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How To Toilet Train Your Child 101

Hello and welcome.

Today’s lesson is how to toilet train your child.

I use, as a shining example, my 2 year old daughter, BabyGirl. She is toilet trained, both day and night. That’s right, mums and dads and random others, she is completely, utterly toilet trained and she is not even three years old.

“But tell us, Fantastic Mrs T, how on earth did you achieve such a feat, such an extraordinary (typed in a fancy British accent, fyi) level of parenting mastery?”

Ok, because I like you all, I’m going to tell you.

I.

 

Did.

 

 

Nothing.

Wait – what? Nothing? As in, nil? Nada? Nothing? 

Yup. Ok, so I’ll climb down from my pedestal now. Alright, I’ll take off my Perfect Mother crown too. You want the medal back too? Fine.

It’s true – BabyGirl is, and has been for some time now, completely dry, both day and night. And, yes – we essentially did nothing. We didn’t force her, we just let her do what she was ready to do. And, as luck would have it, she happens to be a relatively early toileter.

As well you know, she is our third child. So, I was entirely Not Bothered about whether or not she toilet trained. The fact is, she has never been a heavy wetter, and holds pee like a camel. Seriously – this kid goes hours without peeing. Not I. Oh no. More often than not, it’s her waiting for me in public loos. I won’t lie, I use her as an excuse. Often. Shhhh.

But I digress.

Here’s the thing that I’ve learned from all this parenting bizzo – kids learn things at different times, at different paces, and to compare any two children is like comparing the gestation periods of animals. We don’t criticise the elephant for her 18 month gestation period (good LORD, imagine that!) for being considerably longer than, say, the gestation period of a dog (which, btw, is 58-68 days)(you are welcome). Why? Because it’s nature.

Toilet training, too, is, by-and-large, nature. The nature of the child. Princess first showed interest in toilet training when she was quite young, around the 18 month mark. However, she wasn’t comfortably, go-out-without-a-nappy-and-three-spare-changes-of-clothes dry until well after her third birthday. And, she was still wetting her bed consistently at six years old. BoyChild went through a wonderfully enjoyable period (sarcasm) of pooping and peeing all over the house between ages 3 and 3 1/2, and then suddenly was just dry, day and night in the same week. Thank heavens. And, as mentioned, BabyGirl is dry, day and night, before she is three.

Each child is different.

So, really, my advice for toilet training, is that I have no real advice. Except, perhaps, let nature take it’s course. Introduce your child to the concept of using a toilet (let’s be honest, we all share the damn toilet room with them anyway, you might as well tell them what you are doing in there). Once you take the tentative step towards letting them leave the house without a nappy, pack plenty of spare clothes and don’t look back. They will absolutely pee all over a store floor at least once. You will die of embarrassment and not go back into that store for at least a month after, utilising their online store and delivery service instead. But then, you move on.

These are all learning steps, for you and your child (and also, for the surly store lady who had to clean up the puddle)(she needed a lesson in being nice to the mother whose child accidentally pee’d all over the floor, and also perhaps a lesson in gratitude that it wasn’t poop).

I am happy to announce that we have now graduated from the training toilet seat to using the real, adult seat. And, great news – she’s only fallen in the loo once. Oh, how I laughed helped her out like a responsible mother.

And that, ladies and fellas, concludes my lesson in Parenting today.

The next lesson will be on how to successfully have three children go to bed nicely and sleep through the night.

When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

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8

Today I Failed

Today, I failed at being a mum, on epic levels.

No, this isn’t a light post about #parentfails because my kid went to school with toothpaste all over his tshirt, picking at it like it’s a morning snack. Although, that did happen today.

This is about me, feeling like I actually, genuinely, did a shit job as a mum today.

There are days when things go wrong, and you shake them off and get on with your day.

There are days when the kids are little horrors, and you threaten to send them to boarding school, threaten to take away everything they own, threaten to cancel Easter, but then you get on with your day.

