Parenting. Such a MAGICAL experience. Along with all the fear, desperation, exhaustion, irritation, frustration and total absolute dicking bollocks of parenting, comes guilt. GUILT. I feel it ALL THE COCKING TIME. I can’t escape it. I’m afraid to say, people, that when you spawn a tiny person you instantly and violently sign up for a LIFETIME of this emotional headfucking stuff. It’s overwhelming, and gives me heartburn. Yeesh.
I feel guilty…
that I don’t do enough ‘educational’ stuff with Moo
that I don’t spend enough time outdoors with Moo
that I let her watch too much TV
that I spend too much time on Twitter while she watches TV
that I don’t feed her enough food
that she eats too much junk food
that she doesn’t socialise with other children enough
that I don’t socialise with other parents enough
that sometimes I just want a break from the parenting stuff
that I should be looking for work even though it wouldn’t mean I was any better off right now
that I should be writing a novel/a screenplay/a play instead of blogging
that I should eat more healthily
that I should be a better sister/daughter/friend
that all this internal gibbering makes me a bad mother
that I’m not more proactive about a LOT of things
that I shout at Moo when I really don’t mean to
that sometimes I only really want some time on my own
that I’ve just spent fifteen quid in the supermarket on crap when I could budget properly and save cash
that I resent a lot of people who have what I don’t have even though I know that’s a horrid thing to do
that I know it could be a lot worse for me and I hate moaning
that I feel guilty about most of this stuff when I should just QUIT IT, FUCKSAKE – and man up…
You see? It’s a convoluted nightmare of epic proportions. And I’m only being a tiny bit dramatic there. Which I feel guilty about. Obvs.
What do you feel guilty about?
Moo sucks. Quite literally. Remember when I wrote this post? About her addiction to dummies? Yeah? Well, surprise sur-fucking-prise, time goes forward inexorably and all that, and it’s getting to the stage where Moo sucking on a dummy now is just a little bit, well, erm, how can I say this politely… a bit FUCKING WRONG. It sucks. She’s two and a half. She sucks. She’s got to stop.
Today I bought two new dummies. This does not aid the whole ‘stopping sucking’ thing, I agree. But her previous dummies were kind of grey. And droopy. One of them had a hair caught round it, and fluff caught in the hair, and tiny spiders caught in the fluff (I’m guessing). It’s gross. She loves it. She sucks on those bastards like a bastard. It’s scary how much she loves it. She goes all giggly and far-eyed when she sucks on those things. Like I do when I’m inhaling cheese. Addicted, fucksake. So I tried cleaning the old ones but they were still grey, and droopy. So I bought new ones. Because when I broached the subject of maybe taking the dummies away and Moo going to bed without them now, I got what I like to think of as A Top Level Death Stare.
‘Moo, you don’t need dummies any more.’
‘Moo, let’s put the dummies away and see how you get on.’
‘Moo – please don’t kill me, but – soon you’ll have to get rid of your dummies, because it’s gross now, OK?’
DEEEEEEEEATH STARE OF DEATH AND DOOM.
She’s two and a half, and still uses a dummy to settle herself at night. In my head, I’ve given her till she’s three to drop it. Realistically, it has to be sooner, because otherwise, I’ll wimp out and she’ll still be using them when she’s 26. I’m not generally a wimp in my parenting tactics. But, you see, I like that Moo sleeps at night. She’s GREAT at it. Aside from a few wobbles in the past, she’s in bed by 7 and FREQUENTLY does not wake till 8 the next morning. THAT IS UBER SLEEPING SKILLZ, bruv. I don’t want to jinx that. I don’t want to RUIN what is a perfectly awesome sleeping advantage for me. I have a direful notion that if I remove the dummies, it’s all going to go tits up. Or teats up. See what I did there. Har.
When she had The Pox recently, I indulged her. She was poorly and needed comfort. So the dummies came out during the day. This is not the usual routine. Dummies are for bye-byes. Apart from when struck down with Pox, obvs. Unfortunately, Moo now thinks she’s entitled to the dummies AT WHATEVER POINT OF THE DAY SHE SO DESIRES THEM. Man alive. And now she’s, like, a proper tiny person, she’ll just fetch them herself from upstairs and look totally aghast and calls her lawyer to report a breach of her basic human rights if I take them off her.
