Thursday 28 October 2010

Tales From The Naughty Step

The eldest two have gone to Grandma's for a couple of days which has left me home alone with The Toddler. They have great fun at Grandma's because she does everything that I don't do such as baking and making and faking fun. She talks to them non-stop and is able to sort out any squabble with minimum fuss. The Toddler is not welcome there because her house is an Aladdin's Cave of ornaments & trinkets and, being in a haphazard phase, he tends to break at least seventeen things each day of his visit.
As I am in no position to sleep train The Toddler (not my fault, The Husband has relinquished his space in the bed by being at his mother's), I have decided instead to try and control The Toddler's behaviour. The best way to do this, so I am told, is by having A Naughty Step.
The Naughty Step is a favourite place of all the child-behaviour gurus because it is the place where the child can sit to calm down, think about his behaviour then eventually say sorry. Clearly they have not considered the combination of a determined 22 month old with a mother who has no idea how to keep him on The Naughty Step. It's all very well putting him on there but getting him to stay is a different story. I have tried pinning him down, using a forceful foot and no-more-treats threats but nothing can keep him on The Naughty Step for more than ten seconds. So the one minute per year of his life theory is such a load of rubbish when your child is nearly two but thinks he is seven.
I am using The Naughty Step because The Toddler is quickly picking up the bad habits of his siblings and The Husband says, in his wisdom and expertise as SuperDaddy, if I "don't sort it out now there will be trouble later". The Toddler is into hitting me on the leg with toys and whacking The Dog over the head with cutlery so he must be stopped before he ends up a psychopath.
It's not going well.
What the child experts also fail to explain is what you do when you are out-and-about and there is no Naughty Step to hand. Such as this morning when we were dog-walking in the woods and The Toddler decided to throw a rock at my head. Introducing a Naughty Log doesn't really work when it's been raining and the log is covered in gooey moss and snails.
Anybody got an App for The Naughty Step on their phone please?
Thankfully at least somebody is getting a kick out of The Naughty Step. The Toddler's new favourite game is dragging The Dog onto it and making her sit there for a minute per year of her life. And if you're counting in dog years that's at least eight. The Toddler is doing a much better job at it than I am. Perhaps I'll get him to put me on it next time I fancy some peace & quiet - 41 minutes on The Naughty Step sounds fantastic compared to time spent disciplining The Toddler.

Saturday 23 October 2010

Slice Of (my psycho) Life

Let me give you an example of how my life works. This morning being a typical example. And can I just add that it never seems to be from anything I have done - I am simply the eye of the tornado.
The Toddler really needs sleep training but neither myself or The Husband can be bothered. We've been through that before with The Tweenager and it is hellish. So the day always starts at around 4.30am when The Toddler ends up in bed with us. He is not very spatially aware so being about 84cm long he absolutely needs to lie in whatever way his little frame can take up the most amount of bed. It's the Quantum Theory Of Bed-Hogging. He also has a cold so is snoring - and I can't stand snoring. I eventually get some sleep squeezed between The Toddler's feet and the top of the bed with a pillow over my head, only to be woken by a house alarm going full blast about three doors down. Which then awakens The Toddler who demands milk and mummy time - and it's 6.45am.
I then have to get The Dog to the vet to have her paw checked. The bandage, which we were not supposed to get wet, got soaked after being on for about ten minutes so we've had to remove the soggy stinking mess and give the paw some air time.
I have lost The Dog's lead. Although I know where I left it but somebody has decided to move it to a more suitable dog-lead place. So I have to go via a friend's house to borrow a lead which is perfect for her poodle but will just not suffice for an overexcited Lab/Collie Cross.
After the mentalness which is me trying to control The Dog at the vets, I go to pay only to realise that The Husband has removed my cash card from my purse. I am thinking about making a run for it and am about to leg it to the car when somebody comments "Is that your car, you've got a flat tyre."
It's 10.32am and the day is just beginning.
I am writing this just to illustrate to you how my days tend to pan out. Somebody commented on my blog the other day on how I come up with so many mad situations and I found it amusing that people think I actually make this stuff up.
I am approaching my 100th blog and when that happens I am going to offer one reader the prize of "A Day At The Smiths" so you too can experience a slice of my (psycho) life.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Little Boots And Good Mothers: Weapons Of Mass Destruction?

As if I haven't got enough on my plate, The Dog has cut her paw and because she has been licking it, it's become swollen so she has to wear a little boot. Three children and a dog with a little boot is much more than this mum can manage. The Dog, of course, hates the little boot and everytime my back is turned will rip it off and discard it, never to be seen again. I have already spent my entire child benefit on little boots. I could, if I was a stronger person, put a collar on her to make her look like Queen Elizabeth I, which will also stop her destroying the boot but I am way too soft. So instead my days are spent replacing and fitting the little boot and coming up with ideas such as The Toddler's sock and The Tomboy's glove as replacements.
So you can see that I am feeling rather stressed.
On top of all of this I seem to be attracting Good Mothers at the moment - the mums that bake fairy cakes and label clothes. I am positive that these mothers exist simply TO MAKE ME FEEL EVEN CRAPPER. Try as I might, I will never ever be able to have things in alphabetical order and own a book called Fun Games With Children.
I commented on this to a friend of mine who said: "Well I'm not making fairy cakes at the moment."
I cried: "At the moment? I don't bake ever".
(Nor can I keep a little boot on a dog, I wanted to add.)
I told my friend: "I am not the mother that I thought I would be."
To which her reply was: "Well maybe you're the mother you need to be".
I will take comfort in that. Until I see a Good Mother eating a fairy cake whilst walking her dog wearing a little boot.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

