Treading water . . .


Treading water is about as close a description as I can possibly give at the moment to how I’m feeling. We are now into the fourth week of the summer holidays and to be honest I feel like we have done pretty well. I haven’t been too stressed out, or at least not for the entire time. Sure there have been moments where the children (and I) have been overtired and a bit tetchy but they have been the odd afternoon here and there. Last week my Mum took the week off work to spend time with us and that got pretty stressful as the week wore on which I think was mainly down to the children getting more and more overtired. When they have slept well, they are pretty good tiddlers really, they play nicely together, they will sit quietly in each others’ bedrooms and just look at books, they will put their music on, close the curtains and have a disco or they will play quite happily outside. We have done lots of crafts, lots of baking and we have had various days out – yes so far it has been a pretty good summer – better than I expected anyway.

But following on from last week their behaviour has just deteriorated further and further. My once cute, loving little Beanie Boy has turned into a little horror. He has put Curly’s toothbrush down the toilet, put water all over the bathroom carpet, he has been biting, pulling hair, throwing his food around the kitchen and just generally ignoring anything that I ask of him.

Little Bean has been changeable, one minute she is a little princess – at the moment she is playing really nicely on her own in the garden as the boys are sleeping. She pops in every now and then to give me a kiss and cuddle then disappears back into the garden. We have been busy doing lots of different crafts over the holidays and she has loved having that time alone with me. All that said, as soon as she gets tired her behaviour deteriorates too. Last week she pushed Beanie Boy off the trampoline with such force that he landed in the middle of the garden on the back of his neck. She kicks, punches, tells lies and boy does she moan and whine! No matter how much I do with her, she always wants more. If I take them to the park and buy them an ice cream, it’s not enough, then they wants sweets or to go somewhere else. I have tried popping her down for a nap on the bad days but all that results in is her not going to sleep in the evening and then we have a bad day then following day.

The hardest thing to put up with is the constant fighting and screaming. Little Bean and Beanie Boy are big screamers, which isn’t great when you’re trying to get a baby to sleep, especially when that baby is teething and struggling to sleep anyway. They fall out with each other for the sake of falling out I’m sure, I think it is their form of entertainment. I have tried ignoring it but it just escalates to a point that I have to break them up, I have tried putting them in their separate bedrooms for ‘chill time’, I have tried sticking them out in the garden but nothing works.

And now to add insult to injury, Jelly Bean is cutting his first teeth and bless him he is having a rough time of it. His gums are swollen and angry. I have been using teething powders, calpol, teething gel and refrigerated teething toys but very little seems to ease his pain. In the past couple of days my usually happy, chilled out baby has turned into a screaming mass of anger and tears and I am finding myself struggling to know how to help him.

Each day this week has been particularly rubbish so far and I have been in tears each day. It’s not even like we haven’t been doing anything, we have still been going out and about yet spending time at home doing fun things too. I just can’t seem to find the happy balance for them.

When Hubby leaves for work in the mornings now I feel isolated as I see a long day stretching out ahead of me with no-one to help me. Whereas at the start of the holidays I felt confident, now I feel like I’m failing. I see my tiddler’s bad behaviours as a failing in myself as a Mum. I have let them get to this stage, yet I am no pushover. Perhaps I am too much the other way and they have learnt from my determination so now they are showing their determination back to me. I don’t want to bring Jelly Bean up in the same vein, I want all of my tiddlers to be calm and happy and relaxed, not stressed out and over emotional but I fear I have gone too far down that path now to know how to turn back and make things right. How do you begin to put right years of parenting mistakes? Whilst I figure it out, I’ll just carry on treading water . . .

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