Monday, 2 April 2012

What happened in the space of 2 hours?

After a fairly well interrupted sleep (Caitlin screaming for a few hours will do that) we woke at a leisurely 7.50am giving us a full 40 mins of lazing before the under-2s began their squawking in stereo.

Just enough time to read 2 articles in the Guardian, 2 very different takes on parenthood. One (Charlie Brooker - best known for his biting sacrasm and merciless TV critiques) was waxing lyrical about the joys of being a new dad.

The other, by contrast, caught my attention with the punchy headline: 'Mums, stop moaning!'. Quite, I thought. And I'm guilty of it. Written from the perspective of someone who couldn't have kids, it was an enlightening wake-up call. 'You mums are blessed," the writer pointed out, and she's right. I'd make a real effort, I resolved, not to complain, I'm lucky to have two such gorgeous bambinos I gave myself a good talking to... and told my husband as much.

Fast forward 2 hours and we're in the kitchen.

Him to me: "What happened in the space of 2 hours?"
Me to him: "Nothing, I don't know, I'm sorry."

My sudden and complete loss of temper was the result of tantrums (times two) over some yoghurt. Unkindly thumping down some peas, sweetcorn and fish in front of them at the same time as the longed-for pudding (so at least it looked like I was trying to give them a balanced meal) was hardly the moan-free parenting I was aiming for just 2 hours before.

Him to me: "I'm not saying... just it is hard."
Me to self: "So much for not complaining."

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Bike tragedy averted

OK so that March resolution didn't last a day but here I am a week later, blogging again, so that's a vast improvement on recent activity levels.

Travelling in a car with two small people who don't like to a) sit still and b) be restrained can be off-putting. But - with the logic of 'if we don't ever do it, we'll never do it' - I went driving around the countryside with Oscar and Caitlin, scouting for locations for a potential house move (in 'Britain's richest villages', according to the Telegraph - dammit) while Dad went mountain biking. Not surprisingly, given Ade's bike obsession (who else looks at bike parts on the internet every spare moment they get?) 'bike' was one of the babies' first 20 words.

We had a very close brush with bike tragedy last weekend when, in Cardiff visiting Grandma, both of our bikes were stolen... from under our sleeping noses. Sunday morning there was a state of mourning in the house when we realised they were gone. But then a glimmer of hope... the neighbours had put a (typed up) note through our door saying the police MAY have our 'expensive looking' bikes. The story has a happy ending: my bike (the last birthday present from my mum before she died) and Ade's bespoke baby (which he has built from bits that arrived in the post) were returned unscathed.

As well as 'bike' first words include 'horses', 'digger', and all the usual early words 'more', 'milk', 'juice', 'apple', 'quack quack', 'car', 'keys'. And each other's names, 'Ask-er' and 'Kiki' At 21 months, they're even starting to put words together, which I (biased as I am) would call sentences. Imagine my pride at complex structures like 'car keys' and 'all day long' (as in 'wheels on the bus'). We've clearly bred budding Einsteins. Two of them! At the same time! Colouring is another revelation. We can now take a doodle pad and some crayons to a pub and actually enjoy half a pint and a fish pie... in (relative) peace. Major achievement.

Less clever is Oscar's insistence on wearing his (OK, Caitlin's) shoe in the bath - just because it has ducks on it does NOT mean the leather shoe wants to go in the bath. And O has developed a strange sock obsession - I had to peel them off him after 4 days and nights of postponing the battle. Eventually worried that they'd grow into his skin, I pinned him down and declared 'no choice', much to his consternation. This tactic also works when nappy changes aren't going according to plan. Physically over-powering the little ones can make the day feel like a wrestling match but at least I can find comfort in the fact that I'm bigger and stronger. Not sure that's in the parenting manuals - I've yet to get to the end of one so I'm really not sure.