I’ve been a recluse this last week or so, a hermit you might say. My big boy has been victim to the winter flu, which has meant life has had to slow down and at some points stop, so that we can watch the Rise of the Guardians for the tenth time, have an ice lolly and then hibernate under the blankets to thaw out from the subsequent shakes and chills. And who could forget to put the Match Attax in numerical order (leaving spaces for the ones we still have to collect) over 450 spaces, I’ll have you know (don’t calculate the cost, don’t calculate the cost for the love of…)
It has given me time to think about things and appreciate the blessings under my nose every single day. We are generally well, happy and always warm and fed. Our friends and family are superb, utterly amazing, especially in times of crisis – near and far. The children are growing into 3 bizarre, chaotic and indescribably wonderful little humans. Our big boy is getting over his I hate the world and everyone in it phase, the middle one is comical, less ASBO, more loveable rogue. The baby, is suddenly no longer a baby. She’s a toddler – she walks and somewhat talks (‘Do you want some milk?’ ‘Guck.’ ‘No, milk m m m m m miiiiilk.’ ‘Yes. M m m m m m m guuuuuuuuck.) I’d forgotten about toddlers. That’s ridiculous, my middle one is only just 3, how can I possibly have forgotten about toddlers?! But then, I have to factor in that my middle child has talked since… Well, I don’t remember when she didn’t talk. It was a long time ago and it didn’t last long.
Some of the things I now remember about toddlers:
1. The Board
Time to go in the buggy? In a rush to get somewhere and need to strap your little one in a car seat? Ha! Fat chance. Enter: the board. I am tiny, I am cute, but try to put me in a buckle that I want to avoid, I can force myself into a position that is impossible to shift and has the rigidity of a 8ft steel beam. This is often accompanied by The Siren Cry (see below). Dare to go anywhere without the buggy and you may encounter the arch nemesis of The Board…
2. The Rag Doll:
Generally appears when a toddler is directed to a task they don’t want to do, being asked to walk in a direction that does not involve emptying breakable items from the shelves of shops and dropping them on the floor with force… The Rag Doll can surface without warning, the child will without warning lose control of all muscle function, collapsing on the floor becoming floppier and more helpless than a new-born. Accompanied with almost certainly being weighed down with an armful of shopping (because you really ‘didn’t need a basket’) This is often accompanied by The Siren Cry(see below)
3. The Transporter
This can apply to any items placed in a drawer/box/cupboard.
Remove object(s), destroy, replace object(s) in the wrong way. Repeat.
This is often in a stealthy silent manner, to increase the ‘TA DA!’ factor, when the shredded toilet roll, destroyed DVD collection is discovered. Interruption of transporting activities are often accompanied by The Siren Cry (see below).
4. Negative, Captain
Also known as ‘no’, this is an appropriate response to…anything apparently. Often accompanied by The Siren Cry (see below).
5. Possession Obsession
This rule applies to: something they want, something you have, something they do not have, something a stranger has, something they believe was theirs previously, or anything – except vegetables. Always, without exception, accompanied by The Siren Cry (see below).
6. The Siren Cry
It’s not a cry really, it’s more like an incurable disease of the ears. It comes in short sharp bursts that actually cause your eardrums to pulse. It is chemically programmed to become louder in densely populated areas, or on the increase of an individual’s temperature (created by embarrassment). There is no cure. Attempts to cure will result in utter, utter carnage.
The Siren Cry appears at least 97 times an hour… on a good day.
Wish me luck, I’ll see you on the other side.