Today was not that day.

Last night, BabyGirl did her usual falling-asleep-on-me at about 9pm. Awesome. I carried her bed, but somewhere between the living room and her bedroom, she woke up. And considered that her sleep for the night. All ten minutes of it.

And so, we were up for the night.

By midnight, I was losing my mind. I was claustrophobic from all the touching and contact from her. I needed five minutes of “me time”. I was nearly in tears, and found myself getting dangerously frustrated with her. So, I took myself to bed (BabyGirl in tow), turned off all the lights, and lay in my bed ignoring her as she played with her farm animals beside me. Eventually, at about 12:30pm, she crawled onto my lap and fell asleep. At about 12:31, Princess came into my room. I literally cried.

By 12:45 I had both of the girls into their own beds, but was too wound up to sleep, so watched an hour of trash tv before eventually nodding off myself. Another long night of kids waking me (“I need your toilet” … “I’m cold” … “I’m hot” .. “My bed fell over” … “I like trains” … ) we fell out of bed about 7:30.

Every morning is a challenge in our house. Getting three kids dressed, lunches made, teeth brushed, it’s all go from start to finish. But today, I was extraordinarily Over It. No patience to spare in the T household, at all. Not one iota.

So, when I asked Princess for the umpteenth time, to please get dressed, and she said “NO!”, and when BoyChild whined to me that he couldn’t find a video on the iPad, and when I made the wrong shaped toast, and when BabyGirl didn’t want to get out of bed, I screamed. I swore. I yelled. I did everything I pride myself in never doing as a mum. And then, I sat on the floor and I sobbed.

But, there was no time for that carry on. So I picked myself up, and dragged the kids out the door and into the car. I think, by this time, the kids had picked up that Mum wasn’t to be messed with today, because they were unusually nice in the car. Which I didn’t like, because I don’t want my kids to be scared of me, and that’s how I felt they were this morning.

When we got out of the car, I picked Princess up, kissed her and whispered in her ear that I loved her. She whispered back, “I know you do mum, put me down”. I did the same to BoyChild (“I like trains, Mum. I like kisses too) and BabyGirl (“Don’t kiss me. Yuk”).

Once the older kids were in class, BabyGirl and I headed back to the car. She sat in her seat and chatted about mountains and cats. I sat in the drivers seat with my head in my hands, and took very deep breaths.

It’s now midday and I feel a bit better. Not great, to be honest. I’m exhausted, both physically and emotionally. I need sleep, and I need a break from the kids.

But, I also feel like this morning was the tipping point. The moment when the slate gets overloaded, and flips over. Resulting in a clear slate on the other side. Shortly I will go for a walk – with any luck, BabyGirl will sleep in the pram, I will put in my headphones and ignore the world. And when the kids get home from school, hopefully the slate will be clear and ready to start afresh.

Why did I write this today? I’ve no idea. I guess I wanted to get it out there – there are days when I love parenting, there are days when things go wrong, and then there are the actual, legitimately horrible days when you actually feel like a failure.

It’s all part and parcel of the job, I guess.

 

 

 

1

The elusive Sleeping Through

When you have a newborn baby, one of the most talked about topics is whether they are sleeping through the night. Which, in itself, is a ridiculously unattainable goal – we consider “sleeping through” to be bedtime till awake time (say, 6pm – 8am, how awesome would that be?!) but the “technical” definition is 6 hours without waking. So, by definition, could be 2am – 8am. Not awesome.

Your little baby wakes two hourly. Then four hourly. Then, if you have a super great sleeper like Princess was (note: was), by 6 weeks she will be sleeping 10-12 hours uninterrupted. I know, right?! She was such a good sleeper, that we (bless our naive cotton socks) asked our doctor if we should be concerned. If only we knew. If only we knew.

