I was just sitting on the sofa eating a cookie which contained 40% of my recommended daily amount of saturates thinking that tonight’s bedtime battle had been relatively painless and now I have an ache in my head and wee on my feet.
The evening had been reasonably promising…major screaming meltdown tantrums had been avoided, both children had been fed, the magic fairy dust (mud from the preschool garden) and red paint had been washed away in the bath and I had just lulled Bethan to sleep in front of ‘Masterchef Australia’ when I heard Catrin’s stampy footsteps upstairs stomp from her bed to the bathroom. Then the sound of her slamming the toilet seat down. Then “Oh no! I have WEEEED! Mum help me! I have WEED ON MY NIGHTIE!!!!!”
Trying my best to avoid waking up Bethan, I carried her up the stairs, past Catrin who was now paddling in her puddle of urine like Peppa Pig jumping in a muddy puddle and deposited her in her cot before returning to the carnage in the bathroom. Apparently she didn’t use the toilet because the light wasn’t switched on (as she kept telling me at the top of her voice while I shushed and hushed her in an attempt to keep her from waking her little sister). A second bath in half an hour and a lot of mopping up later and she was back in her bed doing her best impression of a fearsome roaring dinosaur, despite my continued pleas for her to be quiet. Inevitably, Bethan then woke up again.
I nearly missed opening hours at the supermarket yesterday due to a variety of issues (mostly tantrum-related plus a misunderstanding about a mucky t-shirt which led to Catrin removing all of her clothes while my back was turned, just as we were about to leave the house). I really needed to buy some baby food and other bits and pieces before the shop closed and my stress levels were not eased by Catrin having a major meltdown in car park when I told her she couldn’t bring Mince, her multicoloured bear of undecided gender, into the supermarket (I was on my own with both girls and I knew she would drop it and lose it and then be hysterical when she realised it was missing).
I managed to squeeze both of them (minus Mince) into a double-seated trolley and we travelled around the aisles with Princess Catrin gesturing wildly and changing other customers into naughty fairies using very loud magic spells. Bethan thought it was hilarious. The other customers thought it was less funny.
I do always have the best of parenting intentions but sometimes things just don’t work out as planned. I used to think that it was because I was doing something wrong, but I have slowly grown to realise that isn’t always the case and that the Law of Sod can be a powerful thing.
I actually finished reading a book yesterday which wasn’t written by Julia Donaldson…it didn’t even have pop-up fairies, pirates or dinosaurs in it. The book was ‘Slated’ by Teri Terry (memorable name) and it had been recommended to me by the librarians at work as the genre and target audience are similar to the book I (eventually) would like to complete. I intended to read the book from a research point of view but I found myself sucked into the story…now I will have to read the next two books to find out what happens. It felt really good to read again…despite having to stop every few minutes to break up disagreements regarding precisely which Duplo bricks were being played with by whom, change extra-pungent nappies, complete with whole sultanas and making lovingly-crafted pasta dishes at Catrin’s request (all of which she then left to go cold in favour of watching Mr Tumble…again). I imagined the characters in the book and their world with vivid clarity and realised that I miss having spare time to read in peace and quiet. Maybe I can regain some ‘me time’ when Catrin and Bethan are older, but for now I cannot even go to the loo without interruption, so back to the Julia Donaldson collection it is, then.
One thing did go right this weekend, so I can’t be negative about everything. I took Catrin and Bethan to a PTA event at work which involved lots of bouncy castles and a Zoo Lab (animal handling experience for small children). They both enjoyed meeting a snake, cockroach, rats and a tortoise and prodding them gently. They were, of course, not scared of the animals in any way because they don’t yet know about poisonous snakes and suchlike. It was interesting to see how the children of the adults who shied away from the animals or voiced their dislike of certain creatures started to mimic their parents’ behaviour. I am pleased that my daughters both looked at the animals with fascination and curiosity, rather than fear…even if one of them was then rapidly distracted by the presence of a plethora of bouncy castles again.