I am Seven-ways-to-provoke-my-Threenager Mum

After a weekend of tantrums and death stares from the Threenager, I decided to write down the things that provoked meltdowns. 
When a friend asked what was up with her, I couldn’t actually pinpoint what had started it.  And so this blog began as an exercise to establish triggers that we could work on avoiding. 
My mission was to try to figure her out. 
My mission was to beat the strop.
My mission, as it turned out, was pretty darn impossible.


It has however, been informative.  It has made me realise that Mini-Me is quite capable of losing the plot over the most ridiculous things ever
Here are just a few that we recorded since yesterday morning…

1.  I called her by her name. 
I kid you not.  Her answer was to scream at me “Don’t call me a THAAAAAAAT!” 
Silly Mammy.

2.  I asked her if she’d like some Brioche..
Again, “Don’t call it Brioooooooche!”  I have a witness to this one.
Silly Mammy.

3.  I plaited her hair.
She asked for french plaits.  She stood still while I put two perfect plaits on each side of her head.  She even handed me the hair baubles.  Then, she looked in the mirror and screamed “I SAID PONEEEEEEE TAIL!!!” before pulling the pretty plaits out.  I almost cried.
Silly Mammy.

4. I couldn’t find the tiny piece of Blue tac that she insisted on bringing home from school last week.
She decided she “neeeeeeeded” her “best fwend Mr Bluuuutac.”  Cue 20 minutes of crying on the living room floor.
Silly Mammy.

5. There were bubbles in her milk.
Not much to be said here is there?

6.  I referred to her Baby Annabelle as a “Doll” and lifted it by the head…
Silly Mammy?
Seriously woman…

7. I didn’t drive around the roundabout
Because I was turning left to go home.  But apparently, I should have gone “wound da woundabout!” 
Silly mammy.

You see the pattern?
Of course you don’t,  because THERE IS NO BLOODY PATTERN!!


So what did I learn?

She is irrational.  She is illogical.  She is slightly crazy. She is completely unpredictable.   She is slightly terrifying.

And there’s no point in trying to figure her out, because if she’s going to throw a strop, it’ll happen regardless of my best intentions to thwart it.

Because she’s three.

And at those times when I want to tear my hair out and I feel like I am absolutely and utterly mental… it’s not me, it’s her!

I am Seven-ways-to-provoke-my-Threenager Mum


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I am Sleep Dance Mum

I love to dance.
I’ve been dancing since I could walk.
I’ve danced on stages and I’ve even choreographed a few shows.

My current speciality is the Sleep Dance.  And I’m brilliant at it.


Sleep is a currency…who knew?

Currently, I’m broke while Hubby is rich, rich, rich…well he’s richer than I am. He’s dancing the Sleep Dance too, but he doesn’t even know most of the time.

In the world of new parents, the parent who tallies up the most Zzzz hours owes the other: Big time.

They say that we forget the difficult things about having a newborn after a while…like the pain, the exhaustion, the stress.  There must be some truth in that as we keep having children, don’t we?

We had Princess almost four years after Mini-Me whirlwinded into our lives.  That gap was just enough to have allowed us to have completely forgotten EVERYTHING about having a new baby in the house.  How do we bath her?  How many ounces do we give her? How does this damned sterilizer work again?

My first hour at home after Princess’s birth was terrifying.  We moved house last year, so I didn’t have the luxury of memory to assist me. Our previous home was smaller, so even if Mini-Me was in the bedroom, I could hear her in the kithen.  The new house is lovely and spacious, but so new and unfamiliar to us.
Where would I keep the nappies? Which cupboard should I put the baby’s stuff in?  Where should I put her while she’s sleeping?  The arrangements and habits that we had created for our first baby, were redundant.  We had to start again.  Ok, so this is not a huge issue and may sound ridiculous, but to a new Mammy, 3 days post-section and drugged to the eyeballs, it was MASSIVE.

For the first week, we caught ourselves looking at the other for help or reminders on more than one occasion.  Do we mix the formula when it’s hot or luke warm?  Do we go to bed now or just wait until after her next feed? How do we ensure that Mini-Me is still getting her usual attention? The list goes on and the struggles were real, but after a few days, we were the proverbial quacking ducks and the water was no longer quite so choppy.  Everything became normal again…except for the sleep.