On the flipside, BoyChild was a horrendous sleeper. In his first year, he didn’t sleep more than four goddam hours E.V.E.R. I understand why they use sleep interruption as torture. I get it. I feel for anyone who has to be subjected to that. I’m confident that Mr T and I both lost a large portion of our sanity that year. I’m not overly confident mine ever came back.

And then, you have BabyGirl. This amazing baby slept twelve hours at a time, from a very, very young age. That’s great, I hear you say. Well, no. She slept the wrong twelve hours. She would stay up until 1am, 2am and then crash out for 12 hours. Which is all well and good except for, oh, you know, the other people in the family who had places to be at 9am.

Sleeping through the night. Does it actually exist? I found myself lying in bed at 4am last night, staring at the ceiling, asking myself this very question.

Kids, the little sneaks, they are so good at lulling us parents into a false sense of security. Suddenly, without warning, you will realise that, holy moly, the kids are all sleeping through. They go to bed at 7:30, and by 9:30 you realise they are all asleep, and you and other half haven’t spoken in two hours. You look at the peculiar person sitting across the room. You wave. He waves. You say, “hello”. He takes off his headphones, pauses his computer game, and says “what? did you say something?”. So romantic. So romantic.

Often we will have a run of, say, a week where all three kids sleep properly. Naturally, we don’t notice until they stop, and we realise how easy we have had it.

I wonder, I do – at what age will I actually ever sleep through the night again? I mean, our kids are past that text book age bracket of waking in the night for actual legitimate reasons. You know, like needing to be fed, or have their nappies changed.

To give you an idea of the sleeplessness I experience, this is a snapshot of my night last night.

7:oopm. BoyChild goes to bed.

7:30pm. Princess goes to bed.

7:40pm. Princess goes back to bed.

7:46pm. Princess GET BACK TO BED I SWEAR TO ALL THAT IS HOLY WHERE THE HECK ARE YOUR PYJAMAS?!

8:00pm. BabyGirl starts her nightly ritual of *ahem* self soothing to sleep. On my leg.

9:00pm. BabyGirl falls asleep hard. I slip a nappy on her and carry her to bed. Thank goodness she is such a deep sleeper.

11:00pm. I head to bed. I am so accustomed to kids staying up until all hours that even when they do go to bed early, I don’t.

12:00pm. I turn off Toddlers and Tiaras and go to sleep.

12:30am. BoyChild sleeptalks.

1:15am. BabyGirl falls out of bed.

1:30am. Princess sneaks into my bed.

1:50am. I notice Princess is in my bed and carry her back to her room.

2:45am. I leave Princess’s room after sitting next to her until she falls asleep.

4:20am. BoyChild decides to use my ensuite. He turns on my bedroom light, then the bathroom light. Pees. Flushes. Washes his hands with soap. Dries his hands. Turns off bathroom light. Turns off my bedroom light. Cries that it is dark and can I please take him to his room?

6:50am. Boychild is up for the day. He quietly tells me he is awake and then disappears into the living room.

7:28am. Princess crawls into my bed. I tell her to go back to her own bed. She says it’s day time. I say she is mistaken.

7:30am. My alarm goes off. FML.

 

Coffee.

Coffee is the answer to your question.

Coffee is always the answer.

I am holding out hope that, when all three kids are somewhere between the ages they are now, and the age when they start going out at night, there will be a year or so when I might sleep like a normal human being. Because, once they hit their teens, I suspect the sleeplessness will rev up again. Worrying about them, about what they are up to, about them getting home safely. I now understand why, when I got “mildly intoxicated” as a teen, I staggered into the living room to find my parents sitting there, just patiently waiting. “I think I’m in trouble” I slurred, before turning and smacking clean into the wall. My parents, they knew their shit.

And, once the kids leave home, will I sleep then? Or will I be so used to waking, that I will naturally wake at odd hours? Lets be honest, will my bladder ever sustain a full night’s sleep? I doubt it.

Sleeping through the night? I fear that ship has sailed. Oh, to return to my 20s when husband and I would sleep till noon. What’s it like, I wonder, waking when you want to as opposed to when a smaller version of yourself tells you you should wake up?

