Things I’d forgotten about toddlers

The human body really is an amazing thing. In the days after my three caesareans I thought I’d never feel whole again – now I can’t even remember the pain. And our brains? They have an amazing capacity to remember the great stuff (the smell of a newborn head, the sound of that first gurgle) while blotting out all the hideous, death-defying stuff like torturous sleep deprivation, excrutiating nipples, baby smelly poos that push the boundaries of acceptability. And so it is, that as Ruby launches into her second year with a gusto that frankly I left behind in my thirties, I am shocked, stunned and a little put out by all the stuff I’d forgotten (or my brain happily sent to the slush pile.)

1. She is soooooooo rude! My lovely girls say please and thank you, they go to the toilet, and have some level of decorum at the dinner table. I’ve been lulled into a false sense of social grace. Ruby is just rude! She screeches her demands like a demented banshee without so much as a by your leave, she throws her food on the floor when it no longer holds her attention, she lets go of the smelly stuff at the most inopportune times, and frankly thinks she rules the roost.
2. She makes so much mess. I mean, seriously, inconceiveable mess. It’s like her saliva contains a food-reproduction germ than means there is three times as much Weetabix on the walls and floor than was ever in her bowl. I can’t believe she’s thriving as none seems to go into her mouth – her ear, yes. Her hair, definitely. My clothes, absolutely.
3. She clings to my leg like a fully packed rubgy scrum. I literally have to cook with her climbing up my trousers, hoover with her under one arm, and apply mascara with her poking me in the eye. She even tries to get in the shower with me. I love her dearly, but PLEASE can I pee by myself!
4. She makes more noise than the other four members of her family put together. And then some. From the moment I am yanked from my sleepy slumber with her 6.30am screeching, to the moment I rock her with her night-time bottle she screams, yells, sings, cries, gives off, gives out, until I give in and pick her up, feed her, hold her, or whatever it is she wants. I am a hostage to a scream.
5. She doesn’t listen to me. I was so over that phase and now it’s quite a shock to realise that when I scream “NO!” as she waddles over to the moving escalator in the shopping centre, she isn’t going to stop, turn round, and say, ‘Oh, OK mum.” No, she speeds up, laughs and keeps going. The word ‘No’ is a game to her. If I say no, it means she does what she was doing, only louder, faster and with an even minxier face than normal.

I’m dreading the Terrible Two’s as I know I have abject amnesia from that time. Where’s the gin?

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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3 Responses to Things I’d forgotten about toddlers

  1. Haha, oh brilliant post Alana, love it! I think your Ruby and my Felix would make a wonderful pair. I was nodding along in amusement to all of your points about toddlers, because they're exactly what I'm going through with Felix right now. He is SO loud and boisterous, pretty much every waking moment. He sees 'NO' as a challenge also, the cheeky little devil darts off in the opposite direction every time he thinks I'm after him.
    I've had 2 caesars also and your description is spot on, those first few days afterwards are hideous and yet I've also forgotten so much of what is bad about it.
    It is funny, I just posted the other day about selective memories, as my Mama seems to have a very selected memory about raising 7 children. But I'm slowly starting to understand it. Why would we want to hang onto the memory of bad stuff, when the good is just so much healthier to reflect on. We just need to brace ourselves now for the onset of terrible two's, as I vaguely recall that's not a good phase :o/ xo


  2. cath c says:

    oh boy. good luck! and may you enjoy loads of laughs about this time in years to come.

    (ps: i moved my blog to wordpress)


  3. I had forgotten all this stuff too – I have a 7 and a soon to be 6 year old and my baby, a sweet 17 month old who is just starting to really make that transition from baby to toddler – I wish she could stay a cute adorable and obedient baby for a bit longer!!!!


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