When Your Daughter Is A Girl One Day And A Boy The Next

I saw a glimmer of hope with The Tomboy yesterday. A bright flashing light at the end of the Tomboy tunnel. She came out of school WEARING A SKIRT! This may seem like no big deal to you but it's over two years since I've been able to get her to wear anything vaguely girly. I felt like there had been a major breakthrough in the ongoing war which is "The Battle Of What The Tomboy Will Wear".
Story is that she fell over, got all muddy and this was the only spare uniform they had. No idea what they would have put on a boy. Anyway, she could either spend the rest of the day in her knickers or wear the skirt. And you know what, she actually quite liked it. So much that I asked her teacher who this impostor child was calling herself my daughter.
Last night I was triumphant. I wrote it on Facebook, I rang all my friends - heck, I practically shouted it from the rooftop "MY DAUGHTER IS WEARING A SKIRT!!!!"
Fast forward to this morning and not only is The Tomboy dressing herself in her brother's school trousers, she is telling me a story of the day she will have a willy and it will grow & grow until it is enormous.
The impostor-child has clearly gone back to its rightful family. And once again there is dark at the end of my Tomboy tunnel.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Why I'm Happy To Be Sad

I think I am suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
What seems like a lifetime ago, in the summer, I actually experienced something called Happiness. But with the weather turning and the days getting shorter I am, by the hour, getting SAD.
On top of my Obsessive Dog Syndrome and Compulsive Non-Cleaning Disorder, it doesn't seem like a big deal. These are the winter blues you get when you wake up in the morning and suddenly remember you don't live in California. Apparently the symptoms are feeling tired, overeating and bad mood. For example I did a reccy of what I consumed yesterday and it went something like this: 2 bags of crisps plus a crisp sandwich, a Pot Noodle, 5 Celebrations choccys, 3 cups of coffee, 1 diet Coke and a gin & tonic. I was also very snappy with the kids. This might suggest that I have SAD all year round.
The truth is there is really nothing wrong with me. It's just the onset of winter and being half way through the busy Christmas term. It's so hard doing the school run in the winter especially with such rubbish winter clothes. Can't believe I'm wearing last year's coat.
Anyway I can't change the winter so I'm attempting to change my attitude towards it. I have decided to embrace the dark days by wrapping up warm and drinking mulled wine. I also need to laugh more with the children rather than let them wind me up.
I just looked up SAD on the internet and actually it helped my new attitude. I typed SADS by mistake, which turned out to stand for Sudden Arrhythmic Cardiac Death Syndrome. As soon as I realised I don't have this, I felt much better.

(idea for this blog nicked from a Sandi Toksvig article - yes sometimes I cheat!)

Tuesday 12 October 2010

A Look Into My Future

On Sunday we were all sat having a lovely roast (cooked by me would ya believe it) when something went down the wrong way and I had a coughing fit worthy of a 40-a-day smoking habit.
I was in no danger but it did bring tears to my eyes.
The Tweenager, bless him, showing deep concern wrapped himself around me and repeatedly asked "Are you okay Mummy?". Which is the first time in ages that he's uttered a sentence without being revolting to me.
The Husband suggested I had a drink of my Coke.
The Tomboy, who had been happily tucking into her chicken oblivious to my choking, looked up ears pricked and shrieked "Oh I want Coke".
I so know who is going to look after me in my old age.

Thursday 7 October 2010

Mood A La Mode

I have been in a mood. A very bad mood. I woke up yesterday on what can only be described as the extremely wrong side of bed.
Naturally, I took it out on the kids. By the time we left for school I had screamed and ranted and shrieked myself silly. And for once, they weren't doing anything wrong.
Now I think this bad mood comes from the fact that I have got no money and therefore no autumn/winter clothes budget so I am wearing last years stuff which I simply DON'T LIKE ANYMORE. It's all so LAST SEASON.
The Husband is unsympathetic. He says "I can't remember the last time I bought something new". I say "Well you don't have the illusion of yummy mummy to carry off".
You would think that, working for an important French company, that The Husband would get as a benefit-in-kind a clothing allowance for his wife. France is supposed to be the fashion capital of the world and here I am dressed in last year's New Look. Perhaps that's why he never takes me to any dinners or events.
I DO NOT like living off The Husband. I am UTTERLY UP for getting a job so I have my own income. But I have calculated that even if I worked three days a week my child care would be about £800. Yes I know it's my choice to have my children but I never chose to do it unfashionably.
And to top it all I have lost my silver Gucci bracelet while out walking The Dog. I'm hoping a kindly walker will put a little notice up to say they have found it. It might be a good find for them but it's a piece of my old life to me.
And I can always pawn it if the clothes situation doesn't get any better.

The Ten Kid Commandments (and I've broken every one)

1. Thou shalt not tell your child "I hate you too".

2. Thou shalt not give a dummy/comforter/blankie.

3. Thou shalt not argue with your spouse in front of your child.

4. Thou shalt not bribe or enter into bargaining with your child.

5. Thou shalt not feed food in jars or junk for ease or visit McDonalds more than twice in the week or give crisps for breakfast.

6. Thou shalt not have a child in your bed because you can't be bothered to sleep train.

7. Thou shalt not put a child in the wrong car seat or have child in front with airbag or just not strap in because you are in a rush.

8. Thou shalt not ignore it if your child hits another and nobody else notices.

9. Thou shalt not pretend to drive off while your child has a hissy fit on the side of the road.

10. Thou shalt not throw your child's belongings out of the window for punishment.