The reality behind those picture perfect moments

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We look happy right? A mother and daughter having a lovely family day out. Moments after my husband snapped this photo we were in the midst of an epic meltdown. The cause? Well naturally I have no idea. When you are two you don’t really need a reason now do you? It might be because mama packed away the sandwich you said you ‘no like’ then suddenly decided that you liked very much? It might have been because there was a speck of juice on your shorts. It might even be because the sky was blue and your favourite colour right now is yellow. The list of possibilities is endless.

A few weeks ago I felt like my daughter and I had found our groove. She seemed to have hit the ‘terrible twos’ early so I was hopeful she was moving out of them early too. I thought the storm had passed. I was wrong. Very very wrong. It was simply the eye of the storm, the calm before the thunders of two became stronger than ever.

My tiny lady currently likes to do everything herself. If you offer assistance, even the slightest form of help, you will instantly regret it. There will be a wail, followed by a loud ‘NO’ and you will be treated to the most filthiest of looks. It now takes between five and ten minutes for her to climb into her car-seat and position herself just so. She wants to put on her shoes by herself though she hasn’t yet learned how. Last week she even burst into tears when I patiently tried to explain to her that she was too small to actually drive the car.

As a former Montessori Teacher I know all the theories and all the reasons why we must allow children to take their time and develop these skills at their own rate. Most of the time I have no problem with this. However, when you are late for an appointment and your toddler insists on doing everything (and I mean everything) by her ownself you would need the patience of a saint not to intervene. Theories are all very well but sometimes reality does not allow us to be the ‘best’ mothers we can be am I right? Sometimes it’s okay to just flunk the motherhood exam; put those shoes on yourself and strap that stubborn bundle of cute into her car-seat. Everybody has days like this.

So the next time you see me caught in a picture perfect moment and feel a moment of despair as you battle your toddler to put on his coat/shoes/clothes in general; fear not this moment is merely one tiny part of the day when we are not engaged in a battle of wills. If you stick around you are sure to witness an explosion. Be strong toddler mommies, this too shall pass.

 

The Teething Fairy (yes you read that right)

Teething. Nobody ever tells you how bad it can really be. Sure you hear the odd story about a baby not able to sleep or suddenly morphing into a drool factory overnight but you really don’t worry about it too much. Until the magic teething fairy visits your house. She is the tooth fairy’s ugly stepsister and she is an utter b****! You may have put a sleeping angel to bed but thanks to the teething fairy a demon child will greet you in the morning. The teething fairy coats your lovely child in layers of drool and adds a nasty rash to her chin. Then she amps up the pain factor to ensure neither you or your child will enjoy the coming day. She smiles smugly to herself before flying away, giving you the finger as you sleep the sleep of the innocent, unsuspecting of the terror that will wake you in a few more hours (if you’re lucky).

My daughter has spent the last few days caked in drool with a temper as bad as any foul-mouthed sailor. If she knew how to curse I have no doubt that she would. For now she satisfies herself by screeching no at the top of her voice while we, her parents, cower in fear at the other end of the room. Nothing makes her happy. No I’m wrong TV and babybels make her happy. So as long as the TV is on or she is eating cheese she is…I won’t say fine but she is bearable. Is it wrong to allow your toddler to spend the day mindlessly watching TV? My mind says yes but my poor beaten spirit says no, you deserve a break. So honestly yes the TV has been on a little (a lot) more often than it usually would be. Yesterday was the longest day of my life as I counted down the hours until she could legitimately be put to bed.

My tiny lady isn’t the most gentle of souls anyway but she is usually a ball of fun in the middle of the tantrums, now there are just tantrums. I tell myself it’s just a phase, it’s just her teeth, it will pass…but part of me fears it will never pass, this endless stage of teething. So thank you teething fairy, thank you for the lovely gifts you have left us but I’m afraid next time you try to visit I will be waiting up to slam the window in your face!