Category: Little Mister

Inside the brain of a parent who wants to run away to the circus.

Seriously. Right now I am feeling the fatigue of being the parent to a 4 year old who is testing boundaries and going through big life changes which bring about new anxieties. This can often mean some acting out or regressive behaviours. I am a pretty compassionate being, a fairly patient parent and of course I love the little ratbag to pieces, but I’d be lying if I said that right now I am not considering googling the nearest touring circuses to see if they’d like a new clown (I can do the ‘bumbling idiot’ routine quite well when I’m tired – I’d be an asset). I figure a circus would be less crazy, right?

It’s not very often that I feel so utterly over it. It takes a lot for me to crack and feel utterly helpless and burnt out while my child goes through a challenging new phase. But when I do, there are some very recognisable thoughts that appear in my scattered head!

I have realised that there are stages I go through whenever something tough, of the parenting variety, pops up and punches me in the throat.

Denial

Denial that it’s happening. No. It’s just a one off bad night (or insert other challenges here). Oh, two? Just two. Oh, maybe it’s just a rough week…there are many plausible explanations that this could be a fairly isolated incident…right?

Anger/frustration

OH FFS. Are we STILL dealing with this? Aargh. Will this never end? I AM SO DAMN TIRED. Get your act together, kid! I don’t even feel like I know you right now! I love you lots and lots and lots, but right now I am not sure I’m liking you and that is killing me!

(of course I don’t say it to him – I just scream it inside my head when he’s not looking)

Bargaining

I know I can make this better. I just know I can. Here’s every reward chart ever. Here’s me googling solutions at 2am. Here’s me begging and hoping and fighting the reality that it’s just a phase and that the only way is through. THROUGH? AS IF. I can totally get around this. I can fix this. Just give me a damn moment to fix this! WHERE IS MY SANITY?!

Acceptance

OK. So now I’ve had my little melt down during the bargaining stage, I have had some time to review. I have decided that I can in fact CTFD (Calm The Fuck Down) and perhaps accept that it is what it is, and fighting it is just going to turn me into a crazy lady. I can only do my best and it turns out that ‘through’ may really be the only choice I have.

It’s amazing how life never lets you think you’ve actually nailed the whole parenting thing.

Here are some of the things I’ve been learning about THOSE times:

  •  It’s not always the parent who is to blame. It’s important to be kind to yourself. Sometimes it’s just a developmental phase. Sometimes it’s just something you and your smallish child need to be educated on – it’s all new and unknown for both of you! There’s no other way but to learn on the job! It’s OK to feel like you have no bloody idea what you’re doing, because um…NO HANDBOOK. Seriously. Where’s my freakin’ handbook?
  • It’s also not always the child who is fully to blame. When they’re not themselves or their behaviours are driving you bonkers, it is important to remember that they’re usually going through something too. While it might not excuse certain things they do (depending on their age), it’s important to remember that this one phase does not define them as a human being. Or at least it doesn’t have to. I try really hard (it can take a LOT of effort when we’re at the end of our tether) to separate the child from the behaviour (gotta love a popular parenting cliché). I have been trying to find ways to bond with the Little Mister, rediscover all the best parts of him (there are many) and to help build his confidence.
  • Reaching out to supportive mummy/daddy people in your life is priceless. If there’s someone in your life who has kids the same age as your kids, or has vivid memories/nightmares of having kids the same age as yours, they are an amazingly reassuring resource to tap into. For me, it’s often my mum, close friends and my mothers’ group. I can think that the craziest WTF moments with the Little Mister are isolated to just him, but as soon as I reach out, I often realise that there are like 5 other mums going through the exact same thing at the exact same time (or who remember all too well) and if I’d never shared my parenting woes (or been privy to theirs), I would never have known! Nothing takes a weight off your shoulders like knowing you’re all in the trenches together.
  • Recruit an awesome team who all have your kid’s best interests at heart. Assault that bastard phase together. Show that you’re a tight, caring unit. Get your spouse, your child’s carers/teachers, the grandies, the family doctor (if applicable) all on board. A united front – a do no harm, show lots of love, but take no shit type thing – can do wonders.
  • This phase will not last forever. A reality check is good. I ask myself questions like, “Will this two weeks of crap right now really matter in 10 years?” Hell, I’m sure I’ll have bigger problems then, but that’s not the point of the exercise haha. You know what I mean. It’s like when you’re toilet training and you think your kid will never nail it but then you realise that it would be highly unlikely that your kid will be attending high school in nappies and you feel a teensy bit better.

