Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Snapshots #3

So much to tell, so little time.

(Actually, scratch that. It's Day 6 of potty training Boy #2 - I'm going nowhere. Other than trips from one end of the flat to unload the washing machine and to the other to mop the floor behind Boy #2, I've got nothing but time...)

First up, it's Carnival Time again. Check out Single Parent Dad's blog for a long list of posts; if you can't find something you like in there then I think you may be a sandwich short of a picnic.

Secondly, the Potty Training (cue voice of Doom, scary Jaws music, and general drooping of shoulders). Boy #2 came home from nursery with two pairs of pants, socks and trousers in a bag today. He was, of course, spectacularly unconcerned by this - as he should be, it's not he who has to spoon the poo - but I was a little cowed. And whilst he did mount a couple of successful assaults on the potty at home this afternoon, I'm more than a little concerned that during dinner he - to borrow an expression from Bush Mummy - parked a fatty in his pants whilst assuring me he was doing nothing of the sort. He only admitted to his little indiscretion when he tried to sit down again (after rising to his feet to add emphasis to his denial, which by the way was quite unnecessary since I, his brother, and most of the neighbourhood around could tell what had happened from the pong), and was unable to, because it was just too damned uncomfortable.

It's funny now. Actually, it was funny then, too.

What else, what else...

My two boys have been yanking my chain something rotten this afternoon - quite aside from the potty situation. It's as if they like to see how far they can push before I explode. I know, I should let it all wash over me. I know that. But when your sons seem to be doing their utmost to make you lose it - well, that can make me lose it. As I said to Husband this evening, I am not a fxxking saint (bless him for his feigned suprise at this shocking news) and I can only remain calm, focused, and in control for so long. Sooner or later the constant stream of willfullness and critiscism will get to me.

For example, today, I made it through the Boy #1's school pick up and his subsequent outrage at the fact that I had not brought a snack for him with good grace. Once we got home, I rationally challenged his peromptery dismassal of me (and his subsequent screaming for help when he found he was unable to do it himself) when I offered to help with the popper on his trousers as he got changed out of his school uniform.

I weathered the storm as the Boys fought guerilla-style for control of the kitchen steps so they could help me break eggs to make fairy cakes (cupcakes for those of you from the US) for Boy #2 to take to school tomorrow, and mildly suggested that one of them might like to use the chair to stand on instead. Like they always do.

I even sailed placidly through the hurricane of getting them both unwillingly to the table to eat their dinner, with Boy #1 refusing his in disgust (he ate it, and even liked it once he tried it - eventually), and Boy #2 making detours every 5 minutes to pick up the trains and bus that he was repeatedly pushing off the table.

But for some reason, what finally got to me was the screaming in the bathroom when Boy #1 decided the water was too hot and his brother thought it was too cold. How can it be both? At the same time?

I knew they were winding me up, and what's worse, they knew it was working, so I took the only course of action that seemed reasonable. I sent their father into the bathroom to deal with the mayhem, and retired to the kitchen to put chocolate icing on Boy #2's birthday fairy cakes.

And then I ate the leftovers.


  1. Ah good times. How I miss that sort of stuff. NOT! Don't worry. They grow out of it.. only to find develop new ways in which to wind you up and try your patience. As I have said on my blog, I am convinced that mine (teenagers and tweenager) are deliberately plotting to send me insane.

    Sorry if that didn't make you feel any better!! (But aren't you glad the husband WAS home on this occasion so you could send him to deal!)

  2. Oh I remember all this so well. They do grow out of it. Unfortunately, they grow into other things.

    As for potty training, we had awful problems with our eldest and I gave up until we really had to get him out of nappies to go to kindergarten. My mum always reassured me by saying that he wouldn't be in nappies when he was 21. Not that it took that long, I would hasten to point out.

    Younger son was a doddle and was in fact dry before his older brother (2 yrs older).

  3. Why yes, Potty, they are trying to drive you mad. I was given a fridge magnet (yes, I know, very naff) many years ago which states 'Insanity IS inherited. You get it from your kids!' Obviously the technicality of inheriting from your off-spring isn't quite correct but the sentiment? Oh yes!
    A large bar of chocolate and a G$T, or whatever tipple you fancy, is in order!

    PS, is it worth instituting a policy of no toys at the dinner table?

