On numerous occasions since becoming a mum I’ve found myself wondering why my children weren’t always doing what the books and society say they ‘should’ be doing. Why don’t they always behave in an impeccable way?!
Pre kids, when you saw a child having a public meltdown it was easy to think what a spoilt child they must be, to provoke that complete screaming fit over the mere fact they ate half a packet of crisps and then got mega angry because you gave them the wrong flavour (despite the fact they chose that pack in the first place) they must usually get everything they want, when they want it. Only when you become a parent yourself do you realise how wrong that assumption is.
Our children are not spoilt, we make an effort to stand our ground when we feel needed so they don’t always get their own way, so why does my child still go batshit crazy when someone presses the pedestrian crossing button before him?!
I recently read an article about how your baby should sleep at their age. As soon as I opened it I knew it would piss me off as sleep isn’t something that comes freely in this house, however I continued to read regardless (probably another crap choice caused by sleep deprivation anyway)
The ‘experts’ say that by 4 or 5 months your child will start sleeping through the night but “if you are really unfortunate they will still wake at 6 months -ouch-” I felt like shouting at the bloody page ‘Try your child waking virtually every night for 3 fricking YEARS love, screw you and screw your 6 months!!” But still found myself asking, well why doesn’t my baby sleep through the night yet? Why isn’t he perfect?!
“At around 6 months your child will begin to sit up independently” – sit up?!? He’s only just mastered a little roll you buggers, why is he so behind?!?!
Why does my baby not drift off and ‘self soothe’ himself into a blissful sleep? What’s more, why doesn’t that damn tranquil turtle we spent a fortune on peacefully lull him into a deep slumber? (Probably because we’ve never left him to self soothe and the sleepy, stoned looking turtle is shoved in a basket in the corner of his room, but that all comes back to being a shit parent, a thought for another day…)
Why do we have to rock our baby to sleep? As we pace the room and he gets increasingly frustrated at being held we know it’s not really working out for either of us but you’re too bloody knackered to attempt to change it to something else.
Why does Middle F get up before the birds in the morning?! Why isn’t he perfect and sleep in until a reasonable hour such as 7 instead of getting up between 4 and 5 am on a regular basis? Why is it that one morning he’ll happily get up with his dad but then wait until I’ve had the shittest, most desperate nights sleep of all and insist it’s his mum that does the 4am wake up call by beginning to scream the joint down the second I don’t spring out of bed?!
Why does our 3 year old not sit perfectly when we go out for something to eat (once in the bluest of blue moons) but instead is all over the place like a fart in a thunderstorm and attempting to do headstands in the seat? (cue looks of disapproving smug mums sitting alongside their own perfect children who are silently supping up their cabbage soup)
Why do my children begin to make paper aeroplanes out of their colouring sheets provided by the restaurant to launch across the table (probably to land in smug mum’s cabbage soup) and use their crayons as handy stirrers for their juice? Middle F put good use to the sharpened pencils provided by Harvester by discovering they made a perfect tool for sticking in raisins to pick them up and eat them. Creative.
Why don’t my children sit down and always play calm and educational activities? Perfect children wouldn’t run around the house having mental wrestling fights wearing nothing but pants (if you’re lucky) and finding it hilarious to try and pull each other’s willies.
Perfect children would choose ‘nice’ songs to sing such as nursery rhymes or the alphabet, not change the words of every song possible to ‘poo’ ‘fart’ ‘willy’ and ‘bum’ (personal family favourite is the lyrics ‘Watch me work, work, watch me nay nay’ replaced by the words ‘watch me fart, fart, watch me fart fart’ -very catchy)
If my child were perfect they would love all our home cooking. ‘Wean them onto your food instead of pouches for extra flavour’ they say, ‘Cook your own dishes and they will be more open to a range of foods’ they say…..I slaved my bollocks off over the cooker lovingly preparing home dishes for each of my boys, stored neatly and labelled carefully in the freezer….my eldest son’s diet now consists mainly of pasta (plain no sauce) cucumber, tomatoes and raw carrot.
Why isn’t Big T perfect at choosing what to wear for the day? When he has perfectly fitting trousers in his drawer and well fitted Clarks Doodle plimsolls by the door, why does he insist on wearing jack-up faded jogging bottoms with holes in the knees (not in a cool way) that are swinging around his ankles, teamed with a too small t-shirt (need a clear out but haven’t had time to get round to being the perfect housewife) and a pair of chavvie Lonsdale trainers (picked up cheap for playing on school field).
Why does Middle F insist on turning bedtime into a crazy, manic circus? A perfect child would calmly lie down and listen to an audio book after their story, instead he loves every minute of the book (frequently choosing one and then when you reach the end insisting he didn’t want that one and chooses another) but then uses his mattress as a gym mat for somersaults and headstands followed up by shouting renditions of ‘daddy finger’.
Other perfect children sit beautifully at nursery in Circle time, why is it reported in that my child is doing roly polys around the circle nearly breaking his neck?
Why were other children singing songs like Humpty Dumpty with the other nursery children but Big T used to sing ‘Come on ladies, come on ladies one pound fiiiiiiish’ when social media was going through the craze of watching the singing fish monger?!
When I set up large buckets of water with ladels, cups, saucers and teapots in the garden on a hot day for the boys to have a big cook up and civilised tea party with all the water, why did they end up having a mass water fight resulting in a saucepan being lobbed across the lawn hitting one of their legs?!
We are often left wishing that our children would behave in certain ways because it’s what they are ‘supposed’ to do, or sometimes it’s because their ‘imperfections’ make life really shitting hard some days.
I have come to realise that my children may not always do what is socially acceptable, but Little B has a killer smile and even in his short 7 months has a love for life like nobody else I’ve ever met, Middle F has so much character and spirit I’m not quite sure what to do with it and is flipping hard work, but is so loving with his bush baby eyes, he gives the most amazing love filled cuddles a child could ever possibly give, and Big T is so sensitive and kind that when I get out of bed, after a rough night, looking like the shittest of all shits and a total wreck, he tells me I look beautiful and I know that he means it. When I wore my swimming costume for the first time post birth and it looked so horrific and tight it nearly cut off the circulation at the top of my thighs, he saw I looked conscious and told me he thought I looked really lovely (he definitely couldn’t have meant that one)
So in my eyes, screw what literature says about what my children should be doing and screw those SMOS and their pity smiles, because I’ve come to the conclusions that my kids are pretty perfect after all, they’re pretty damn perfect at acting their age.
……Although still wouldn’t give a good nights sleep a miss…….just every once in a while…..