Monday, 22 October 2012

Marathon Mum

He's getting close to two years old and never has parenting seemed more like an endurance sport. I've got a minimum of sixteen more years of this, it's certainly no sprint.
He had another bout of probable rotavirus recently. Not as bad as the first time round, but not a lot of fun either. We were on holiday when it started and I was struggling to cope changing his nappy as the floors were quite hard and played murder with my knees. Even at home it was hard, on the first day back I was very tired and missed a nappy change, thinking I'd done it later in the day than I actually had. This aggravated his nappy rash to a nasty degree and probably meant that he was in a lot of discomfort.
It's all healed up now and the rotavirus is gone, but the nearly terrible twos appear to be here to stay.
You can't tell a two year old (well, nearly two) that they need to stay out of the kitchen as you're getting things in and out of the oven and it's dangerous. The more I escort him from the room, the louder the tantrum becomes. We have a small kitchen step and he likes to stand on it next to the counter to see what I am doing. This tends to keep a check on the tantrum and he does tend to stay put, but it does spoil his dinner. He tends to eat the scraps, especially if I'm cutting out biscuits.
Speaking of biscuits! Oh boy, now there's a tough one. If he knows we have some and he knows where they are...
You'll usually be dragged into the kitchen by the finger. If you try to resist then it's a straight fight between the coefficient of friction between your skin and his and the strength of your finger joint. Don't resist too much, it's safer.
When he's got you where he wants you, the real battle starts. He points at said sweet treats and says "More! More!" You, of course say: -
"No! You've already had one."
He reacts as if he's just watched you shred his favourite teddy. As if I'd do such a terrible thing! But you're still not getting another biscuit.
You'd think he'd get the message, but no. No amount of wailing, sobbing,  throwing himself on the floor and pummelling it is going to make me give in. You can pull all my fingers out of joint and you're still not getting one, my boy.
When he started banging his head on the floor I did feel a little more kindly to him in that I went to the living room and got a cushion to put under his head.
Alas  it continues. This tantrum has been going on for more than an hour and a half and I am now doing my best to ignore the attention seeking behaviour, even if it does mean this blog takes longer to write as he keeps trying to grab the keyboard. You're still not getting a biscuit.
Gah! I've got a headache now. Just how do I keep this up? It's not just biscuits either. He's tall enough to open the kitchen door and get inside and open up the drawers now. I had to wrestle the can opener off him earlier and you'd think world war three had started in my house. Dear neighbours, the noise is not me hurting my son, but me trying to prevent him hurting himself with random kitchen equipment. Just what kind of damage can a toddler do to himself with a garlic press and a bag of plastic clips? I don't know, but I don't want to find out.
No, Joseph, go and put that empty can back in the recycling. No, go and put that old newspaper back too. Ok, you can destroy that piece of junk mail that came through the door. In the grand scheme of things it's probably not important and it's taken your mind off the biscuits.
Why does doing the right thing feel like the wrong thing? I know I can't let him eat as many sweet treats as he likes and I know he needs to learn who's boss round here but right now it feels like he hates me with a passion and all I'm doing is being a real kill-joy. I keep getting visions of him as an adult lying back on a therapists couch saying "Well it all started because my Mum wouldn't let me have another biscuit....."
Still, got to go and tidy up now, I've managed to distract him with an old mobile phone case that has a magnetic flap. That can opener needs putting away again.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Joe Strummer

As I write, an entire pack of kitty treats is being given to the cat.
Joseph likes the cat, he really does. The cat does not like him, not one little bit. She hates him so much that Joseph has learned from her that the correct way to greet a cat is to hiss at them as that's what she always does to him. When she sees him coming, she runs away. Joseph runs after her, he thinks it's all a game.
When he learned to give her treats I thought she'd come round. She hasn't. She eats the treats all right but then goes back to hating and despising him. If I feed the cat treats then she can never get enough. If Joseph feeds her cat treats then, though she can get over herself enough to take a few from him, eventually her evil feeling towards him will win the day and she will take no more.
Poor Joseph, he'd give her the whole pack if she'd only take them. He has now grown bored of holding out treats to a now totally unresponsive cat and has wandered off in search of different entertainment, leaving a trail of treats in him wake. He did try and pick them up, but the pot tipped and they're scattered again. I've picked them up because I don't want them to make the carpet dirty and to be frank, the cat doesn't deserve them.

Joseph has discovered a love stringed instruments.
It started at my nieces birthday party when he was allowed to play with a ukulele and then didn't want to give it back. We had a tantrum for most of the way home after that.
Ever since, he's tried strumming things. He has a little drum that he'd rather pretend to strum than drum. One of his story books has a circular picture on the back that he pretends is a guitar and he sits and strums it. Andy found a ukulele app on his tablet and that is strummed - a lot. He downloaded it yesterday morning and I could hear the noise upstairs, but I could not tell what it was. It was a tinkly sort of noise, almost magical and very musical in a totally tuneless sort of way. It's anyone's guess where this will go, but there are quite a few musicians in his family so he may do quite well if he puts the effort in.  Will he be more of a Dave Gilmore or George Fornby? As long as he doesn't end up like Slash from Guns n Roses, I'm not too bothered.