Before a Baby arrives, how much we sleep goes unnoticed.  Pre-parents should really listen when told to enjoy their sleep now.  Ok, so you can’t stock up on it, and how much you get before the arrival of your little bundle is not going to help when you’re knackered at 4am, but you can ENJOY it.
Enjoy the luxurious feeling of turning over in the bed without worrying about disturbing Baby.  Enjoy being able to go to bed when YOU feel like it.  Enjoy not giving a continental hoot how much sleep your partner gets, because once Baby arrives, you’ll moniter their sleep as carefully as you moniter the money in your bank account, or lack thereof.

Every second of snoring that is greater than the seconds you spend snoring, is noted.
Every time he or she turns in the bed, oblivious to the demanding grunts from the cot, (and oblivious to your glares!), is stored in your memory.
Every time you have to haul your ass out of the bed to replace the dummy in your little Munchkin’s mouth, you jot it down in your mind.
Every innocent snore is transformed into the sound of coins being dropped in the piggy-bank of your mind.
Your mind becomes a ledger… how much do I have?  How much did he/she get?
Every second your partner sleeps while you are awake between the hours of 11pm and 6am, becomes currency.
In other words… YOU OWE MEEEEEE!

And if he/she gets one hour more than you, you will want to make them pay.
As well as taking mental notes of how much more sleep your partner got, you’ll be taking notes of how little you got.
Yes, while Baby Brain might cause you to forget your own name, (or in my case, the Baby’s name…twice.), it strangely adds to your mathematical brilliance and your late night memory.

6 x out of bed to replace dummy
2 x thinking she was choking
3 x unnecessarily
2 x across the hall to Mini-me to scare off bad dreams
1 x across the hall to Mini-me to beg her to go back to sleep
1 x to the kitchen to heat Princess’s bottle
1 x to the kitchen to dump said bottle as said Princess was snoring again by the time I returned
1 x to get another bottle an hour later
1 x sitting on the edge of the bed for 20 minutes after feeding as she screams everytime I move, knowing that the snuggly Mammy is going to try to deposit her in the cold cot.
1 x your snoring
…and don’t even start me on the ten minutes between your alarm going off and the snooze button!
Do the math.
Or don’t.  Just know that YOU OWE ME!



And of course the rational mind reminds me that Himself is working full-time.
And that of course he needs sleep with 5am-8pm working hours.
And that I am off work at the minute.
And that this only lasts for such a short time.

I know all of that, but sometimes, I’m not very rational.  Because I’m shattered!

And of course, there are the nights when Daddy’s on Baby-duty and I can sleep, but I don’t usually.  Not because I need to be awake, but because I’m programmed to be on my feet and functioning before my mind knows I’m awake.
That’s reality.
I am learning however.  I’m now forcing myself to accept the lie in, even if it is only until 8am.  I am getting better at going back to sleep when I know that Daddy’s got her. (even if sometimes I’ve had to kick him three times to tell him to get up!)

So yes, be prepared for the Sleep dance.
Be prepared to know exactly how much sleep your partner got and be prepared to know just how much you didn’t.
Be prepared that no matter how honest you usually are, you WILL lie about how many times you were out of bed, just to make sure that partner understands how much he/she OWES YOU!
Be prepared to feel utter resentment for the person you love in real life…because 4am isn’t real life really, is it?

And be prepared to get on with it and to get over it, because it’s worth every single second.

No matter how exhausted your body is, when you look into the cot at stupid o’ clock and see two big, beautiful eyes looking at you; when your finger is gripped by tiny hands, holding on to you for dear life; when you listen to the coos and noises as she drinks; tiredness disappears and is replaced by love.

But yes.  He (or she) still owes you.  How you make them pay, is completely up to you!

I am Sleep Dance Mum 🙂

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I am Shake-a-bootay Mum

On Saturday, I took Mini-Me on what was intended to be the perfect Mother & Daughter day out.
With the recent arrival of her Little Sister, some quality-time was badly needed.  As it turned out, it was more needed by Mummy than by Daughter.

The day was planned out in detail.  We’d been talking about it all week.


We would go to the hairdresser, then to the shops.
Mini-Me would have sausages and chips; we’d collect the balloons for Princess’s Christening lunch.
Mummy would have coffee in her favourite coffee shop while Mini-Me would sip milk from a cute little milk bottle with a stripy straw.
We’d chitter and chatter, hold hands and skip from shop to shop.
It would be calm, relaxed and blissful.
We would take selfies that wouldn’t look out of place in a glossy mag.
Other mummies would look at us, in our matching coats, and think “Aaaawwww!”