I know, I know. I’VE CREATED A MONSTER. In the post I’ve linked to above, I’m all ‘Yeah look at me not giving a shit about my baby having a dummy, I’ll just take it off her when she’s older, piece of piss bruv, bring it on, woop woop’ and now I’ve reached that point, I’m fucking bricking it. Moo is obstinate, defiant and bloody stubborn (no idea where she gets that from, ahem) so the thought of BATTLING her on this TERRIFIES me.
HEEEELP. People who have wrestled dummies from their children’s puckered mouths, HOW? Or am I fretting too soon about this stuff, and should just wait till she’s older and can be reasoned with (bribed)?
DO I JUST BURN ALL THE DUMMIES?
Five nights. FIVE NIGHTS. Next week I will have FIVE MOO-LESS NIGHTS. That’s five whole nights and six whole days without my toddler. SHRIEK! And also, YAY! I mean, OBVS I will miss her like mentalissimo, and will probably spend the first few hours wandering round my house and making Marmite sandwiches for teddy bears and mournfully watching Cbeebies and sniffing her clothes, but THEN I reckon all the headiness of freedom will kick in and I’ll go out and, like, DO stuff.
The question is: WHAT the crap DO I DO with all that free time?
What do I ACTUALLY do?
And I am SERIOUSLY asking you here. See, this is my serious face: *does serious face*
I need suggestions. Obvs I want to make the most of such rare, precious, parental-duty-free time, and not just meld into my sofa watching the DVD box sets of Game of Thrones and The Killing (both on my to do list, natch) but I don’t really know WHAT I could do.
So far I’ve come up with:
- have a manicure (never had one before)
- go out and get drunk a lot
- triple bill at the cinema
- maybe overnight stay at the cinema
- go out and get drunk a lot
- a trip somewhere to see some people
- a trip somewhere to see some stuff
- a trip somewhere to see, erm, other stuff
Doing well, yeah? I know, right. I have NO IMAGINATION and I’m PANICKING.
C’mon, helpmehelpmehelpmehelpme. I need THINGS to do which will distract me from having no Moo, but which won’t cost a small fortune, and don’t require removing any body hair or injections.
Who knows, I may even blog about my escapades, if y’all give me some good stuff to do
By the way, Moo is going to stay with her daddy for the week, I haven’t packed her off to the Foreign Legion or anyfink. Ahem.
Now I am very impressionable so keep your ideas clean, please. Oh fuck it who am I kidding, I want to feel like myself again. TELL ME WHAT TO DO. You know you want to…
*waits with bated breath*
Help. Oh, help. I seem to have bred a tiny, tornado-fuelled, proper little madam.
Y’know how I told you Moo had dropped her nap? Yeah? And it’s been a challenging time for us recently? Mmhmm? Well, I was downplaying it a bit. IT’S MUCH WORSE THAN THAT. Lately, Moo has changed. Once a sweet dainty baby, now a pocket toddler with attitude. She’s sometimes – frequently – horrible. I am literally actually admitting that on occasion, I don’t even LIKE her very much, cos she’s mean to me and has nasty tantrums and I’m just tired of it all. Innit.
I can’t be the only one to notice this. Toddlers DO this, right? This is them changing from baby-lovely to toddler-mare, unless I’m mistaken – what the initiated refer to as ‘the Terrible Twos’? For the love of Jeezus. MOO IS NOT EVEN TWO YET. Not for another 2 months. This is so unfair. She had to be all ADVANCED and get the demonic behaviour in there early, didn’t she. Obvs she has inherited my hatred of being late for anything. Much to my detriment, it seems. Bah.
So the tantrums. She strops when she doesn’t want to sit in the buggy, when she doesn’t want to walk, when I can’t carry her AND push the buggy, when we get to the park and the swings are already in use, when there are no available spades and/or buckets in the sandpit, when I don’t buy her a biscuit from the park café, when we don’t go to Co-op, when we do go to Co-op, when I change her nappy, when I say it’s bath time, when it’s bed time, when she wakes up, when I go to have a shower and have to leave her alone for TWO FARKING MINUTES, etc etc I could go on.
