Smack, bang, game over

“I’m going to bed early tonight.”

Hahahaha! It’s probably the funniest thing I’ve said all day, maybe all year, perhaps in the last decade too. I rarely go to bed early these days. I look at any time after the girls go to bed as “my time”. Yes, it means I get a little less sleep. But it’s my chance to watch a grown-up television show (as in something that isn’t on ABCKids), try to read a book or even do some writing, woohoo excitement plus! That’s the joy of parenting right?! There’s some kind of silver lining there.

Your priorities definitely change as a parent. How you define them is your choice but finding some time for myself is always a big one. And if that means losing a little bit of sleep, I guess I’ll just have to wear it. But when my dearest darling children are the ones behind my loss of sleep, it’s another story!

They just know when to pounce, every time. Whether it’s super early, late, your defences are way down or they just want to push the buttons. It’s like my girls know exactly when I’ve hit my deep sleep and bam, it’s time to bring me back to wide awake again. Or they know when I’m starting to stir in the morning. You know that moment where you first open your eyes and before you know it they spot you. You can’t close your eyes again because they know you’re awake. You want just a couple more minutes but defeat is your best option.

It’s pretty much the best option especially when the odds are stacked against you. The tears. The tantrums. The whinging and whining. It all makes me want to hide in a cupboard until it’s all over. Will it ever be over?! Insert long drawn out groan right here. Haha! Ahhhhh the fun.

Lately I feel like I’ve been more of a referee than anything else.
“Izzie hit me.”
“Phoebe bit me.”
“Izzie’s not sharing.”
“Phoebe took it.”
“Mummy it’s not fair.”
I think I’ve said “life’s not fair kiddo” more times than I can count and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen so many eye rolls I’m waiting for a little head to spin around.

Miss Izzie is my drama queen. Everything is the end of the world, especially when she doesn’t get her own way.
Miss Phoebe is just hell bent on stirring up trouble whenever she can. If she can get her sister into trouble she will and she doesn’t care how she goes about it.
I then feel I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to work out which child is in trouble and who is the cause of trouble. Phoebe’s cheeky grin is often a dead giveaway of her guilt.
Honestly, I feel like bashing my head against a wall, it might be more effective seeing as they don’t listen to me anyway. I predict the future won’t be any better so I’m adjusting as best I can already, haha!

But as always, they know how to work their magic and find a way back into Mummy’s good books. I’m a bit of a softie when they come up and hug me for no reason or tell me they love me, it is kind of sweet. And they’re still at an age where you can almost safely assume they don’t want anything major. But then again, I do still have the say over when they can have chocolate…..

One step at a time

I want to do it. Can I do it? What are you doing? What’s that? Can I help? It’s all about helping mummy these days, which I love. Except when nine times out of ten it would be much quicker to do it myself. But it’s hard to say no to a very determined young lady, especially when she’s already moving furniture to get a better position to start helping. And who am I to say no?!

Miss Izzie is very much bustling with questions these days too. Who are those people? Where are they going? What is that? And a lot of these questions are often followed by why? I do my best to answer but it seems my answers aren’t always enough and the questions keep coming. It’s hard not to get frustrated and I feel a sense of compassion for what I must have put my mum through back in the day. Sometimes changing the subject or even mentioning food often works well in my favour (haha!), that is until the questions start firing again. Whyyyyyyyy???!!!

And the attitude has intensified ten fold. Who would have thought a three-year-old would have so much to say about everything, but especially when it doesn’t go her own way. Many would say she’s taking after her mother already, haha! We even played the fun copy exactly what mummy says “game” over dinner the other night. I did my best to keep a straight face but I must admit it was a bit hard not to laugh, especially when the giggles started because she knew it was annoying me. They always know!

And as always the fun doesn’t end with my eldest cheeky monkey. Her younger sister is growing fast and also making her feelings well known if she doesn’t get her own way, especially if her older sister is involved. There are plenty of squabbles over toys, hair pulling, screaming and of course tears, not always from the one you would expect either. There are still many more years of this fun to come.

