Toddler sh*t just got real 

Just over a year ago I was back in my old job, every day my calendar was rammed from 8 til 6:30. I would spend my days running round, fixing issues, managing a large team, juggling politics, it was a full on job…what I’d give for one day back there now – for a goddamn break! 

Now on a normal day, I have maybe one thing to do and the rest is flexible. Today I had four things to do and I swear to GOD it was more stressful than the time all our servers went down and it was (kind of) my fault. 

All because I had a toddler (demon) to take round with me. Today she was so bad that I actually looked up whether there was a full moon. 

First we went to the supermarket where she so badly didn’t want to hold my hand that she lay on the floor in the middle of the aisle (she has never seen another child do this. Is this a trick these beasts are born with?) Then she gets up and throws some bananas on the floor. Then she turns and runs so fast out of the front door that I have to throw the basket down and run full speed after her. 
Next we went to a friend’s for coffee. First she threw the dolls on the floor, then she banged a coaster repeatedly on the polished table. She ate Mr potato head’s eyes for ten minutes and then had a total meltdown because I wouldn’t let her eat the knob of the radiator. We left. 
She napped which I thought might solve the problem. I deftly got food past her flailing arms and turning head into her mouth and we set out again. 
We went for a meeting at the kitchen showroom where she ignored the box of toys and instead tried repeatedly to run out of the automatic doors into the car park. Thwarted, she lay on the floor in the middle of the showroom. I got her onto my knee using cheese and herb puffs which she mashed into my knees and the desk. She spent the remainder of the time belligerently kicking the desk and writhing to get down, like something possessed. I was answering the consultant’s questions as quickly as possible whilst trying to contain my daughter’s thrashing limbs but the woman just kept stopping and gaping at me with undisguised horror. 
Later, registering at the doctors, she did a quick scan of the room, saw the bin marked “clinical waste” and headed straight for it. How? Just HOW did she know that was the most disgusting thing in there? Someone please tell me. Back and forward we went, her running off towards the box of sharps covered in strangers’ blood, me bringing her back to the chair. 
I ended up giving her my phone out of sheer desperation to listen to that crack song from Frozen (I swear to God it contains subliminal messaging to make kids want Frozen merch), I got my phone back to see she’d somehow emailed a You Tube link to a Taylor Swift video to a random guy I worked with for about a week 9 years ago. 
We finally got home, and after intermittently splashing all the water out of the tub and trying to drink/inhale the water and choking dramatically, I got her into bed. 
My husband gets home and I mention that I’ve spoken to the nursery about her start date. 3 days a week, starting in a fortnight.
He says “but you don’t have a contracting job yet” 
I’ll let you guess my response. 
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Having it all: Day 2

I’m coming to realise that being a mum requires you to constantly balance what you feel guilty about. Last week I felt guilty that I’d left James with my mum while I went to work. What if she doesn’t really want to take care of him? What if James thinks I don’t love him any more? What if I haven’t kept the house clean enough and they both hate it? So many what-ifs. As it turned out they had a lovely day trundling off to my mum’s and back and James was so pleased to see me when I can home that I melted in the doorway and cried all over him.

So where are we this week? Well it’s my second KIT day and I am currently feeling guilty that I’m pleased to be going in to work. I don’t care that the house is messy, I’m not all that worried about how my mum’s feeling and James was a happy little chap this morning so that’s all good. Why so blasé? A teething coldy baby will do that to you. After 2 hours spent getting him to go to sleep last night I was definitely looking forward to work this morning (bleary though I am).

So there it is. I’m happy to be getting away from the responsibility of managing his little self. Mid morning today I will be sat at a desk or getting a coffee or chatting about giant fixed structures in the North Sea. I won’t be rocking him in the pram, singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and willing him to stop poking his fingers in his ears. I won’t spend the subsequent hour praying that no one rings the doorbell, telephones or pushes anything through the letterbox. I will be free!

Yes I feel guilty, but I’m pretty sure that every mum feels guilty about something all of the time. It’s all a balancing act.

Not going out

I think my inner mummy bear is coming out.

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My poor little guy has been teething like crazy for the past 10 days and we’re finally starting to see some little white tips just under his gums. He’s been crying in pain before going to sleep and I’ve been giving him all sorts of things to help, from painkillers to hocus pocus powder (ok, homeopathic powder) to tons of extra cuddles. It’s been hard going for all of us, but it won’t be forever.

Thing is that it’s making me even more protective over my baby than before. Take tonight, I had the chance to go out on my own and drink cocktails with the girls. I could have had a whole evening baby-free, eating at a leisurely pace, enjoying whole conversations, drinking cocktails! But I couldn’t do it. I knew that little Jim would go to sleep eventually and that my other half could take care of him but I just had to be here. It’s a very strange feeling. Now I know what a paper clip feels like when it gets stuck on a magnet.

The saving grace is that while I can’t tear myself away from him at the moment, I don’t mind at all. It’s down to him that I have a whole new way of life, new people, new places, I’m fitter than I used to be, more confident. I can definitely put up with staying in tonight.

(Note-to-self: I O U one night out drinking cocktails)

Teething trauma

I freely admit I’m the salespersons dream, when it comes to trying to relieve a baby of discomfort I will buy almost anything. So when the baby started drooling like a bulldog, stuffing his fists into his mouth and emitting a low grumbling noise I rushed out and got :
teething bears (rubbish he can’t even get them into his mouth), powders (I know this is a Marmite product but it just made my house look like I sold drugs) and a rattle teether which just always ends up on the floor. I still have to do the quick floor cleanliness mental quiz when retrieving and handing back a toy – how long has it been there, when did I last wash it, is there any fluff attached and the key – how angry is the baby. I know, bad mother!
Anyway my point is I think I’ve finally found 3 things that work, at least for this baby.
1. A cold dummy, good for quick relief I now have dummies on rotation, although I always suck it once to make sure it won’t actually stick to the baby!
2. Teething gel – he loves the basic boots stuff that tastes like spearmint.
3. And finally the Gumigem necklace, absolute genius, I love the person who created this. The baby can chew on it to his hearts content, entertains him , looks good and doesn’t fall on the floor. Saw a friend wearing one and am now a convert.
I don’t know how much longer any of these will keep working for so any more tips gratefully received!