Who the heck knows.

 

 

 

 

 

1

Don’t Be A Dick.

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To all my children, on this fine day

As I sit here with coffee, watching you play

I think about your life, all the impressions you’ll make

And how I can teach you which pathway to take

So here, my dear cherubs, are some words of advice

Take them on board or discard them if you like

But please take this one snippet, if nothing else sticks

Be kind, be nice, and don’t be a dick

Be generous, courteous, put others first

Take care of the needy, nurture those who are hurt

Don’t be shy with your hugs, don’t be guarded with your smile

You’ll be surprised in your life, a nice grin goes a mile

You’ll get hurt, that’s for certain – it’ll suck, that’s for sure

But learn and move on as you close that old door

It’s ok to be angry, to yell and to scream

It’s ok to be sad but please, don’t be mean

Because the person you are is the person you’ll be

And how you live is reflective of the positive, you see

So be courageous and strong, stand proud and think quick

And if all else does fail, please – don’t be a dick.

You will rise and you’ll fall; you’ll laugh and you’ll cry

You’ll grow from adversity often not knowing why

things have happened to you in this way or that

sometimes life makes as much sense as a squid in a hat

But I say it again, and I’ll keep going on

Be proud of yourself. Be kind and be strong.

I’ll love you regardless of choices you make

I hope that I’ve taught you well for everyone’s sake

I’ll stand by you proudly through thin times and thick

But my dear child, I ask again – please, don’t be a dick.

Thanks, love.

Mum xx

 

 

 

 

 

4

Does it get any easier?

The other day I read an article about Prince William and parenting. In it, he talks about little George and Charlotte, and quips, “Does it get easier?”.

At the time, I laughed, said “Bless you, Prince William” out loud, and then moved on to whatever chaos was ensuing in my house.

Last night, as I sat next to Princess’s bed at 1am, blocking her from leaving the room while simultaneously keeping her quiet and shushing BabyGirl who was also stirring, thanks entirely to Princess and her midnight theatrics about spiders in her bed and the 643 reasons why she can’t sleep in her room any more, I thought about Prince William again. And whether it gets easier.

No, Wills, my buddy – it does not. It changes, that’s certain. And we adapt to the way things needs to be done. But easier? Nope.

As kids grow, their needs change and they enter into new phases and stages. And with each new stage and phase comes new challenges.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I feel as though the older my kids get, the less I know about this parenting business. Princess is going through a particularly anxious stage at present, and I am the first to put my  hand up and say, “I have no freakin idea how to deal with this”. You want the best outcome for your kids, so they learn and grow and don’t end up damaged as a direct result of your parenting shortcomings. No pressure or anything.

There is so much out there on social media about how to parent “right”. Don’t tell your daughter she is pretty, lest she become obsessed or self conscious about her looks. Remember to tell your child these 434 different things each day, to ensure they know you love them and are proud of them. Don’t tease your kids, don’t lie to them, don’t tell them the truth, don’t pull the finger at them behind their back as they stomp away. Make sure your child is nurtured and cuddled (but NOT coddled). No pressure or anything.

BabyGirl has entered the awesome phase of screaming when things don’t go her way, regardless of where we are. Today I had the nerve to take Princess to her classroom at school, instead of taking her to another, random classroom that BabyGirl decided should be Princess’s classroom. The screams were enough to draw a teacher from a nearby class. She’s fine, I flustered. Just leave her, she’s fine. Please, don’t judge me, don’t tell her it’s ok, just leave her. She’s fine. I’m fine. I’m not crying. You are crying.

On Monday I had to carry Princess into her classroom, this time it was her who was screaming the place down. Soon I’ll be known as The Mother With Kids Who Scream. Or, The Mother Who Drinks A Lot. Or The Mother Who Sits In Her Car After Drop Off, Laughing Or Crying, No One Is Sure. Not Even Her.