I feel hopeful that we’re kicking the fucking fours in the goolies (for now anyway). It’s been a rough couple of weeks for everyone. It’s been good to regroup and strategise. Honestly, I’ll never know if it’s my superb parenting (BAHAHA) or whether the phase was coming to a more peaceful place on its own anyway, but I’ll be glad to see the back of it.

You know…until the next time it rears its ugly head!

So, tell me. Anything you’re going through at the moment? Want to get through this together? x

Four.

 

Dear Little Mister,

I can’t believe you’re four today. FOUR. That’s such a big number. I’ve always thought of FOUR as a pretty big deal. I mean, that’s pretty grown up. You’re like a fully fledged KID now. Not a baby. Not a toddler. A KID.

A kid who loves the colour green and is starting to become interested in dinosaurs. A kid who is incredibly caring, bossy, affectionate, creative, inquisitive and NOISY.

Right now, you swear that you do not like chicken. At all. You think chicken is just so not an option. Unless you’re eating chicken nuggets. I mean, duh.

When my mum is on holiday, you ask Siri to search for Nanna (like you literally want to find her). You think everyone can see you when you’re talking on the phone so you try to show people things around the house and they have no idea what’s going on. You still call my iPad an OurPad because I share it with you when you’re being good. It makes sense to you, I guess! Nice try, buddy haha.

You’re the biggest dibber dobber on the planet. You call Daddy out when he’s sneaking chocolate from the top shelf of the fridge (where we keep the good stuff). Nothing gets by you. NOTHING. I think I only JUST got by with hiding your birthday presents this year. Santa is going to have to be really really clever this time around, I think.

You’re always singing. Whether it’s a song you learnt at school, something that’s popular at the moment, or something you’ve made up. You literally wake up singing some days. I hope that’s a sign of a really happy kid. Some of my own happiest moments are the times you burst out into song when we are least expecting it. It’s still freakin’ adorable when you mix the lyrics up. I COULD JUST EAT YOU. Well, figuratively speaking.

Can I just say that I am very proud of the toilet training progress you’ve made in the past year? It was a big milestone (for me) when you started to go to the toilet on your own. So much of my day is freed up now (no joke) and I love how grown up you feel when you can take care of it all! We still have to remind you to work on your aim sometimes, but hey, things are going pretty well! I remember being so scared before you started toilet training. I think almost every parent gets worried their kid might still be in nappies by high school at some point. It’s so awesome to see how far you’ve come. I love that you can dress yourself and that you pick your own outfits. Yesterday’s Hawaiian shirt was something to behold.

You’re cheeky and you have the best sense of humour. Your comedic timing is spot on. You’re such a natural performer. I can see we’re going to have to find ways to channel that energy as you get older!

You start 4 year old kindy at the ‘big’ school in a few months. I can’t believe it. It’s so bittersweet for me! You’re growing up so fast! I want you to know that I don’t just love you but I really really like you. Even when you’re losing the plot and the house is a ball of noise and everybody is tired, we get by and we learn some lessons together. There are always some more laughs to be had, soon enough. I hope I’m a good teacher, because I’ll tell you this – I’m learning all the time too.

I hope that the year ahead is full of brand new, wonderful memories.

Lots of love,

Mummy.

So many questions: Life with an almost 4 year old.

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So, it’s been 19 days. 19 days since IT happened. 19 days since my child made a big discovery. Yep. It has been 19 days since the Little Mister discovered the word…

WHY.

And I am EXHAUSTED!

I have become his own personal ‘google’. Or probably not google. I’m kind of like a broken down Bing. Remember Bing? Is that still a thing? Well, I’m basically a crappier version of that.

I am being asked so many questions that I don’t fully know the answers to, let alone know how to explain them to an almost 4 year old in a way that he might understand!

In recent days I have been asked…

  • What makes the rain come out of the clouds?
  • How does music get onto the radio?
  • Why does the moon follow us at night?
  • Why can we only see a part of the moon?
  • Why does Santa give toys from the shops?
  • Do cows have gutters? (he meant udders but it took me a while to figure it out)
  • How does helium make the balloons go up?

Then once I’ve given my best (but usually terribly articulated) answer, he’ll follow up with “WHY?”

WHY INDEED.

I also get the usual requests for snacks, demands for help with various things he wants to do around the house, questions about why things are where they are or why he’s not allowed to do something. Questions about what it is I am doing every second of the day.

 

I decided to do a little experiment. I decided that I would record every question I was asked. Just for a day. From the moment he got up until the moment I had time to sit down and write this blog post.

In 3.5 hours I have been asked a total of 110 113 114 115 questions.