Bless her. I know why she’s doing it. It’s not cos she’s testing boundaries, or going through a clingy phase, or asserting her independence, or any of that shite. It’s cos she’s a farking drama queen and wants to cause a scene. She’s actually doing it ON PURPOSE cos she knows it pisses me off. That’s how VINDICTIVE she is. Saves it all up for somewhere nice and public, then lets rip with unearthly screeches and wails, and contorts her body into supernatural positions so that it looks like I’m tying her in knots whereas I am in fact attempting to ferry her home safely so that she can explode in the confines of our own home. I have begun to watch her when we’re out, like one would watch a ticking bomb, just counting down the seconds until the tantrumic blast rips through the soft play centre and I have to lever Moo’s writhing form out of a circle of shocked, open-mouthed mothers, while their own perfectly behaved offspring play peacefully in the background.
My current method of tantrum management involves sitting it out if we’re at home, and removing her from the present location if we’re out. Is this correct? Is that what I should be doing? I’m BLIND on this one, folks, especially as when Moo kicks off, my instinct is to scream wordlessly back at her, tear off my blouse to reveal the words ‘WHY? WHY, MOO, WHY?’ inked onto my chest in red marker pen, and sob relentlessly into a ditch, until she goes away. I have a feeling that’s frowned upon, though.
Yeah, I know it’s a phase, and it will pass, and she’ll be a really pleasant person when she’s like, 38, or whatever, but I am hoping for some good times between then and now. Please share some wisdom, or at least let me know I’m not alone, by telling me about your devilish toddlers?
Or, I’ll set Moo on you. *readies the catapult*
I’ve not been around much lately. This is not because – as some of you may suspect – I have been holed up in my lair with only a dildo for company. It’s good, but it’s not THAT good. Nope.
Not been around cos of Moo, innit. The little minx has dropped her afternoon nap, and decided that bedtime is for losers. I’ve been battling on an epic scale to get her into her cot each evening, and despite me throwing everything in my arsenal at her, it has been a proper clash of wills and a few times, it felt like she was winning. Moo – WINNING. And I hate losing. Hate it. I don’t lose, if I can help it. But to be bested by my 22 month old daughter feels particularly galling. I think, sometimes, just the fact that she was utterly exhausted meant that I triumphed. It is a bittersweet victory though, cos I’m farking knackered too, all the bloody time, innit.
So it’s all change here, I’m afraid. My current strategy of Do A Lot Of Physical Activity During The Day So That The Rambunctious Toddler Is Farking Shattered By Dinnertime seems to be working so far. Sadly it leaves me very little room for blogging and other online shenanigans, especially as my evenings will be taken up with play rehearsals as well, the further into September/October we go. Previous to this evening, I had not checked my emails since Saturday. SATURDAY! FFS. This is alien to me. And I’d barely surfaced on Twitter. My stats for motherventing are abysmal. Which irks me. A bit. Sigh.
But, y’know. Life is life, as someone wise once said. Maybe this is a wake up call and I need to accept that I can’t commit to an online existence of such scale (and really, if I’m honest, compared to some bloggers, I hardly scratch the surface) while my daughter is this young and needs my attention. Maybe I’ve immersed myself within this medium to such an extent that I’m losing sight of what matters. What is this blog, anyway? It’s not a job, it’s not furthering a career – it’s a hobby, an online diary, that I use for myself, and yeah, I get great page views if I blog on a daily basis, but now I no longer have the opportunity to do that, is it worth it me castigating myself about this? Nah. Not so much.
I love blogging. I do. It’s a form of expression which suits me greatly. I may not be everyone’s cup of hot chocolate and to be honest, I don’t really care what the haters think of me, they can suck on it and fark off while they’re there. And then fark off a little bit further. Yet as much as I love blogging, I’m backing off a bit. Just a smidge. I have a toddler to tame and she’s feisty. Once I’ve worked out what makes her tick, and I can deal with her, I’ll be back on it like a car bonnet. You wait and see.
All change, then. Change is good. Change is healthy. *sweats a bit* So I don’t blog every day, yeah? *twitches*
How often is enough for you? Can blogging get stale if done every day?
That’s TERRORS. Not terriers. Terriers aren’t particularly terrifying, except for the ones with knives. But terrors – and specifically, night terrors – are actually bloody crapping terrifying. Innit.
