The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 9

The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 9

by Emma Hargan
article from Wednesday 2, October, 2019

IT HAS GONE from one extreme to the other. The emotional trauma of watching Jamie start nursery school has well and truly passed. This week, I have now moved on to the next phase of parenthood. The ‘I’m not sure five mornings a week at nursery is enough’ phase.

I’m not sure if it has been the new routine, meeting new friends and teachers, the change in weather or maybe there’s a full moon, but there has been a definite change in Jamie’s behaviour. The aliens have most certainly returned and taken over our son again – and with a vengeance.

The mornings are usually not an issue. In fact, they are usually the most peaceful part of the day. Jamie and Lily wake each other up at 7.30am, we all go downstairs for breakfast. I usually get Lily dressed and ready first while Jamie is happy playing. Then I get myself sorted in the three minutes flat where no one is trying to kill the other. Then at the last minute I get Jamie dressed and ready. Now I say ‘dressed and ready’ which sounds normal. It’s not. I say with as much optimism as I can muster every morning, “Ok Jamie let’s get ready for nursery”. At this point, Jamie jumps to his feet and races around the hall trying to escape me. I eventually lose patience and chase Jamie around the hall until I catch him. He then usually falls limp on the floor and then it’s like trying to wrestle a great white shark into the bathroom.

I have tried being cool and not raising my voice. I have tried being firm and giving him an ultimatum like, “Ok, if you don’t get dressed now, we’re not going to nursery”. Waste of time. Then some days I just lose my patience altogether and it’s such a total screaming match our neighbours must think they’re living a real life Jerry Springer episode.

Eventually, once Jamie is in the bathroom, he usually calms down and reverts back to our loveable son again. He’ll be putting his t-shirt on and say “Love you Mummy” and I revert from one minute being the Incredible Hulk and wanting to knock his head off his shoulders back to proud mummy with a twitch that stays with me for the rest of the morning. It’s not good for the nerves. But this is what they do. They will test your patience like you’ve never been tested before.

So, after the getting dressed episode is done, we then move on to getting jackets on, Lily into the pushchair, collecting the backpack and lunchbox and setting off, with Jamie happy to stand on the buggy board all the way to nursery. It’s not even a ten minute walk before we arrive and the kids are usually singing songs all the way as Jamie is excited about going –  and I think Lily is happy at the prospect of having the house to herself for a couple of hours! We then sign in, walk along to the classroom and put Jamie’s bags and jackets on his peg. He gives me a kiss and then runs off without so much as looking back.

They are wee angels when we are dropping them off for someone else to look after for a few hours aren’t they? They are even bigger angels when we go in at night to check on them and they are fast asleep. Aaawww! Those are the moments we treasure as parents. When they are going away for a couple of hours or when they are unconscious. Is it just me?

Ahh, that blissful moment when I arrive home after dropping Jamie off and getting Lily changed and into her cot for her nap. Peace. I get to do things I can only usually dream about, like go to the bathroom alone or actually make a cup of coffee and drink it, all of it, while it’s actually still warm. Imagine! I then have time to put a washing on, hoover, wash the floors, empty and reload the dishwasher and prep the dinner. If Lily is still asleep at this point, then result! I can actually jump in the shower. Once Lily wakes up, we usually have a bit of playtime, then it’s time to make lunch, get Lily changed and we’re back out the door again to collect Jamie from nursery school. At this point, I can’t wait to see Jamie. The house has been so quiet and I’ve missed him. I’m looking forward to hearing what he’s been up to all morning and I love getting handed the pictures that he’s painted for me to take home.

