Did someone replace my child with Satan?

July 8, 2009

So apparently, I am a ‘mummy blogger'(according to the mouth of Rupert Murdoch that is The Times). I am assuming that means I am expected to dispense sage parenting advice, passed through generations- and share the marvels that are parenting, while impressing you all with my ability to be a domestic goddess, eternal nurturer, and general all round Madonna.(the first one, not the one who collects babies from the developing world, and boy toys from LA).
Well, it’s a good job I didnt update yesterday then. Because at precisely 2pm, I truly believed  someone had swapped my child with Satan over the weekend, and left a foundling with me, whose sole raison d’etre was to send me to the loony bin.

Now dont get me wrong, having the company of a fiercely unpredictable, smart cookie like Rachel has its benefits. BUT when your energy is flagging, or she is out of kilter- it becomes an endurance test they wouldnt inflict on prisoners of Guantanemo. When both happen at the same time, you have a situation which they couldnt show on film, because the results would be too frightening.

While Rachel says she is not a ‘feminist’, she clearly has the nature of someone who doesnt understand that there are limitations on what she can do/have. So from the early morning wake up call of ‘Mummy mummy mummy WAKE UP WAKE UP I WANT CEREAL DORA CBEEBIES’, to the screaming tantrum because I put the spoon in the cereal, instead of handing it to her… right through to the ‘I peed on the floor cos I couldnt be bothered'(for the third time in one morning), and I hate you, you are a stinky meanbag, and I want to go to the park, even though its bedtime- we were in a war of attrition.

You can go and buy books, or watch tv shows with that muppet Supernanny(who by the way doesnt have kids), and you will learn about clear boundaries, following through, remaining calm, and generally being an uber cool, detatched, controlled, caregiver- delicately nurturing your offspring with clear expectations and a firm loving hand.

You would be better off watching an old 50’s thriller, with someone diffusing a bomb, and not knowing whether the red wire or the blue wire, will be the one which sets off the explosion which will consume them into a fiery ball, and leave their liver hanging off the shop over the road. This is more akin to parenting a toddler.

Remaining calm, and communicating clearly, becomes quite difficult when you are faced with a two year old, screaming because her peach isnt green, and has a bone in it. Ah, I hear you say- offer an apple. But when the offer of an apple, is met with a meltdown beyond hiroshima, because she ‘WANTS A PEACH’- you begin to see a problem. When this screaming fit, is only one of several zillion screaming fits, for equally bizarre, and unrelated reasons, the sanity of any normal person begins to wear. When you combine that with the fact that I am not a ‘mummy blogger’, I am in fact just a normal woman who blogs, who happens to have a child,  and who was still slightly delicate from a demanding weekend in muddy fields, we begin to see a problem.

You cant even take the lazy way out, and give in, because when the request is that mummy makes it stop raining, so we can go to the park- my powers are limited. While i believe myself to be a very capable intelligent woman, I think attempting to create sunshine would be mixing up my ambitions and capabilities somewhat.

So, after two days of this seemingly endless war of attrition, I was counting the minutes till 8am this morning, when my daughter would be lovingly left in the capable hands, of those angels in blue, at her nursery, who swear she has never had a toilet accident, and is the most well mannered little girl in Christendom. And here I am, ‘mummy blogging’ and contemplating clearing the carnage left by my two year old devil.

But with the help of Dora the Explorer on a loop, playdoh, scissors, card, gluesticks, a box of teabags, and many friends on the end of the phone, I made it through alive. I shouted slightly more than I would like, and I dont think any parenting experts are going to be using me as a case study.  I wont get a medal, like the veterans of the Israel/Egypt war of attrition, and I have achieved about as much as they did. I will relish my baby free day, and by tomorrow will be pining for my little girl to be home- having completely forgotten how rubbish yesterday was.  Selective amnesia is the thing which allows us to carry on, and not sell our children on ebay(that and a handy rule from ebay, that you cant sell your child using their auction site).

So here is my ‘mummy blog’ for the day. And I am sure that I will come over all supernanny for the next installment.


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