Saturday, October 23, 2010

Do you ever suspect you aren't doing too well at this parenting lark?

We just had another contretemps with my toddler.

We seem to always be having contretemps with my toddler.

He is three years old, wilful as a colt, sensitive as an eyelash and, at times, demonic. This morning it was about switching off the TV, as usual. They had been watching it for a blissful hour, allowing us to lounge in bed a little longer. I warned of the great TV shut off, I executed the great TV shut off. Queue a toddler nuclear explosion.

He lashed out at me in fury, his tiny fists really wanting to do harm. So, in great Supernanny tradition, I time-outed him. Lately, when he gets a time out he has taken to spitting or peeing on the floor. He had done both this time, so more time out (not sure if that is the right way to do things, but hey, advice gratefully accepted.) Then we cleaned up the mess together.

So my husband is going to the gym and taking them to the soft play there, and I get a morning of peace. Toddler realises we aren't going to the same place and screams and shrieks that he needs me. Husband now loses cool as we have now been engaged in battle for about half and hour. He doesn't understand how a tiny chap can make life so unpleasant for everyone. My daughter is the biggest casualty. While we are all focused on the human air-raid siren, she is quietly ignored in the corner. (yes, we know that is now the way to do things, but in the heat of the moment...)

So I am now having 'my morning' but feel horribly guilty that husband has to put up with screaming toddler, and toddler is potentially going to be traumatised by absent mother.

Sometimes I wish I had Supernanny in the attic, to wheel out at times like this. Or Tanya Byron to advise me when yet again the kids are whining about food, clothes, going somewhere, not going somewhere etc. I just feel as though I have a plan in my mind how to deal with child hot-spots, but when it comes down to the heat of the moment, all these plans become tangled and incoherent.

Does anyone else feel as though they are not only making it up as they go along, but also that they aren't exactly in control of their children and their lives?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tell me about your Bonfire Night. I miss it...

Canadians seem to go crazy for hallowe'en.

I mean, there is a house on the next street that, not kidding, has a twenty foot spider scaling the wall. I have seldom seen anything quite so barking, apart from those loons who put a strain on the national grid by covering their 3-bedroom semi in fairy lights every year, complete with Santa, a sleigh and his reindeers 'en rampant.'

But I kind of like hallowe'en. Gory witches, spooky skeletons, trick or's loopily nice.

Why are the holidays we celebrate so violent and bloody though?
Guy Fawkes night - hurrah! Lets burn a catholic on a pyre. And make dad nail a rubbish catherine wheel to the fence.

Easter - hurrah! Lets stuff our faces with Cadbury Creme Eggs because some chap got nails through his hands.

Hallowe'en - hurrah! Ghoolies and ghosties abound. Some of the masks you can buy here are beyond terrifying. I can't wait to see my daughter's reaction to being offered candy by a sinister straw man with a sewn up slit for a mouth. My bowels are turning to water just thinking of it. Will she need counselling in later life? Have a corn field phobia?

Christmas is a little bit jollier, birth and all that. Diwali with the festival of lights also sounds like a pretty happy event.

But I do miss Bonfire Night a little bit. The 'oohs' and the 'aaahs' as a roman candle farts light into the air. The drizzle. The numb hands holding sparklers. The fact that our old neighbourhood seemed to think that firework night started two weeks before and two weeks after the actual date, condemning our pitifully bad toddler to a months worth of broken sleep.

Ah. Perhaps I don't miss bonfire night after all.