  4. "Parked a fatty in his pants" - oh I nearly wet myself!!! But listen sweetie, you don't have to spoon out the poo. Put on your thickest Marigolds, hold the underpants over the loo, turn them inside out and at the same time dunk them in the water. Shake, shake, shake till most of the poo has dislodged itself then flush. If there is still a gross amount stuck to the underpants, shake them around in the water again. You're only going to flush that too. With a bit of luck you'll only have a little bit of soil left to deal with.
    You're welcome.
    How sad are we?

  5. I may never complain about potty training the boys again. My boys, thankfully, dropped all the kids off at the pool. You have my deepest sympathies and the hope that he decides to get with the program pronto!

  6. Time for the magic red medecine perhaps?

  7. Oh my god - you have just described our after school activities yesterday. Just take out the fairy cakes and add 'peeling and chopping carrots'.

    The 'forgotten after school snack', the 'kitchen step wrestle' and the 'bathwater'.

    Unfortunately for me I was unable to ice my carrots so I just shouted a lot, which made me feel better, Then I spent the remainder of my evening chuntering to myself and feeling guilty.

    ... and poo pants - if they are too bad I bin them. A pack of Asda pants is £4. My sanity is worth more than that.

  8. Tracey, I have no doubt they will find new and even more annoying ways to get to me, though I'm taking some comfort in the fact that, as boys, maybe mind games might not be such a big part of it as if they were girls? Only time will tell on that one though...

    GPM, there's the thing. He already IS in kindergarten (or nursery, at any rate). For now, at any rate, we're persevering. For now...

    Sharon, you're so right on the toys thing. We've tried, and we've tried, and we've tried. It's one of the few areas though where we've given in (I think in most other things we're pretty strict, at least compared to some of our friends). And it's not the toys so much as the fact that Boy #2 loves looooooong trains - which take up a lot of space. And fall off - frequently.

    EPM, we are very very VERY sad indeed. (Don't worry though - the 'spoon the poo' expression was just that. I follow the EPM method of disposal, as a rule!)

    Ped, thankyou. One day, one day!

    Mud, most definitely. It solves most things, and after enough of it the ones that it doesn't just don't seem important any more!

    Laura, so true. And you know what? I think you may have started something: 'ice my carrots' sounds like a euphamism for something - now I just have to work out what, drop it into conversation and bingo! A new expression will be born...

  9. 'Ice My Carrots' - a term used by frazzled mothers who need some time alone before they kill either themsleves or their offspring.

    In context: to bickering bath bound/step wrestling or snack starved children ... "Continue amongst yourselves, I'm off to ice my carrots"

    Maybe Supernanny could introduce it as one of her new techniques.

    You heard it here first.

  10. Textbook response - leave the situation and walk away. There you are, you see. Perfect mother.

    It's the potty training. It winds mothers up like nothing else. I'm not sure if kids don't get it deliberately, because they sense it's a great power they have over their parents, but even if it's not deliberate, it FEELS as if it is when you're on the receiving end of it.

    I have no words of wisdom to offer, but lots of sympathy. I have a feeling the key is that he has to WANT to do it, but how you get a small boy to that point, I just have no idea. I tried everything... Eventually they just grew up, I think.

    And don't be afraid to throw away pants. Buy cheap ones, and bin them if the fatty is really fat (and yes, I wet myself laughing at that one too). If you have bedtime wetting problems (which obviously my kids didn't because they wouldn't want me to publish that fact, so I'm not, and anyway they didn't), as they get bigger and grow out of the top size of pull-ups, the Dry Nites you have to buy end up costing 50p each, and you can buy small boy pants for that. It really put it in perspective for me. So chuck the bad ones out guilt-free. Even in this economic climate. Your sanity is worth it.

    I've just read the other comments, and Laura said the same. So we must be right.

  11. Oh. I so feel you. Jonathan just pushes my buttons somedays. I can't imagine having "two Jonathans" to handle in one day. Cupcakes...yummmy! That's how I would have handled it!

    Hang in there! (And hide the chocolate! No..have your husband hide it, instead!)

  12. Laura, I really think you could be on to something there.

    Iota, well, if you're BOTH saying that... will be back shortly, am off online to buy cheap pants for Boy #2.

    J's Mommy, they don't do it every day. Well, not all the time, anyway...

  13. Potty, good for you for keeping your cool and not, like bad mummy me, shouting and terrifying your children.

    BM x

  14. BM, that was one day. ONE DAY, I TELL YOU! (See? You are not alone...)

  15. These things are sent to try us. Kids, I mean.


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