And when it was over, we’d go home to Daddy and Princess and tell them all about Mammy and Mini-Me’s Day of Fun!

What actually happened was that a PMS-Crazed, sleep deprived Mummy took a post-chest-infection, over-tired Threenager into town…in the rain.

AND, there was a full moon…actually there were two.

Said Threenager began her tirade of strops and tantrums in the hairdresser. The angelic Hairdresser managed to trim her hair while I had mine blow-dried.  When she began to protest because she wasn’t allowed to take a toy home from the basket of distractions in the corner, I was hugely grateful that the hairdresser intervened before I had to. She received the quite terrifying dirty looks that only my daughter can throw, but as with all toddlers, fighting with a stranger is no fun, so she conceded.
Only slightly embarrassed, we left, with Mini-Me promising she’d be good for the rest of the day.

She did have sausage and chips… which she ate while glaring at me because I’d committed the crime of stealing a chip.  (I was actually making sure that they weren’t too hot.  Next time, I’ll let her find out for herself will I? NO.  I probably won’t.)

We went to collect the balloons, only to be told that the helium machine had broken before they started my order.   Having no balloons for the christening lunch REALLY wasn’t a drama.  Turns out… trying to leave the shop without balloons, really was a drama. Who knew?  (In hindsight, I’m quite proud that I didn’t give in and buy her a balloon.  Trust me…life would have been easier, but I couldn’t buy treats after the previous strops!)

I didn’t get the yummy coffee in my favourite cafe… their water was off.  Granted, it was a bigger problem for the establishment than for me, but still.  At this point, I imagined myself throwing a tantrum to see how she’d react.  I didn’t.   Instead, we went to a different cafe and I sipped on a crappy cappuccino.

I’d put crayons and a mini colouring pad into my handbag.  She should have coloured in happily while I enjoyed my cuppa.  The first crayon broke. The second one fell under the table and somehow disappeared.  The Threenager refused to drink her hot chocolate until I told her that that made me happy because I’d drink it after my coffee.
I got 30 seconds of quiet time while she made sure Mammy couldn’t have it…
She drank it in one go.



I stared ahead, praying that the smell of the coffee would calm me down, cursing the full moon (I swear by this by the way!) and wondering if 4pm was too early to think about a glass of wine.

At this point, Hubby rang.  I should really have listened to him and gone home there and then, but I had to pop into one other shop to return a dress.
Big mistake.

I was flicking through a rail of dresses to find my size.  Mini-me was at my side, humming to herself.
She stopped humming.
I glanced down to her.
Instead of her cheeky but adorable face, I saw her bare backside… wiggling in the air at me.
She sang “Shake-a-bootay! ” as she shook it.

Full moon.

Total eclipse.

I actually screamed.
My response was to pull up her tights and knickers and to fix her skirt, frantically whispering “You CANNOT do that!”
And then I left the shop, with Skinny Arse running behind me.  I kept walking until I reached the car.  All the while, Mini-Me was at my heels, repeating “Mammy? Mammy?”  She was undecided as to whether she should be crying or throwing a tantrum.  Her Threeness was suspicious of my lack of scolding.  I think she was experiencing that fear that we all remember from when we were kids and Mother gave us the look.

In reality, I was mortified.  I was annoyed that I’d taken my eyes off her long enough for her to commit the offence…and I was trying not to let her see me laughing!

As I strapped her in to her car seat, I asked her why she’d pulled down her tights in the shop.
Her answer?
“I just quite did.”
And that’s as good as I’m going to get.

We drove home.
It was getting dark.
There was a full moon.

Another one.
This time, in the sky.
And it turns out, it wasn’t too early to think about wine.
When Hubby heard about our lunar fiasco, he opened the bottle for me!

I am Shake-a-bootay Mum

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I am Snaughling Mum.


Laughing so hard that you snort…then laughing that you snorted.
Snorting is for pigs, but sometimes, it happens to the best of us!


It isn’t the most gracious or ladylike thing to do, yet yesterday, I did it…in public.

So proud of myself was I after Wednesday’s achievement of getting Mini-Me to school, that I began to feel in control of things.  You know?  This Yummy Mummy was in charge again.  I was no longer recovering from “the Section”. I was fully recovered.  Fully.  Physically and mentally.  Completely and utterly in charge of my world again.  Well,  I thought I was.

