Once upon a time I was mum to 3 children under 3, or to be accurate 3 under 2 and a half (and I’m still here to tell the tale!) It was the hardest work I have EVER done , in any capacity. How we as parents manage to keep things ticking over whilst that exhausted , in hindsight , is nothing short of a minor miracle (I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Cbeebies and rusks for the part they played)….usually soothing me whilst the madness was taking place.
When people would sit next to us on the bus (only happened if there were literally no other seats , people avoided the wild eyed woman with a double buggy and a baby strapped to her that looked as though she’d not seen a hairbrush in weeks) When some one did sit by us though this was the most popular conversation.
Stranger: Are they all yours??
Me: Think so , I’ve lost count! ( too tired for small talk)
Stranger: How old?
Me: 3 , 18 months and 6 months.
Stranger: Well if you think it’s hard work now , just wait until they’re teenagers!!
I used to wonder how true this could be. I mean teenagers slept all the time, didn’t they???
Now we’re at the three teenager household time.With a 19,17 and 16 year old I’m discovering that the teenage years are remarkably similar to the toddler times.
With toddlers you attempt to teach to put one toy away before getting something else out , repeatedly day after day with limited success. Same applies with the teenagers. They can bring a cup out of their room (applauds) but why put it next to the sink rather than in it…you’ve gotten almost there..you can do that last little bit surely….same goes for dirty washing and the wash basket.
They ask questions I cannot answer
Used to be things like ‘ How many spiders are in the world?’ or ‘How many bricks do you need to build a house?’. It’s progressed slightly ‘ If you pushed a swing in space , what would happen?’ These days we can refer to the second parent in our house – Google!! The toddler days were reliant on how imaginative mummy was feeling!
They refuse to acknowledge tiredness
I remember one time I was around a childless friend , youngest boy was having one of those over tired toddler meltdowns. My friend asked what on earth was wrong with him. I replied that he was tired. “Why doesn’t he just go to sleep then?” asked my friend!
If the boys don’t have enough sleep now they will be grumpy and irritable all day. Should I suggest an early night though they will insist they are absolutely fine then continue to yawn and grouch till I inevitably end up sending them to bed.
They are obsessive
When they were little they loved Bob the Builder…so every time they sneakily introduced a new machine ( I have not forgiven you Snowed Under)the boys would stroke it as they went passed it in the toy shop , their eyes turning love heart shaped in adoration for a new vehicle, the one that would complete their collection. Until the next one came out of course (Sunflower Valley you did a right number on us).The focus of their love has changed and it’s now all Hull City or Doctor Who or that stupid bloody Football Manager game when they love , they love hard!!!
They’re accidentally offensive
The cringey no filter of the toddler mouth was always dangerous in public
“Mummy that lady smells”
“Mummy that man is picking his nose”
“Why is that man so fat mummy?”
Thankfully we have learned to think before we speak though we still suffer the occasional slip up , invariably at my expense. “Mum I think that skirt isn’t your size , it’s too short”
I’m enjoying this stage in parenting though, as much as I occasionally crave the little , sleepy , milk-drunk faces (womb ache alert!!!) They are becoming quite good company!
AND everyone can wipe their own bottoms now!!! Result!!