No pressure or anything.

Wanting the best for your kids is one of the hardest, and easiest, parts of parenting. Easy because it is one of our strongest instincts as parents. Hardest because how the heck do you do it?

So, back to Prince William. Does it get easier? Well, yes. There will come a time when your kids are no longer climbing furniture and trying to kill themselves by jumping off the top of a bookshelf. There will come a time when your kids will listen when you tell them not to fight/run away/disobey you. When that time comes for me, I will let you know. There will come a time when your kids sleep through the night. It does get easier.

And then comes the time when those things are replaced by new, more challenging obstacles. And again, and again. And then comes a time when I think, as a parent, you will have to sit back and hope you have done all you can, to make your little person into a pretty okay adult.

No pressure or anything.

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1

EasiYo Yogurt Maker

This week I was excited to receive another product to trial from Kidspot NZ Mums Say – an Easiyo Yogurt Starter Pack.

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I love yogurt – I’m not a huge breakfast eater and I’m wheat intolerant so tend to steer clear of bread. But yogurt, I love. And I’ve recently discovered Chia Puddings, which are amazingly delicious (once you get past the fact it looks a bit like fish eggs!).

But, it’s not all about me.

Princess adores yogurt, always has. BoyChild will devour chocolate dairy food but, until recently, has refused fruit-based yogurt. I say, “until recently”, because over the school holidays he tasted, and enjoyed, some thick strawberry yogurt. I really wanted to trial this yogurt maker, so I could test and play with different flavour varieties in the hopes of finding something he will eat. Goodness knows he could do with the calcium, and yogurt makers such as these have the added advantage that (a) you know what is going into your food, and (b) you have control over portion sizes. I say as I wolf down an entire bowl of the stuff. I’m in control what.

Now, BabyGirl is still allergic to dairy products, though we are slowly introducing different things for her. My goal with this yogurt maker, is to create a nice dairy free yogurt for her. I will keep you all posted on how I go, I think it will be trial and error combined with a lot of time (and maybe a few swear words along the way), but the end game is crucial – she loves yogurt, and Soy yogurt from the store is not cheap. I will also give her very small doses of the Easiyo stuff that I make, to test her reactions in a controlled way.

Right, so that’s my plan.

Getting home and finding a box on the doorstep always brings a mix of emotions – excitement, combined with “did I order something and can’t remember?!”. It happens, especially when you know your credit card off by heart and are often awake at 1am.

I quickly got onto making the yogurt, so we would have it over the weekend.

The starter pack came with the urn-shaped … um … thing that you put the .. um … other thing into. Don’t be jealous of my science-y terms. Right. Anyway.

I decided to make the strawberry flavour first, as it is more kid-friendly than Greek. I am going to savour the Greek until I can enjoy it. Alone. Mwa ha ha.

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It is so easy to use an Easiyo maker –

  1. Boil the jug
  2. Into the smaller container, fill it halfway (there is actually a line on the side, which I didn’t see until afterwards!) with tepid water. I used tap water. Add in the entire sachet of yogurt mix, put on the lid, and shake, shake, shake. Sing Taylor Swift’s “shake it off” if you like. Or, “Shake-shake-shake, shake-shake-shake, shake your booooooooo-tay”. Whichever you prefer. Or, pretend to be Tom Cruise in Cocktail.
  3. Once mixed, fill up completely to the top (there is another line marked) with more tepid water. Shake some more. Go on, Tom. Give it your all.
  4. Pick up the container that you just dropped due to over-vigorous, mock-cocktail shaking. In the bigger part (the bit that looks like a time capsule), there should be a “spacer” which serves to hold the smaller container inside. Once the spacer is inside and down as far as it will go, pour in boiling water until it reaches the top of the spacer.  Put the small container in (with the lid tightly on!) and put the main lid on.
  5. Leave it to sit for 8-12 hours. I did overnight.