Yesterday morning, leaving Princess snoring on top of Daddy, I dropped Mini-me to school again (Yay me!!) and went into town to run a few errands.
By 11.45am, I’d ticked off the to-do list, brought coffee home to Hubby, squeezed in a 2km power walk, grabbed a quick shower and had my eyebrows waxed!  The sun was shining.  It truly was a beautiful day, and I was indeed Supermum.


I drove back to the school to lift Mini-me at mid-day, full of the joys of January.  On days like these,  “I have Confidence in me” from The Sound of Music often pops into my head, and so I was singing to Princess (as loudly as only the privacy of your car allows) as I drove.

Pulling into the car park, I saw that the class were in the Playground.  Double Yay!  I was now able to drive up to the gate and collect Mini-me without having to disturb Princess, who was somehow sleeping despite the noise of my singing.

I stepped…no bounced…out of the car and waved at Mini-Me.  Her little face lit up and she ran towards me, with a face full of happiness, shouting gleefullly “Maaaaaaaaammeeeeeee!!”

Screw The Sound of Music… this was a Little House on the bloody Prairie moment.  All was right with the world.

And then.

I was greeted by Mini-me’s teacher.  She’s chirpy and lovely in that infectious way that only a pre-school teacher can be.  She was smiling at me.  Yes.  A little more than usual.

“Hi there!” she said.  Were her lips twitching at the corners?
“Hi!  How was she today?”  I was obviously paranoid.
“Great!  No bother!”  I swear she’s trying not to laugh.

She puts her hand into her coat pocket, pulling out a little plastic bag.
I recognise the bag as the reserved for soiled pants type and think “Oh crap.  She’s had a wee accident.”  And I simultaneously remember that I forgot to put a spare pair in her bag.  I’m expecting the “We had a wee accident.  It’s OK, we found a spare pair in her drawer” line.

Instead I get  “Did you dress her in the dark this morning?”  Yup.  She’s laughing.  I’m not paranoid.

“No?  Why?”  My brain is now whizzing back through my perfect and productive Supermumesque morning.  I’m replaying the dressing of the child and nothing is standing out to me as unusual.  It was all pretty calm actually.

She was wearing two pairs of pants!” laughs teacher, handing me the little plastic bag.

What?  How was she wearing two pairs of pants?  That’s just ridiculous.
But then Mini-me looks up at me and squeels “I had TWO pants on my butt.  Silly Mammy!”   She’s delighted with herself.


I’m horrified.  This is not the kind of thing that I do.  I’m in charge.  I’m sensible.  I’m completely organised thank you!

I feel my face turning pink.  My full face now matches the two strips of pink on my freshly plucked eye-brows.
I look at Teacher, who is now giggling unapologetically…As is her colleague who has been cleaning a little boy’s nose beside us.

This is one of those moments that you read about in novels.  It’s the type of moment that you cringe at; that makes you laugh at the silliness of the poor Mum, safe in the knowledge that it’ll never happen to you!

I was wondering how the hell to react, but before my brain could send a sensible reaction signal to the rest of my mortified body, I snaughled.

I threw my head back and laughed; then I snorted; then I laughed some more.
Teachers were laughing.
Mini Me was laughing.
I had spontaneously combusted and the embarrassment subsided as the hillarity of the situation became clear.
“At least her bottom was warm!”  I managed.

I put the offending plastic bag in my pocket, said Goodbye to the teachers and set Mini-me into her carseat.
I vowed that I’ll have my coffee before I dress her in future.
It’s not a big deal.  It’s hilarious.  And at least the teachers were able to say it to me, rather than laugh about me behind my back.  At least I didn’t send her out without pants!

There’s no greater feeling than a good laugh.  And it’s even more refreshing when it’s completely at yourself!  Even if I did snort!

And this little Piggy snaughled…all the way home.

I am Snaughling-Mum.  xx

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I am Silly-Serious-Worries Mum

So today, I did it!

Even the thought of it has been freaking me out for the past 7 weeks.  I’ve actually had nightmares about it.  I hardly slept last night, knowing that it was ahead of me this morning…but I did it.

I did the playschool run.
With the toddler AND a newborn.
And I survived.

