming to babysit as my husband and I are off to a rehearsal (this is a regular Monday and Wednesday thing at the moment) and so their arrival naturally sparks off a new burst of energy. By the time we finish dinner he does look like he’s going to fall asleep where he is, so mum whisks him off for bath and bed and we say goodnight and get ready to go out, letting them know when we’re leaving so that he can wave out of the window. He goes to sleep fine, according to mum, but wakes up coughing just as we’re going to bed (often he hears us come in and wakes up to check we’re there), so after settling him back down again, it’s nearly midnight before I get to bed, and I’m hoping he doesn’t do his 3am waking thing (it’s been happening for the last couple of weeks). Luckily though, he sleeps till 8am… and then we start all over again…

From our (hopefully) new regular contributor Jenni, who will be giving us a little slice of her life when she’s not busy chasing after three year olds!

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  1. Oh yeah, those daily power struggles are a lot of fun! And I love how just when you think you’ve got it sussed, they’ll find something new to be defiant about! 😛

  2. Great blog hun!
    So so true too of every day life. I remember this well. Pleased to say tho that they do get easier as they get older. I have a nearly 5 year old and this bought back sooo many memries which felt like only yesterday.
    Take care. Enjoyed reading x

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