But what I’m loving most about interacting with Miss Phoebe right now is her beautiful (although cheeky) smile, her infectious giggles, her bubbly chattering and most of all her kisses and cuddles, especially when she wraps her arms around my neck. In saying all that, I still think she may have a bit of a rebellious nature that could lead to some interesting times ahead. If you find me curled up in the corner, it might be too late, haha!

There are some days I wish we were past the awkward phases and other days I want them to stay little forever. Despite their argumentative moments, the girls get along really well and can often be quite cute. Or is that just to lull me into a false sense of security?! Hmmmmm……
But they do look out for each other, shower each other in hugs and kisses and are usually happy to see each other at the start of every day. It makes me smile watching their faces light up at the sight of each other! It’s moments like those that make the world okay again.

It’s funny how often we forget about the good things when we’re surrounded by the bad. But kids don’t know any different. As long as they have their favourite toy or clothes or food, they are thankfully pretty content. I find a chocolatey treat goes a long way too!

They may have turned my world upside down and inside out but life sure is pretty awesome with my girls. Just don’t ask me what I really think if it’s a day that isn’t going so well….

Pushing the limits

It’s been a crazy few days in our house.

Okay maybe more like a crazy few weeks!

I’d really like to use a stronger word than crazy but let’s just keep it PG rated for now.

I’ve lost my shit more than once and I’m not proud of it!

But sometimes counting to 10 just doesn’t cut it, especially when it comes to dealing with a temperamental toddler!

Yes, usually Miss Izzie is a pretty good kid, but lately she’s been replaced by a feral child.

Okay a little harsh, but in the moments I’m pulling my hair out, I think “feral” is probably a nice word for it!

She’s almost like the rhyme about the little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead.

And yes believe me she can be horrid!

Terrible twos isn’t just a fancy term thrown out there for fun.

It’s like they know exactly when to flick the switch and go from being a darling child to a terror in the blink of an eye.

Is it some kind of test, that we as parents of toddlers must pass when they’re at the age of two to see if we can continue the fun of parenting?

Well I know you certainly can’t quit.

I often joke with my amazing mum about the fact my brother and I are still alive and wonder how she coped.

Most of the time she laughs, shrugs and says she just did because there was no other option.

Before you strike up the violins….I’m not silly, I knew what I was getting myself into by having children.

But I didn’t think I’d be looking in the mirror on a daily basis and dealing with a mini me.

Yes I’m under no illusion that Miss Izzie is a mini version of her mother, with quite the fiery temper already.

I’m sure my parents are secretly laughing at the thought of what still lies ahead.

I’ve got a long way to go yet but I’m already dreading the teenage years, especially with two girls to deal with!

I remember when I was in my late teens (sooooo long ago!!) saying sorry so many times to my mum.

Apparently I wasn’t really that bad but I definitely had my moments!

I wonder if I’ll see a little bit of history repeating?!

Well they say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Let’s just hope one of the girls inherits daddy’s temperament….

A mother’s tale

“Mummy, mummy, mummy, mummy……”

I’m not going to lie, I’m still loving hearing it.

No doubt that will change one day.

Just like there are days I love being a mum.

And there are days I don’t.

And as the cliched saying goes, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Mind you, there are days I think I could.

But that’s another story.

Aside from my husband, Miss Izzie is definitely the love of my life.

It’s a love that has been there since before she was even born.

It’s probably a love that I can’t even describe (but I don’t want to get too soppy on you!).

She makes me smile, laugh and cry.
And yes she most certainly makes me mad.

But her infectious personality makes even the gloomiest of days so much brighter.

Okay I’m a little biased but she’s a pretty cute, easy going (not all the time!!) kid….when I’m in a good mood of course (haha!).

I never really thought much about being a mum when I was growing up.

That’s not to say I didn’t think about having kids one day, I just never imagined what it would be like.

And if I’m going to be honest, it’s not really what I was expecting!

Being a mum, a parent in general really, is hard.

Not that I thought it was going to be a walk in the park.

Your life, as you once knew it, has changed, in some ways, for the better.

You stop thinking about just yourself and become responsible for a tiny human, relying on you for love, guidance and of course food and fresh nappies!