ONE HUNDRED AND TEN THIRTEEN FOURTEEN FIFTEEN* QUESTIONS.

And I am also sure I missed a few. Not even kidding. I only recorded the genuine questions and even left out some repeat questions (i.e. the moments when he just kept slamming me with the same question until I answered – this kid gives no time to think y’all).

I did originally transcribe each question, but in the 10 minutes after the Little Mister got out of bed, I literally could not write fast enough (and show him enough attention) so I resorted to a tally system. I then just wrote down the most interesting ones:

  • Where did you live when you were a baby? Why? (he should write blogging prompts haha)
  • Did Daddy go on his (recent charity) bike ride in his car? (I answered that if he’d gone in his car it would have become a car ride and you can only do bike rides on a bike). When he got his answer, he asked – can you sing me a song about that?
  • Can you get new clothes, because your shirts fall down? (someone isn’t a fan of my slouchy off the shoulder shirts worn around the house)
  • Can you buy me more (kitchen) stools for me for my birthday?
  • Why don’t we have blueberries? WHY DON’T WE? (um because every time I buy them you say you don’t like them…?)

Today, as I tried to take a moment to gaze off into the distance, I was asked, “What are you thinking about?”

When I answered that I was just thinking about how I’d love to get a new couch for the family room (yes – I was in fantasy land), he seemed satisfied…for about half a minute.

He then spent at least ten minutes trying to guess what I was thinking about at any given moment.

“Are you thinking about ALL the furniture?”

“Are you thinking about the doors? How about the doors? Do you think about them and how you can go inside or you can go outside?”

“Why? Why aren’t you thinking about the doors?”

Um…

And the craziest thing is when I ask the Little Mister “why” (on any topic), he looks all frustrated (without any sense of irony – obviously) and says, “Ugh. BECAUSE!”

Like that’s it. His whole answer.

Now I feel like I get why mums say that classic (and infuriating) line, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!”

I feel you, Because I Said So mums. I feel you.

In the last couple of weeks I have been unable to stay awake past 8:30pm (it’s the brain drain haha) and I keep waking at 3:30am for no other apparent reason than my brain realises this is the only quiet time I will be able to appreciate.

While I am so so so stoked that the Little Mister has an inquisitive mind and asks some really cool questions, am I a bad person for also kind of looking forward to the day when he can just google that shit?

Have you fielded any great/embarrassing/confusing/complicated questions lately? Anyone want to come and answer the Little Mister’s questions for a day? Or all week? Want to ask ME a question (may as well haha)?

 

*the total kept climbing WHILE I was writing this post. Seriously. SEND HELP.

A very scary story: The night the security blankie went missing.

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So, the Little Mister has a BFF. He (or ‘she’ depending on what mood he is in) comforts him when he needs to sleep. They have been buddies since he was only six months old. They have never spent even a night apart since they were properly introduced during a tough time he was having with nocturnal separation anxiety (i.e. not wanting to let me leave him so I could go to bed and sleep – ever). His buddy, named Giraffey (because I’m so creative), has been everywhere with him. On camping trips, sleepovers with the grandparents, Tasmania, and overseas to Singapore, Japan and Korea. He’s accumulated a couple of other buddies – a glow worm circa nineteen eighty something and a little (used to be) lavender scented cushion – but Giraffey (a cute giraffe head attached to a little square blanket) always holds the number one spot in his heart. Nothing compares.

So you can imagine how all hell broke loose on Friday night when he WENT MISSING.

It was The Worst Timing Ever. We’d had a hell of a day! We were all exhausted. I’d had a flat tyre when I’d left the Little Mister with my parents because he had been behaving far too scratchily to survive the shopping centre (“Won’t be long! Promise! Love you! Thank you so much!”), had to hang about for a few hours until I could get a lift home, had to drive back to meet Mr Unprepared once he knocked off work so he could change it, blah blah. Not to mention the weather – torrential rain. It was the end of a week where the Little Mister had been chucking a few tanties (thanks to a development spurt – they make him quite unbearable for a couple of weeks before he settles again) and everyone had been go go go. We all needed a chilled out Friday evening. TGIF, right?

So it came to the Little Mister’s bed time and the nightly scavenger hunt for Giraffey began (my bets are usually on him being unceremoniously dumped on the playroom floor). Mr Unprepared made the retrieval attempt while I started on bedtime stories (about half an hour later than usual of course). When he began to yell out about not being able to find the little blankie, I started to think non complimentary things about his ‘looking’ skills. Then time began to drag on and I started to think that maybe we were in trouble. We piled the Little Mister into bed and promised him we’d look really hard for his cuddly buddy – that we’d put him right in bed with him as soon as we found him. He really tried and was such a trooper (he actually fell asleep without him), but I knew that the difficulties would arise when he was half asleep and wanting the familiar touch of his precious Giraffey in the middle of the night.