Result? Amazingly thick, creamy, delicious yoghurt. SO good. SO easy. Yo.

See what I did there? Boom.

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I’m excited to use this a lot more, it’s a cheaper alternative, and I can’t wait to go crazy with sauces and toppings. FROZEN YOGURT OH MY GOSH IMMA MAKE FROZEN YOGURT.

Can’t. Wait.

For more info on Easiyo, check out their website. And, for NZ residents, they are currently offering the starter pack at a really great price. Well worth the investment, I say.

https://www.easiyo.com/easiyo-product-details/spso_nzonly.html

And, of course, for more reviews and review information, head over to Kidspot and their Facebook Page

 

Happy yogurt-ing!

 

0

And Now We Are Five

BoyChild is now five.

5.

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It’s funny – when I tell people my baby boy is starting school, they give me a lovely, somewhat sympathetic smile, and the conversation goes like this:

“Naw! Is he your first?”.

Um, nope.

“Oh! Is he your last?”

Um, nope.

“Oh! Well …. ok!”

But, anyone who knows anything about BoyChild and our first five (5!) years with him, will understand why there is something amazing in him toddling off to school. For a kid who barely spoke until he was well into his 3’s, a kid who has simply never followed the path most other kids follow, our Blue Orange, starting school is a massively huge milestone. For Mr T and I, as much as for him.

You know, BoyChild has suddenly grown up. He’s talking in fluid sentences, he’s giving me attitude, he’s cracking fart jokes. All things that you would expect from a normal 5-year-old boy.

I tear up thinking about it. I was so proud the day he farted, and laughed and laughed and tried to replicate it. Proud, and a little grossed out. But, primarily proud.

We had his pre school farewell ceremony last week, and his teacher was brought to tears. There is something about our boy, he has that effect on people. I’m not sure whether it’s his gentle nature, or his willingness and eagerness to try anything, but he touches people right in the heart.

I was doing pretty well at the ceremony – they went through his portfolio, and, as per the Montessori program, he walked around a candle representing the sun five times, to represent five years. They lit a mock cake and sang happy birthday to him (he led the song with gusto). And then.

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And then they all lined the room, forming a walkway for him and the other little girl leaving, to walk through as the entire class and teachers applauded. He walked away from me, and I was done. Tears, come on down. That kid.

 

And then, he was off to school. Happily. It’s been a week and we’ve had one day of tears, thanks mostly to Princess, who “helpfully” declared that “we don’t want to go to school today, do we?” to him. Thanks, love.

And. AND. The most amazing part, for me.

BoyChild has never been interested in reading. On day one he bought home a reading book, and I asked him if he would like to read it with me. He did. Day Two, I hesitantly asked again. He did. Today was Day Five, and tonight he read an entire book to me. By. Himself. I know, it’s more memory than actually reading, but that is such a giant leap in the right direction.

That kid.

Five years old. Such a cool kid, a charming, happy, funny, lovely kid.

That kid.

 

1

Look How Far We Have Come

Well, what do you know – it’s been exactly two years since I started this blog. Well, that’s what Facebook tells me, and we all know that Facebook never lies.

Two years. I can’t believe it – in some ways it feels as though I started only yesterday, in other ways it feels like I’ve been doing this for years. I started this blog because Princess was such a funny little thing, coming out with such crazy sayings and the most random of behaviours, it seemed almost a crime not to document it. Even if only for when they are teenagers, if nothing else!

Add to that the chaos of the two smaller children and I had a recipe for hilarity, drama and losing my mind slowly.

Two years. Look how far we have come.

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The kids are all so much older (two years is a lot when you are a kid!) and I drink so much more alcohol.

Just kidding.

Not really.

A friend asked me the other day why I hadn’t written in a while. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Princess has grown up a lot. Her funny quips and “isms” have been replaced by scowls and declarations that we have ruined her life.

