The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 8

The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 8

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 24, September, 2019

STRESS – definition:                                                                                                                         A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.

MUMMY STRESS – definition:                                                                                                      The confusion created when one’s mind overrides the body’s basic desire to choke the living daylights out of the mini human standing screaming at his balloons because they won’t stop floating.

I’m almost 38 years old and I thought I could safely say I have experienced stressful times and circumstances in my life. I have been pretty lucky with the fact that they have been the ‘normal’ stresses and nothing too severe. I thought my jobs were sometimes stressful and the usual family stuff that most people have. You haven’t experienced stress until you have lived with a three-year-old. The terrible two’s? Ha! That’s nothing. The odd wee meltdown here and there because they don’t want to wear socks or the importance of putting trousers on before leaving the house. You may laugh? But I kid you not, these are relatively sane reasons for having a meltdown compared to the bat shit crazy stuff you have to endure when they turn three.

So how do you survive?

Well, I’ll tell you. The trick is to always have something to look forward to. It doesn’t matter how big or how small, in my experience, having that thing to look forward to will get you through the bad days.

My thing? James and I decided that at the start of the year we would book a holiday just for ourselves this year. We haven’t really had any time to ourselves since having the kids and with the offer of babysitting for a week from the Grandparents, it seemed like a no-brainer. So after a few nights of trawling through the holiday websites, we finally settled on a week in the Tenerife sun at the start of October. I. Cannot. Wait.

Toddler meltdowns? No problem. I would just say to myself, you’ll soon be off on that jet plane. For a whole week, you won’t have to say crazy things like, ‘Get your hands out of your trousers!’ or think about how many poops Lily had in the last two days. Ah bliss. But we still have a bit to go before then. The endurance test of parenthood.

Monday was a prime example. The morning started off well. James left for work as usual and I got the kids downstairs and got their breakfast organised. That was it. It was pretty much downhill from that point on. Jamie asked for Coco Pops. Then he had a meltdown because the Coco Pops were brown! I then said, ‘Did you mean Rice Crispies then?’ Jamie replied, “Yes Crispies please!” I poured the Rice Crispies and put the bowl down in front of him.

“NOOOOOOO! I want the chocolate Rice Crispies!!!”

Fox ache.

I then wasted the next five minutes of my life trying to explain that chocolate rice crispies are in fact Coco Pops before concentrating on just breathing in and out. This continues until the distraction of a toy or the postman delivering the mail diverts said toddler’s attention and I’m left with a twitch in my right eye for the rest of the day. Lovely!

All was quiet and normal until it was time to leave for nursery. I got Lily into her pushchair and went to get Jamie to stand on the buggy board. No chance! Jamie decided that he wasn’t leaving for nursery unless he was wearing his wellies, his woolly hat, gloves, jacket and scarf. It’s 17 degrees outside. I then realised before I wasted another five minutes of my life explaining that we don’t need to get dressed for climbing Mount Everest to go to nursery as it was a lovely morning, that it just wasn’t worth the effort of dealing with the meltdown that would follow. So we left.

Half way up the road and I could tell Jamie was feeling pretty uncomfortable with all the clothes he had on. I went to take his hat off and he lost the plot, causing a huge scene in the middle of the street, people were looking over and wondering if I was actually murdering my child. Not yet. “Okay!” I said, pulling the hat back on.

We arrived at the play school and made our way through the corridor to Jamie’s class. Jamie jumped off the buggy board and ran over to his peg. I started to unravel the clothes and took his hat off by which point his hair was stuck to his head with sweat and I could see the other parents looking at me as if I had gone mad putting all those clothes on him. I wanted to scream, ‘It wasn’t worth the melt down!!’ but then thought, it’s okay, just breathe, you will be jetting off to the sun in a couple of weeks. He can wear pants on his head to play school then if he wants!

Tuesday’s meltdown started because he wanted Monsters Inc and Toy Story on at the same time. Again, another five minutes of my life wasted trying to explain that unless Disney Pixar came up with a new movie that included Sully, Mike Wizowski, Buzz Lightyear and Woody together then it was actually physically impossible to watch said request. Jamie’s life was now destroyed. That was until Lily wandered off with his Buzz Lightyear without him noticing and Jamie stopped crying to look for his toy before forgetting what he had a meltdown about a few minutes beforehand. It’s okay, I’m leaving on a jet plane, I don’t know when I’ll be back again!!

Wednesday was wrecked because the cheese fell out of his sandwich. Yep! Enough said. Tenerife here we come!

Thursday. My toddler has turned me into a serial liar. “I’m not going to tell you again!” I cry. But I did. Several times. Adios Amigos!! Sangria is calling!

Friday and Jamie fell out with his shadow because it was following him. Oh yes! But Friday is more bearable than any other day of the week because kids’ bedtime on a Friday evening is also wine o’clock in our house.

The weekends are usually less stressful because the routine is different and at least there are two of us to tackle any possible meltdowns. By Sunday, James is usually on the second half of his bottle of whiskey. I’d like to think that it’s because he’s winding down but I’m pretty certain it’s more just being at home for two days solid and alcohol helps. 

I was in the kitchen getting the lunches made for the morning.

‘Emma!’ James shouts anxiously. ‘Who are we flying to Tenerife with?’

‘Erm, I’m not sure, it’s a package thing, I’d need to check. Why, what’s wrong?’

James turns the volume up on the television.

Breaking Sky News….

"Despite huge efforts, we have not been able to secure a deal to save our business."

Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser apologises to customers and staff after the company collapses. A huge repatriation effort has begun after company ceases trading with immediate effect, causing flights to be cancelled.

I frantically opened my laptop to check the booking details and there it was. Inbox (1) Your holiday with Thomas Cook has been cancelled.

I spent the next ten minutes reading the emails and the attachments and the apologising but no sorry’s were going to take away the fact that our holiday had been cancelled.

Thousands of people now looking to re-book and the chances of getting our dates again – zero! Well, not without spending another grand on the exact same holiday. I’m Scottish, that’s not going to happen!

That pretty much sums up the way this week has been going. So, what do we do now? The trick is to always have something to look forward to. It doesn’t matter how big or how small. See the funny side to watching your toddler literally fight with their own shadow and wine o’clock arriving again on a Friday night. Tenerife will have to wait until next year! 

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