Sound silly? 
Maybe, but I’m guessing that the majority of parents reading this can empathise.

So how does something as trivial as doing a school run become such an issue?
Because although it’s a Silly worry, it’s still a worry.
It’s my worry and it grows as much as I let it. 

It’s a little seed that was planted in my brain one morning pre-Princess, and over the past 9 weeks, it has blossomed into quite the little weed.

I was dropping Mini-me off as usual.   The staircase to her classroom is narrow and an unspoken one-way system exists among the parents who navigate it each day.
I waited (impatiently) for her to manouvre her skinny bum up the steps; painfully aware of the not-very-well disguised frustration of the other Mummy who was forced to wait at the top for Mini-me (and her 64 month pregnant mother) to get out of her way. 

We finally reached the summit and Other Mother responded to my apologies with an overly-zealous and high-pitched “Don’t be silly!! It’s not easy, is it?”

“No it isn’t!” I laughed, thinking to myself how I couldn’t wait to not have to carry this bump up the steps every morning.

And then it hit me.

In place of the bump, will be a baby…in a car seat.
And that was the actual second that the silly-serious worries began.

How the hell am I going to do this with a new baby?
How will I get Mini-me to school, on time, 5 mornings a week…with a new baby?
How will we get out the door if Baby needs a feed…or poops…or is crying…or is sick?
What if I can’t get parked near the door?
What if it’s raining?
I can’t leave the Baby in the car can I?  Of course not!
How will I manage to get up and down those stairs with a car seat and a futtering toddler? 
What if I fall?
What if Mini-me falls and I can’t lift her?
What if someone sneeezes on the baby?
What if…

I could go on.

I’m usually quite in control of my worries.  I don’t tend to overthink things or waste energy on worrying about the hypothetical.  My Dad always told me “99% of the things you worry about, never happen.”
It took me approximately 25 years to realise this.
Life instantly became easier.

I’m quite a confident person.  I stand in front of hundreds of teenagers each day and teach them Shakespeare for crying out loud!  So how is it that getting my toddler to pre-school could become such a bloody issue?

Because I’m still hormonal after recent birth?
Because I’m losing my mind?
Because I’m having a confidence crisis?

It’s because I’m a parent.


What no one tells you before you enter this wonderful time in your life, is that all of your rational reasoning and good sense go on holiday when Baby arrives… and I’m not sure they ever return.

Every parent has ridiculous, irrational fears.  Over the past few days, with both kiddies being sick, I’ve realised that these fears are EXTRA vivid at 4am.

The headcold is pneumonia.
The heat rash is something tropical.
The sound outside is obviously a burglar.
The first trip to playschool tomorrow morning is going to be a disaster.

And then, it’s not.

We got up.  We got dressed.  I fed both of them.  (I even fed the dog!) I drank a cup of coffee.  I got Newborn into the carseat.  I strapped Mini-me into hers.  I remembered to lock the house.  I remembered how to drive the car.  (Six weeks sans Steering wheel is not fun!)  I remembered how to get to the school.  I got parked at the door of the school.  It wasn’t raining!

I got to the foot of the dreaded staircase.

And do you know what I did then?
I put one foot in front of the other, and I climbed it.  (Granted I still had to encourage Skinny-bum to hurry along, but climb it we did.)
And when I got to the top, I deposited said Skinny-bum into the arms of her lovely teacher; I turned around and I returned to my car.
I survived.

And then I went shopping! (because having only one kid with me didn’t feature as a problem.  It’s only the situations where I have to do things with two for the first time that are causing me these Silly-Serious worries.  See how logical I am?!!)


This morning was the silliest thing in the world to be worried about, but to me, it was a serious worry. 
And that’s the key.
If it was worrying me, it was valid.  Silly or not, it was a worry. 

And the reason that parents worry about such seemingly silly things, is to allow us to be prepared.  Worrying and over-thinking things allows us to envisage all eventualities…and then, because we’ve already dealt with the outcomes, (even the worst possible ones!), we can handle whatever is thrown at us.

Every silly worry is serious.
Every worry is a staircase.
The longer we stand looking at the stairs, the more challenging they become.
But if you take each step as it comes, the top isn’t as far away as you thought.

Next, I have to figure out how to do the grocery shopping with both of the them with me.
I’m just going to look at that particulay staircase a little while longer.
I’m not quite there yet!

I am Silly-Serious-Worries Mum.

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