The worse thing? It’s not me that’s having them. It’s my little Moo. Yep. That’s right. TWICE now, which, in my opinion is two times too many for a tiny person. Two nights this week she has woken up screaming. Proper screaming. Like I’ve not heard her scream before. Sheer desperate panic. Hideous. Nothing a parent ever wants to hear emanating from their child’s bedroom.
Of course I’m awake in a nanosecond. I’m in her room, next door to mine, in another nanosecond. I pick her up and she sobs, in my arms, for a bit. I do all my best cuddling moves. I whisper lovely stuff in her ear. I rock gently. She’s all right. She’s good. She wants to go back into her cot. That’s also good. All credit to Moo, she drops back to sleep after about twenty minutes, no problemo. Me? Nah, that’s me AWAKE TILL THE END OF TIME, then.
I’ve not Googled night terrors. Me and Google don’t get on when it comes to ailments, physical or otherwise. I’ve just assumed this is what’s happening. I know Moo has had nightmares before but nothing like this. And today – after last night’s funtime scream-a-thon – she refused to nap in her cot. So by the afternoon we are both tired, grumpy, tense and needing a lot of biscuits.
She’s gone to bed this evening well enough. But I am DREADING the wee hours now. I’m exhausted enough that it’s an early night for me, but I know I won’t sleep easy, one ear constantly vigilant for the slightest shift in rhythmic breathing. And of course, of course of course, there’s FARK ALL I can do about it. If she wakes screaming, from some unknown terror she can’t formulate into words for me, then there’s bugger all I can do to prevent it. I guess I can just be there for her, if she wakes, in that nanosecond or two.
Helpless. And tired.
Has anyone else experienced this before? Themselves or their children? Should I Google? And what’s faster than a nanosecond?
That was my fierce roar. Geddit? See, I can be fierce. I can do TIGER EYES. *does tiger eyes* No, I am not merely squinting a bit. These are the EYES of a FIERCE TIGER. Be scared! Go on! RAAAAAR!
OK I’m kidding. I’m not really fierce. I got called fierce today, which was nice, but made me snorty laugh a bit, not in a derisory way, but just cos I don’t believe I am fierce, so when I get called it, I am all disbelieving, innit.
Someone I know on Twitter wanted some advice regarding their relationship break-up and while I couldn’t really offer any practical hints and tips in regard to their specific situation, I made sure to offer support and to lend an ear should they need one. They mentioned that they knew I was going through something similar myself from reading my blog, and wished they could be ‘as fierce’ as me. See? Fierce. Raaaaar. OK I will stop doing tiger eyes now. I can’t really see properly when I do that anyway.
Fierce. There’s nowt fierce about my separation. Sad, frustrating, heart-wrenching, lonely, bitter, sometimes bearable, agonising, shit and, erm, sad are terms I’d use. I have not felt fierce about it at all. I’m not sure when fierce became an acceptable vernacular for something positive (I blame Tyra Banks and her legions of squinty-eyed models) either. To my mind, fierce infers a fighting spirit, someone with a bit of spunky courage, sharp nails and a mane of hair, a loud roar and battle-ready. Is that me? I dunno. Maybe I should invoke some ferocity. Sounds fun. I can be fierce! I’ve got the eyes for it. And nails. I have sharp nails. RAAAAAAR *cough* *sucks on a throat sweet*
Some people NEED to be fierce during their separation. Sometimes it’s called for. Whether it’s cos the ex is being a mook or cos you need to stand up for what you’re entitled to, a bit of ferocity and, um, spunk can go a long way. Do it. Go for it. Be fierce. It’s better than being walked over, surely? I’m fortunate in that my ex and I get on, we communicate, and we can – I hope – one day move into an easy friendship; and we both adore The Moo, so y’know, that makes life a bit calmer. Not everyone has that luck of the draw. But I think if I had to, well… I’d be fierce. With knobs on.
I think what I’m trying to say (bear with me, caller) is that if you can see ferocity in what I do and it helps you, then GOOD. Makes all this blogging shizzle worthwhile. I like to think that y’all prefer me fierce to maudlin, innit.
*squints again* RAAAAAAA – *cough* Must stop doing that.
Can you be fierce? How d’you turn on the ferocity?