As with most things in life, you get on with it but enjoy it so much more when you’re rewarded with that cheeky smile, hug or even the call (scream) of “mummy”.

That’s what makes every day special but days like Mother’s Day take on even more of a meaning now.

It’s my second Mother’s Day as a mum and I think with an energetic (hopefully) happy toddler on my hands it’s going to be a beautiful day.

For all the lucky mums out there, whether it’s breakfast in bed, opening precious gifts, simply just relaxing or just being mum (like every other day), I hope you all enjoy your special day because it’s back to normal on Monday!

For everyone else, don’t forget to spoil those awesome, fantastic and special women in your life who mean the most to you!

To all the beautiful mums (including my own), mums-to-be and those fulfilling the role, I wish you all a very Happy Mother’s Day!

In their own time

“Slow down mummy”.

That’s what I have to keep telling myself every time I think my daughter should be doing something she hasn’t quite achieved yet.

Why is everyone in such a hurry for things to happen these days?

Oh, that’s right as parents we’re competitive, always trying to outdo each other.

Before you think I’m attacking every parent out there, I’m not.
Even I’m guilty of it.

Take yourself back to a recent group catch up.

Your munchkin is talking, crawling or walking or even kicking a ball.
Just watch and listen to the other parents as they try to encourage their children to do the same or even better.

I can picture you smiling and nodding in agreement.

And this doesn’t just apply to kids, adults do the same but usually there’s alcohol involved!

Take a look in the mirror, you’re only human after all.

But take a step back and look at the bigger picture (I can hear my husband now, “how about you take some of your own advice…”).

My darling daughter is in the early stages of walking. She takes a few steps and then resorts back to crawling.

But I find myself pulling her up onto her feet and pushing her to walk more which doesn’t always go well!

I really should just let her go and wait for it to happen.
I know she’ll take off…..I mean walk….when she’s ready.

Seriously though, our kids are only little for such a short amount of time, we should be embracing this and not trying to push them to be the next best thing since sliced bread.

I really should take my own advice sometimes…

A change of dialogue

I’ve been known to drop a few swear words in my life.

Okay so maybe more than a few.
But I had some good teachers.

There’s been many stories shared over the years.

But one that sticks in my mind involves me sitting on the front fence and showing off my fine verbal skills to the young troublemakers of our neighborhood, who in turn apparently found me hilarious.

And so it seems I’ve never really looked back.

Now with lots of little people in my life, including my own little person, I’m doing my best to cut back on the swearing.

I’m not going to lie, it’s a habit that’s tricky to break. Especially when I’ve had a sh.. sorry bad day.

So I’ve been doing some swapping of words when the need arises….which is more frequently than I anticipated.

Sugar Honey Ice and Tea replaces the popular word that also means poo (insert giggle here).

Fudge slips out instead of the well-known f-bomb.

And peed takes care of that word some also use to say they’re drunk or angry.

Sometimes completely obscure words pop out as I realise what I’m about to say and I’ve also resorted to the use of cheeky monkey and ratbag instead of “little sugar honey ice and tea” (I’m sure you get the picture).

I probably sound ridiculous using the alternatives but I figure it’s a lot better than our Little Miss adopting a bad habit at such a young age (and taking after her mother).

I’m not completely naive, I know she’s likely to hear it from other adults and children at some point but I’m willing to give anything a go, no matter how silly I sound.

If all else fails there’s always the option of threatening to wash her mouth out with soap.

For me the foul taste of Tobasco sauce is still strong in my mind after my parents decided they’d had enough of my swearing.

I swear (pun intended) I ate half a tube of toothpaste to try and get rid of the taste off my tongue.

Our little munchkins certainly learn their habits from us and I think I’m going to have to keep reminding myself every time I feel the words forming on my lips.

But before I wrap up, I feel I should take the opportunity here to drag my husband into the mix (I can picture him rolling his eyes already).
Contrary to popular belief, a few unsavoury words have been known to roll off his tongue as well.

So if our darling daughter happens to drop the f-bomb one day, don’t be too quick to point the finger of blame squarely in my direction…..

Never a dull moment

From morning wake up to bedtime, I’m usually always on the go.