We arrive at the playschool and every day it’s usually so busy, all the mums and dads are lined up outside the classroom waiting for the little darling to come running out with their arms up looking for a cuddle. Then it’s my turn but this week it’s been different. I look through the window and see Jamie running toward the door crying because he doesn’t want to come home. Instead of cute wee pictures, the teacher then hands me a carrier bag of Jamie’s clothes when he didn’t quite make it to the toilet to pee in time. Lovely. Then before we leave, Jamie refuses to stand on the buggy board and throws a strop in the middle of the car park. I then have to wrestle the buggy up the steep hill with one hand, while grasping Jamie with the other trying to look like I’ve got everything under control, when inside I want to scream, ‘Why can’t you just behave like a normal human being?!!’

But they can’t behave like normal human beings. They are toddlers.

So, after our eventful journey home, we then have the next ruckus of nap time. Once Jamie is in bed, he usually falls asleep as he is so exhausted after his busy morning. It’s actually getting him into the bed that’s the challenge. We have the same race around the hall and living room before I catch him and lift him upstairs. Once upstairs, I have to listen to Jamie roaring, “No pee pee!” at me which I ignore and make him sit on the toilet as I made that mistake before and ended up having to strip and wash beds!

So, after the screaming match on the toilet, Jamie falls to the floor and crawls (just to take as long as possible) into his bedroom where he grabs the nearest toy out of his toy box and jumps into bed. I then endure the roars of him after I have removed said toy from his clutches, tuck him into bed, kiss him and say, “Sleepy time.” The aliens then return my son to me for the few moments before he falls asleep and says, “Love you Mummy.” And blows me a kiss.

I now have an hour or two at the most to spend with Lily, get some work done or do jobs around the house. Then Jamie wakes up.

All hell breaks loose for the first ten minutes. Jamie wants cuddles, then he doesn’t. Then he wants something to eat, then he doesn’t. He wants juice. No, he wants milk. I then end up not asking what he wants and just fire a snack out on the table with either a cup of juice or a cup of milk. Whichever I pick, is usually the wrong one but by this point I’ve had enough of the drama and I couldn’t care. Lily is sitting in her high chair watching all of this and laughing at Jamie, which makes him worse. Uuuugh! Jamie eventually chills out and starts to eat his snack and afterwards turns back into ‘nice Jamie’ again, whereby he gives Lily his last bit of his fruit or bar. But don’t be fooled!

The kids will then find a game or toys and settle down to play until one of them moves, talks or breathes the wrong way at the other and World War Three begins. My afternoons for the last week have been refereeing who gets a turn of playing with Buzz and Woody and hiding the Fisher price pitch and putt set out of harm’s way, before one of them gets clocked over the head with a plastic golf club! This goes on until dinner time when James comes home and Jamie then reverts back into a loveable angel again, giving Lily and his Daddy cuddles, while I’m telling James how much of a nightmare it’s been today, just to prove me wrong. Ah it’s easy enough watching the wains, they’re not that bad, James casually mentions while getting a cuddle off Jamie.

It’s been like this on repeat for the last week. As you can imagine, I wasn’t looking forward to the weekend. At least during the week, I had peace and quiet for a few hours in the morning.  The weekend meant two full days of no playschool.

So, what to do? I had an idea.

Saturday. Make a hair appointment for first thing in the morning. That way I would be out the door before breakfast finishes and all hell to break loose. Great! Next up – nails. I’ll make an appointment to get my nails done in the afternoon and hopefully miss Jamie’s wake up melt down. Excellent!

So that’s what I did. Saturday was bliss! And the kids? Good as gold. Bloody typical!

Okay, next up Sunday. My plan was to keep Jamie busy and tire him out. Soft play in the morning and then visit the family in the afternoon. And it worked! Sunday was actually the first day that we didn’t have any meltdowns.

And it was Monday morning again. Yes, I had the usual chase around the hall and living room before getting dressed routine, but so far, that seems to be the height of the chaos. The aliens have yet again, returned our son to us and Jamie is back to his normal self. For how long? Who knows, but the important thing is to enjoy it for as long as it lasts, because like everything else, it will pass. That includes trying to enjoy the tough times too, by making plenty of hair appointments.

At least until they start opening nursery school seven days a week!

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