Funny thing that happened

On Sunday evening, Mr Daddy and I had a row, something like this:

Me – You never appreciate how much I do with the children and the house! You get to just play with them, I do 90% of the hard stuff!
Him –  I do appreciate it, but it’s not easy for me either! I’m also tired! And I also do hard stuff!
Me – You get to go to an office! I’ve been to offices, they have private bathrooms! And you can drink hot beverages in peace! And no-one has tantrums!
Him – Can we not have this argument in front of the kids? You’re scaring them!
Me, full fledged theatrical rage – NO, you don’t get to silence me with that card! That’s it, I’m going to go have dinner at a restaurant by myself and you can put them both to bed and see what it’s LIKE!

And the little dude says “me dtome  too Mummy, me go resdauwant widt  Mummy, me gonna get me djacket”.

So I took the little dude to go get fish and chips.

The whole way in the car he happily repeats “me go resdauwant widt Mummy! Me say me go resdauwant widt Mummy and den me do go resdauwant widt Mummy!”

This is three months

By golly this baby is a cute one. Oh me oh my he is such a cute one. He’s so cute I need to use twee phrases to convey how cute he is. I want to use words like “scrumptious”. He’s so cute I talk to him in superlatives, and feel disloyal to my memories of the little dude at the same age.

Could you be any cuter?! No, you could not, you are at maximum cuteness right now! Oh yes you are.

Three months, starting to laugh, laughing such lovely laughs. Open wide grin and a chuckle like uncorking a bottle of warmth. Peek-a-boo is a hit. Sometimes if he’s in his bouncy seat or if he’s being held by someone else he’ll try and catch my eye and smile at me or laugh at me. ‘Cause he’s the cutest.

He looks like me, this baby. The big one looks exactly like his dad, it’s kinda nice to have one who looks like me too.

At about 6am he wakes up and has a feed, and I do everything I can to get him back to sleep so that I can keep dozing, and he lies on my chest while I drum on his back. Sometimes he drifts off again and sometimes he lifts his chest up, looks right at me and gives an enormous smile.

I kiss his cheeks and kiss his neck, where it’s the softest, and I can see how old ladies might pinch baby cheeks, forever wanting to have one more brush with that soft soft skin, one more snuggle with the cosy bundle of a fresh bubba.

This is two and a half

At two and a half, he’s definitely not a baby and not even a toddler. Two and half is half way to school.

He tells me things, chatter chatter chatter chatter all day long. The invisible connection I feel when I’m around him used to be based on glances and now it’s based on words. “You alright my darling?”, I ask from the kitchen while he watches Peppa Pig on the couch. “Yeah Mummy, me fine” he replies without looking up. Later, I stand in the hallway, lips pursed, furrowed brow, trying to remember if I’ve got everything I need for leaving the house. He looks at me “Mummy, you aright Mummy?”

He surprises me with his knowledge of how things work, “Dat man not wearing his elmut! Need to wear elmut onna bike!”, and his memories, and what he picks up on in his environment. Today at the market he saw some yellow tomatoes and he said “yeyyow domadoes, yike at Mira’s party!” – six weeks ago, he saw yellow tomatoes and he remembered it.

There are new ways of being connected, snuggling in bed with him telling him stories, teasing him, joking, asking him to tell me things about his day, conversing. Me: “the wheels on the bus go… SWISH SWISH SWISH”. Him, laughing hysterically “no wheels go wound and wound, Mummy saying it wong!!”. Me “oh, sorry, the wipers on the bus go… BEEP BEEP BEEP”. He thinks I’m hilarious. Classic.

He wants me to tell him a story about when I was a little girl and I was naughty.

Ok kiddo.

One day when Mummy was a little girl Mummy was very very naughty. Uncle Liam was a baby, and Nana was giving him his milk, and Mummy went into the nappy room and took out all the nappies and threw them on the floor! It was so naughty. 

“Oh no Mummy dat so naughty! Mummy, you shouldn’t do dat Mummy!

His vocab is extensive, but he talks like a baby “me need a duddle and a diss”. He knows when he’s being cheeky and he has a particular laugh, impish impish, when he’s caught in the act. What are you doing? What are you doing scallywag? “Me djust open da fidge and me djust eating honey!”

He said “is it” when he means “it is”, which makes all his observations sound like questions.

When a picture book shows food, he says “me djust petending” and mimes the action of taking the food from the page and eating it (“and one bfor Mummy dtoo!”). He recognises the letter D and says “dat one me number! Dat one D for Davy!”

I do that thing that mums do, talking to the baby, and the little dude looks up at me and says with weary patience “Mummy. Ben dan’t dalk. Ben a baby.”

If he sees a dog, he’s scared sometimes but not other times. I have no idea what system he uses to categorise. Some of the scary ones seem small and fluffy, and yesterday a large German Shepherd was labelled a fendly doddie.

He’s so bloody bossy my kid. Today at the playground “dat big boy come back here and go down dis slide!” Uh, that big boy will do whatever he wants actually.

Two and a half is off out the door with his dad on a creche day, puffer jacket and backpack, waving at me “bye mum! Me donna run so me don’t miss da bus yike Pedro Pony!”

He can open a car door and climb into his carseat, but he still sometimes likes to wind me up by taking his arms out of the seat straps. He is very careful with traffic and roads – “no dat car boom me! Me donna be soooo dareful, me donna walk on da footpath, and me donna hold Mummy hand”.

Two and a half is half way between baby and big kid and every glimpse of baby makes me want to scoop him up in a cuddle and every glimpse of big kid makes me want to hold him tight tight tight when I do.



More achievable goals

That achievable goals thing I blogged about a few weeks back has been good by the way. It’s such a cheesy but brilliant idea. Choose something easy enough to become a habit. Once it’s a habit, choose a new thing to add in. So – new goals to add:

For me and Mr Daddy: eat our dinner before the kids go to bed. When we do this, it is soooooo much better, ’cause if one of them is difficult to get down, at least we’ve had sustenance already. Also means we get to bed earlier ourselves.

For bub: spend at least 10 minutes in each of his wake up periods playing with him. Just ’cause he’s immobile doesn’t mean we should ignore him!

For the little dude: I’ve been reading about positive discipline stuff, and one thing I read sounded pretty sensible and I want to try and make it a habit. It goes like this: when they are about to engage in problematic behaviours, or while they’re already doing it, use a four step response:

  1. Reminder with explanation and suggested alternative (“we don’t throw library books, that might break the book and might hit someone! Let’s sit here and read them instead, you choose which one you want to read”).
  2. Reminder with communication of consequence (“those books are meant to be for reading, if you keep throwing the books we have to leave”).
  3. Reminder with encouragement of alternative AND communication of consequence (“that’s a book, not a ball! Do you want to read these stories with Mummy or do we need to go home?”).
  4. Finally if they persist, the consequence (“ok, we’re going home now”).

I like it because it means they know what to expect, and also it gives the adult enough time to get things ready to execute the consequence, and you don’t get stuck in that pattern of trying to get them to comply ineffectively and finally imposing a poorly-thought-out consequence after a long battle. And lots of the positive/gentle discipline stuff doesn’t give any info about what to do with a kid who seems to have an impressive resistance to being thwarted in his fun attempt to destroy things. As you do the first step, you can think of the consequence, so that you can choose one which you’re happy to impose. For example today at Capital E, I used this approach and chose the consequence of stopping playing with the thing he was playing with, and going to a different thing a couple of metres away.

Snappy version:

First reminder – explain and redirect
Second reminder – present consequence
Third reminder – reiterate
Final step – execute consequence

Yep so that’s my list.