I often wonder (when I have a spare minute) what I did before I was a mum.

Oh that’s right I could take my time getting ready for the day, enjoyed sleeping in (remind me what it’s like again), watched an entire movie without interruption, went to dinner (mmmmm I miss sushi), held an adult conversation which was scream free, the list goes on!

I love being a mum but every now and then I have that selfish thought that I’m sure every parent experiences, the one that plagues you with guilt, “I miss my life from before”.

It’s usually only a fleeting thought but is quickly diminished when a cheeky giggle fills the air.

Even as I write we’re in the middle of playtime, it pretty much fills a big part of our day.

Pretend tea parties, building (and destroying) block towers, playing in ball pits and generally scattering toys or land mines as we often call them across the floor.

I’m not going to lie I do take the time to check my emails, write and of course check Facebook while we play but it can take me 20 minutes to read one small email some days.

This is where I’m extremely grateful for the smart phone, providing a mini portable computer for busy parents everywhere!

Cue the pause button while I sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and ABC……you know you want to join in!

I often find myself still singing even without a child in the room (admit it you just nodded in agreement)!

Life has certainly changed, it’s become more of a juggling act.
Fitting in washing, cleaning, cooking and other daily activities seemed like a breeze before there was a demanding one-year-old ruling the house.

My hat goes off to all my amazing friends (you know who you are) who do all that with two children or more, my mind boggles at the thought of fitting it all in!

I can only imagine that routine would play a big part in keeping the wheels of the household turning smoothly!
That and lists and reminders….

I know my phone calendar is my biggest saviour, even now. Everything goes in with a reminder alarm attached and I’m often fielding phone calls from my husband to check on dates before anything else is planned.

Whatever I have planned or try to plan anyway my darling daughter usually has other ideas, no two days are the same, I can assure you of that.

Lucky I’m super organised (OCD organised if you ask some) or I’d imagine life would follow a very different path!

If only I could organise and plan for the tantrums…

Hitting the high note

A scream reverberates through the house.

Nope no one has committed murder although you would think that’s what was happening.

Instead my little “Miss Independent” is once again showing off her fine voice box.

And I use the term “fine voice box” very loosely!

Sometimes it’s a scream/squeal of excitement, which is more often than not repeated, but then there’s the dreaded tantrum.

That moment where the back is arched, the head gets thrown back and is swiftly followed by fist banging on the floor.

But then again that’s just one version of it.

Sometimes it’s funny and other times it’s downright frustrating, especially if you’re having one of those days!

So it begs the question: what is the right way to react??
Do you raise your voice in warning? Do you make a loud noise on a flat surface?
Do you give a warning smack?

Or if all else fails, do you fall in a heap and laugh?

I wish I knew the answer but along with the many riddles of parenting, our little bundles of joy keep us guessing!

Everyone deals with each individual situation in their own way and rightly so because every child is different.

That doesn’t necessarily make you feel better but it’s bound to be reassuring to know (although it may not feel like it at the time) that a similar scenario is playing out in many other households near you.

So far (crossing my fingers it stays that way) our tantrums have been confined to the privacy of our home.

I don’t think I’m ready to deal with the dreaded shopping centre tantrum.

We’ve all seen it. You go about your shopping and suddenly you hear screaming or repeated words from a whiny child not getting their own way. You quickly scoot past (or avoid the situation altogether) and thank your lucky stars it’s not you.

If the mother looks frazzled, I tend to give a smile of sympathy in the hope that one day if it happens to me, someone else will give me that same “it’s okay, we’ve all been there” smile.

Even as I write, my ears are hit with yet another scream.
I respond with a raised tone of voice but know the warning won’t go far.
She’s discovering her voice and developing in so many different ways.
At least that’s what I tell myself today.

Yesterday was one of “those days”.
You know where nothing goes right, you become more and more worked up and can’t wait until your partner is home to share the burden.
Those are the days where I look forward to our little one’s bedtime.

But no matter how frustrating things get, you always know that a sweet little smile or laugh or a cuddle will just make you melt, well for the five seconds until the next scream reaches your ears anyway.