mummy is always tired

In Which We Remember The Terrible Twos

on January 28, 2014

This month our eldest turned 3, a milestone if only because it should mean the end of the ‘terrible twos’.  I suspect though the only difference between the terrible twos and three is that they can now supposedly articulate their frustrations rather than resorting to fist pounding and foot stamping or in our case – resorting to that silent screaming that precedes a noise so terrible that our dog cowers in fear.  But to be fair we haven’t had it all that bad, the terrible twos have not left so indelible a mark that we are scarred forever.

Looking back there was the time at a certain peri peri chicken restaurant when our eldest, not quite understanding the ordering concept hollered “daddeeeeeeeee”, “daddeeeee”,  “I want my daddeeeeeeeeeeee” halfway across the restaurant.  As if this verbal outburst wasn’t quite enough, in her two year old brain the logical next step was to try and mount the table in an attempt to leap off it and in to her daddy’s arms.  Clearly this was never going to work, meanwhile I’m struggling to quieten our then newborn who had decided to join in the screaming contest.  It was then I realised, in that moment, at that single point in time, we were that family.  The family that cannot control its children, the family that everyone tuts at, the family that disturbs the peace – oh the shame of it, to this day I can’t walk past a Nando’s without slightly shuddering at the memory.

Or there was the time at Jersey airport when, laden with hand luggage and a 14 month old we didn’t have enough arms to carry a tired and grumpy 2 ¾ year old. The result was a miserable, snot encrusted, wailing wretch trailing several metres behind us as we disembarked and made our way to the baggage carousel.  I lost count of the heads that turned in either disbelief or despair or the sympathetic half nods of fellow parents, yes, they seemed to say, we understand.   Then there was the time at airport security when the beloved Woody doll had to go through screening.  Not content with screaming ‘I want my Woody back’ our eldest – quicker than lightening had run through the metal detector, grabbed Woody and run back through the security gate.  Pleased as Punch she was, I on the other hand, was not.

So, it is with some joy that I wave goodbye to the terrible twos and with some trepidation that I welcome this next stage and with it, my eldest’s new found articulation.  With her increasing verbal skills comes the drawback of answering back, because clearly the voice of reason does not belong to two adults with a combined planetary existence of 74 years but to a gangly legged, slightly runny nosed 3 year old.  Some of the comments we’ve had, have without a doubt been corkers.  We tried to dissuade her from drinking the bath water: “it’s full of your sister’s dirty wee-wee”, we cried.  “No,” was the reply, “it’s not my sister’s dirty wee-wee, it’s my wee-wee!”  We have also had to deal with the occasional toddler put down: “I have 8 fingers and 2 thumbs, how many fingers and thumbs do you have?” I asked one evening, “I have hands, mummy” came the rather smug reply as if my understanding of human biology needed some work.

Now to mark this third milestone  we decided to have a party.   Partly due to guilt because we’d not done anything the previous years and partly because we felt she was now old enough to appreciate and understand what the baffling combination of balloons, presents and cake actually means.  Everything was as it should be, enough friends to make it enjoyable but not so many as to make it daunting, an entertainer to occupy the children and lighten the load on us and more importantly enough jelly to appease even our youngest, it was (we thought) a lovely afternoon.  So came the post party critique and with it the toddler put down to trump all the others so far: “Did you like the entertainer, was she lots of fun?” we confidently asked, “No” came the thoughtful but firm reply……”she was too noisy”

And there we have it, so for her next birthday I think we’ll just be staying in.



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