Ok, it’s not all bad – in fact, we’ve just had a rare afternoon of peace, just the two of us. Sitting side by side, her drawing a picture and me working (read: mindlessly perusing social media). We chatted like … well, like normal people. It’s days like this that make me so absolutely proud of the person we have grown, and excited to see the woman she is yet to become. She is about to start Year 2 at school and over these holidays she has developed amazingly – her reading ability surprises me daily and her drawing skills are far superior to mine!

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BoyChild is nearly 5 and, like his sister, has come so far in the past year. He is very much a boy – we get a lot of fart jokes and fascinating stories about trains. But he is still the most sensitive of the lot, and still lets me cuddle him. Long live THAT.

For a kid who barely spoke when I started this blog, a few weeks ago he overheard us correcting Princess for mispronouncing hospital, “hos-ti-ble”. He listened as we taught Princess the correct way to say it, then suddenly blurted out, “HOSPITAL!” with pride oozing from him.

“It’s hos-PI-tal” he repeated. Again. And again. Like with Princess, I just found myself welling up with pride. And excitement to see how he grows and develops once he starts school.

In two weeks.

*brb I’m just going to have a cry*

BabyGirl. Freakin BabyGirl. I just can’t even. I said it when I started the blog, that I suspected she might be the one to watch. I knew even then, when she was not even one year old, that she was a fire cracker. Her humour, her vocabulary, her utter naughtiness and her giggle that just seems so artificial that you can’t help but smile. Her absolute freakin adorableness.

She starts preschool soon and while I’m excited about the time alone (where I will, no doubt, wander aimlessly wondering what I ever did pre:kids), I will miss my baby. She’s more or less toilet trained during the day now, and I am more than ready to bid nappies a fond farewell, thanks very much. She will proudly tell all and sundry that she can “wees on the toilet JUST like MUM”.

The kids collectively? They drive me mad. Well, that’s not new though, is it?

They bicker, oh my do they bicker. All siblings fight, I know. I grew up in a family of four girls, one of whom was what my mum described as “fist happy” (plot twist: it was me). So, I get it.

Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

And so here we are. Two years later. A lot has changed, and we’ve grown so much, as individuals and as a family. Can’t wait to see what the next two years bring.

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Look how far we have come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

Things I’ll miss

This is the last week of the school holidays. It has been six weeks of … I wanna say fun?

I mean, of course I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having my children around, hanging off me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

However, there are some things I really am going to miss.

The way my kids play so happily together, all the time.

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They are so good at negotiating, they never bicker. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to say, “stop being so darn polite to each other, you little angels”.

The movies we have watched

I’m not sure if once-a-day-for-three-weeks-straight is really enough time to reallyy grasp the true genius that is the One Direction This Is Us documentary movie. I really will miss having this on every day. I mean, on one occasion it was turned off before it finished – what if the ending changed that one time?!

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Of course, a day wouldn’t be complete without a movie to counter the depth and realism of the One Direction movie, which is why we felt compelled to watch Barbie – The Princess and The Popstar every day also. Oh, the drama. Oh, the feels. Oh, the dance moves and high end animation.

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The Housework

I am certainly going to miss the housework when the kids go back to school. I mean, how will I ever fill my time, when I’m not doing three loads of washing a day, because apparently we need to change our clothes to match the movie that happens to be on (see: above). And the toys. The Toys. I love picking up beads from the floor. And I love it even more if I get to pick up the same beads an hour later.

The Endless Requests 

I’m pretty confident the reason we have children is because we feel our life to be lacking without constant requests for food, water, toys, games, clothing.

All. The. Time.

I mean, the very last thing I want to do on any given day, is sit down long enough to finish a cup of coffee. Or, answer an email. And I absolutely don’t want to make an important work-related phone call without being interrupted at least eight times. More than anything, I appreciate the fact that, when I moved my phone call outside, the kids followed me.

I am, after all, their very reason for breathing.

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The Lego

I love Lego. It encourages creativity. And builds fine motor skills. And it’s fun.  I will miss standing on it once school starts back. I will miss it being in my bed. I will miss it being in the washing machine.

