Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Do you make these mistakes when shopping with kids (and husbands?)

‘We’ll be quick,’ my husband had said. ‘All I need is some soft drink from the store and some new shirts.’

‘You want to take three kids to a department store while you buy shirts?’ I asked incredulously.

He showed me his phone.

‘I have pictures of exactly what I want. Size, brand everything. It’ll be easy,’ he said.

First mistake – believing my husband.

The shop with the shirts didn’t open til 9am yet for some reason we were coasting into the carpark well before 8.30am. My husband slowed in front of the boom gate and took the proffered ticket.

What happened to it after that is anyone’s guess.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Baby Number Three

Some might consider this post a year – or even two – overdue.

It’s the post where I finally admit that Baldy Baby, aka The Third Child, is no longer a baby. She is a little girl, three years old tomorrow.

It’s not just our children who experience rights of passage when they have birthdays. Let’s be honest, they’re really only interested in cake and presents at this age, and can’t really tell the difference between a birthday and Christmas, unless they are particularly observant about colours and the fact you eat cake instead of pudding.

But for parents, admitting that your youngest child is no longer a baby, can be a momentous occasion. It represents a shift in your status as a parent: one that can often lead to serious contemplation and navel gazing.

What am I doing with my life?

What have I achieved?

Will she ever get out of nappies?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

There's Always One...

There’s always one kid at swimming lessons who spend their time howling, screaming, crying and otherwise being a complete terrorist in swim nappies. There’s always one…

Today was The Terrible Third’s first day of swimming lessons. Not yet three, her confidence around the water is only exceeded by her inability to swim, judge hazards or be remotely trustworthy.

But she was so excited to finally get to do what her big sisters have been doing for years. I left the house early, not quite knowing what was involved or how long it might take to get our access cards sorted.

I hadn’t calculated on her running the entire way from the car to the pool, as such we were slinking into our seats half way through the lesson prior to ours. The two mums turned to me and smiled.

‘You’re here early,’ one said looking at The Third as she hopped from foot to foot pointing at the water.

‘Swimming wessons,’ The Third shrieked throwing her sandals off and heading towards the pool. I grabbed her by the straps of her bathers and pulled her onto my lap. ‘You have to wait,’ I told her.

‘The other kids need to finish their lesson first.’

‘Awwwww,’ she pouted, thrusting her hands onto her hips. ‘I must swim!’ she declared.

The mums sniggered, and I glanced at the clock. Still ten minutes to go.

Ten minutes later, and The Third had somehow managed to stay out of the pool. She had hopped and jigged and sang and pointed and shouted ‘Now?’ hopefully a dozen times, but she had stayed dry.

The mum smiled at her ‘it’s so nice to see so much enthusiasm. You won’t have any trouble with her, she’s raring to go.’

I laughed, and stupidly said ‘My kid will probably be the one that wants to go swimming and the minute they get in the water they scream for the next half hour.’

We both twittered, ha ha ha. Because of the irony, you see.

She left with her small wet child and I took The Third to meet her new teacher. She sat on the edge and began kicking her legs obediently. When asked, she jumped into the pool and put her arms around the teacher’s neck with a huge smile.

Awesome, I thought. This is easy.

Stupid, stupid woman.

It took about two and half minutes for The Third to turn from cute kid in wet pigtails to pint sized terrorist. I still can’t figure out what made her switch.

It wasn’t long before a high pitched wail began ricocheting off the walls. ‘Nooooooooooo,’ the kid howled, followed immediately with a lower pitched profanity from the poor adult whose ear drum had been shattered. I looked up to see The Third trying to climb on the shoulders of her teacher, who was desperately trying not to sink beneath her.

‘I want my Mummmmmmmmmyyyyyyyy,’ the Third howled. The teacher patiently swam her to the edge of the pool, and asked her to sit on the step. She handed the Third a toy duck and turned her attention to the other small child in the class.

A duck sailed over their heads and landed with a plop in the pool. This was soon followed by a kick board and a plastic tea cup. I hissed at her, and she looked up at me as though surprised to see me. ‘Hi Mummy,’ she said. ‘I swimming wessons.’ She filled up a small watering can and tipped it over her head.

Her chin trembled. ‘Wet!’ she said indignantly. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.

What a lie. I totally rolled my eyes.

The teacher came back to The Third and asked if she wanted to try again.

‘Noooooooooo,’ The Third shrieked, bringing reproachful looks from neighbouring classes. She ditched another kickboard into the pool.

The poor, patient teacher, probably still only a teenager, pushed her shoulders back and faced The Third. I had the utmost respect for this brave brave woman. She looked The Third in the eye.

‘High five?’ she asked hopefully.

The Third slapped a Nemo toy into her outstretched hand with a wet thwack.

‘Fish high five,’ The Third hollered.

At this point the other mum returned, looking for her mobile phone she had left behind. She looked at The Third, sitting on the wall with her arms tightly crossed, glaring at the teacher.

‘How’s it going?’ she asked.

‘I was right,’ I said sadly. ‘There’s always one, and today that one is mine’ as we watched the Third climb out of the pool, screaming, and hiding behind a pole.

‘Swimming wessons?’ she yelled at me expectantly.

‘You’re AT swimming lessons,’ I yelled back.


Let’s see how we go next week… if there IS a next week.

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