Forget the birthing horror stories… here are some of the realities of having children that not one single person tells you before you make ‘that’ life choice!
- The ‘Stroppy Sevens ‘ are an actual thing and they are WAAAAAAY harder to deal with than the terrible twos or threenagers!
We are currently living the ‘Stroppy Sevens’ phase and I can assure it makes the memory of dealing with a toddler throwing an absolute shit fit on the floor of M&S Menswear Department pale into insignificance. Not least because at least the three year old is still small enough to tuck under your arm and remove her from the store! Granted you may look like a more deranged version of the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang but come on….. nobody would actually, willingly take a child making that kind of commotion unless they were genuinely responsible for said child!
A Stroppy Seven however is a whole different beast! Without the emotional intelligence of a teenager but clearly suffering the effects of some degree of hormonal imbalance! They will career from polite, happy, engaging delightful offspring of yours, to sobbing, sulking, foot stamping animal who you don’t even recognise. And it happens in the blink of an eye. Probably for some heinous crime like…. the radio playing the wrong Little Mix track!
Our resident (not quite) seven year old has perfected this…. I can barely wait for the teen years!
- Toddlers in full time childcare are a lot like having a pet…… there is always some kind of infestation doing the rounds and you constantly run the gauntlet of bringing some unwanted nasty home with you.
We all know that kids overshare and, as such, contamination is virtually unavoidable. Everyday see’s a new poster on the nursery door warning of another potential contamination! But it is still a gross prospect. No other word for it. And so it is that my poor children sit shivering in the bath whilst I wet comb their hair every couple of days. WITH.OUT.FAIL. You can deal with poo, sick and snot, it’s all in a days work… But by hook or by crook I’m not having itchy critters in the house! In a way it’s not too far removed from flea combing a cat!
- A hungry child is a ferocious beast!
This is one that I didn’t fully appreciate until quite recently as my eldest was always more of a grazer. The youngest however has always liked her food and, as she gets older, we realise the importance of pre-empting her demands whenever possible…. Although that’s easier said than done!
Approaching my un-fed three year old is best done slowly and whilst brandishing some food ahead of you at arms length!
I have got in to the habit of always having food with me for nursery pick up. But even this can go horribly wrong. Having failed to perfect my mind reading skills I often pitch up offering her the snack we agreed at drop off…….. only to find said snack now ranks somewhere near deadly poison in her mind by the end of the day! “Mummy you should have brought an orange”…. FML!!!
- You will NEVER make your child understand the concept of time.
And the more you try to rush them, the SLOWER. THEY. WILL. MOVE! But of course when they miss their favourite TV programme or activity it will ALWAYS be your fault that they are late!
- Whoever said it takes 6 weeks for a behaviour to become a habit was lying!
If this was in ANYWAY true then surely, after three years of getting ready for pre-school / school, it would no longer be necessary for Mums to remind their off spring that they can’t go to school in their PJ’s, to put their pants on before their tights or that teeth need cleaning!
It is a daily struggle which never fails to push me ever nearer the edge as my children look at me in utter confusion as I suggest they need to clean their teeth or get dressed. You would honestly think I had asked them to build a rocket and fly me to the moon………. Although they probably wouldn’t think that a strange request at all!
- You will live in a constant state of self doubt!
No matter what you read, who you talk to or how you parent… once you are responsible for keeping small people alive day after day (after day, after day!) there will always be a little seed of doubt somewhere as to whether you are ‘doing it right’….. But the truth is – we are all just winging it!