The noise

Silence is over rated, really. I think it’s fair to mention here, I’m sure the neighbours will miss the noise as well. They might deny it, but I know they love it. They love the expressions of emotion, the not-at-all-over-dramatic cries, the mum-is-about-to-lose-her-shit warning sirens. They love it. I know they do.

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Of course, when all is said and done, I wi

I will

I will mis

*ahem*

I will miss my ki

I will miss my

come on, you can say it

I. Will. Miss. My. Kids.

At least BabyGirl will still be with me. UNTIL MAY. Let’s take a moment to digest that.

And I will be able to drown my missing-my-kids sorrows with help from my other child.

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2

The Boy in the Pink Togs

Today we went to the pool. When we got to the pool, there was a boy there, wearing a pink swimsuit.

Princess loudly exclaimed, “THAT’S SILLY! PINK IS A GIRL COLOUR!”

I was horrified and scolded her immediately. Because, there is no such thing as “boy” anything and “girl” anything, right? The feminist in me (I blame my mother) gets stabby at the mere mention that boys can’t wear pink, or girls can’t wear blue.

I should mention at this point, that the boy in the pink togs was, in fact, my son. Let me explain.

Last week it was a scorching hot day, and we walked for approximately 2000 steps (courtesy of my new-xmas-present-FitBit) in the horrific heat to go for a swim in the local outdoor pool. When we arrived, I realised that I had left BoyChild’s togs at home. ALL THE WAY AT HOME.

There was no way we were going back, and there was no way the kids were going to tolerate not swimming. So, I dug and rummaged through our swimming bag and found for him, a pink rash vest (that I’d brought along in the hopes that BabyGirl might want a little more coverage that her silly little toys allowed – she didn’t) and some blue swim nappy pants (spares, should we have a Code Brown while swimming. We didn’t).

Now, I didn’t think that BoyChild would accept this swimwear. I didn’t think he would, because there is very much “his” things in our house, and “the girl’s” things. Not because we have girl things and boy things, but more because his sisters hate to share (looking at you, Princess).  Back in October, BoyChild’s preschool had a “Dress in Pink” day to acknowledge Breast Cancer research. No matter how much persuading I did, there was no way he was wearing pink that day. Nope. No way, jose.

But, he did wear the pink togs. I don’t know why, but I didn’t question it – I was just relieved the issue was over.

And so, I bring you to today. We decided to go to the indoor Aquatic Centre, and the kids put their togs on. BoyChild bypassed his regular red top and blue shorts, opting for the pink top and blue swim nappy once again. I asked him, are you sure that is what you are going to wear?

“Yup, Mum. These are my togs for today. I like them”.

Well, there you go then.

And so off we go. And we get to the pool, and my own daughter is the one to laugh and point at him. I suspect it was as much sibling jabbing as anything else, but nevertheless is was not ok.

To be perfectly honest, I was very much en guard at the pool today. I was closely watching how the other people reacted to BoyChild and his pink swimming top. I was on edge, nearly willing someone to make a comment, so I could delve into an unhinged rant about gender and children.

I don’t want my kids to grow up with preconceived ideas about gender, and what they are and aren’t allowed to do. I realise that it’s an uphill battle, given the colour of the aisles in department stores and the packaging that every toy, drink or random other product comes in.

So, what can we do to make sure they know that they can choose whatever colour they want?

Dress your girls in blue, but offer them in pink as well.

Dress your boys in pink, but offer them blue as well.

If you kid wants to wear green, so be it. If you kid wants to wear flannel pyjamas, a tutu, gumboots and a sailor hat, so be it.

No one made a comment at the pool today. Perhaps people saw him, went home and mentioned to someone that they’d seen a boy in pink togs today. All I know is, I went swimming with a four year old boy, who had a great time in the pool, and probably didn’t give a second thought to what he was wearing.

Long may it last.

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