We looked for another solid hour before giving up and praying for the best.

As I lay in bed wondering what the night would bring (mentally trying to prepare myself for everything going to sh*t), I was trying not to think the worst/ridiculous. I was all, WHAT IF THIS IS ALL TOO MUCH FOR HIS LITTLE BRAIN? WHAT IF THIS INCIDENT F*CKS HIM UP? Like if we can’t find him, will the Little Mister lose his faith in all things good at such a tender age? WHAT IF HE WAKES IN THE NIGHT AND REALISES WE LET HIM DOWN?? I don’t want to let him down!! OR…what if we never see Giraffey again and I don’t get to say goodbye??? I know it’s silly, but I’m pretty attached to that little comfort blankie. He’s got quite the personality and he’s been so many places with us! I’d always dreamed of keeping him forever even after the Little Mister became a Big Mister and didn’t need him anymore. That one item I’d always fondly cherish from his childhood. Waaaaah!

Then it started. Every couple of sleep cycles through the night, we heard the Little Mister’s cries. It was a long night. Mr Unprepared and I alternated in comforting him, telling him to cuddle his other giraffe toy (who is no match for Giraffey but a respected member of the Giraffey family in our home) and creeping back to bed. It felt like the bad old teething days. Still, the Little Mister was so brave. He truly did try. It was just a parents’ nightmare, in terms of sleep deprivation!

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The next morning, we systematically turned the house upside down. I even searched the garage, on my hands and knees looking under the cars as thoroughly as possible with a torch. Nothing. We tried all sorts of techniques to see if the Little Mister could remember where he might have left his best little buddy. Nope. He was no help. He kept confusing that day with the day before when we tried to retrace his whereabouts and it just became a bit of a struggle. We were forced to give up (although our house was suddenly tidier at least) and head out to a birthday party. I started to formulate back up plans in my head. I knew we’d have to have a ‘talk’ about Giraffey possibly not being found in time for bed again that night. I had started to accept that even though, logically Giraffey was at our home (he doesn’t leave unless it’s a special occasion during which we usually keep a keen eye on him), he might not be found for weeks (as was the case with the TV remote incident of 2013).

I started prepping the Little Mister for what might be another difficult night, while we were on our way back home from the party.

“You know, I am not sure but I think that maybe Giraffey has gone on a little holiday! If he has, do you have another toy you’d like to sleep with until he gets back?”

He looked a bit crestfallen. I felt awful.

He then raised an eyebrow and said…

“He can’t go on a holiday! He doesn’t have any feet!”

And with that I was stumped. Can’t beat solid pre-schooler logic. NOW WHAT? I WAS BANKING ON THE WHOLE ‘HOLIDAY’ THING.

I decided to drop the issue while I did a little more thinking (my parenting game was obviously lacking).

As we pulled up to our garage, Mr Unprepared hopped out of the car first. He’d left the door up and we were parked only half way in because he needed room to rotate my tyres (after the flat I’d had repaired from the day before). I heard him yell, “GIRAFFEY!”

I looked up and saw him joyously swinging one very important giraffe blankie back and forth in his hand.

“WHERE WAS HE?!?!” I exclaimed in disbelief. I had looked everywhere in the garage, remember?

Turns out, Giraffey had been UNDER my car tyre when Mr Unprepared had parked it up for the previous night. UNDER THE TYRE. I would never have found it. Luckily he was in one piece (even if he smelt like rubber). An elated Little Mister cuddled him tight, ran into the house with him and promptly got distracted, leaving him lying on the floor. Sigh.

There is now a rule that Giraffey only lives in his bedroom!

I think I have a few more grey hairs (you know – underneath all the dye).

Have you ever lost a child’s precious comfort item? Did you find it? Was it somewhere weird? Did you have to have a ‘talk’ and get creative when it never came home? Are you smarter than me and bought fifteen of the same thing just in case? x

All ‘growed’ up.

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I don’t know where the time has gone. I really don’t. But the Little Mister is hurtling towards 4 years old at a frightening rate. Just the other day he ticked over 3 years and 8 months old. It sounds SO much older than 3 and a half. SO MUCH OLDER. It has been a fun age (mostly). He’s getting so much more of a sense of independence and his confidence has been growing. This has made things a little bit easier for his parents too!

He can sit still for longer (he’s going to his first ever movie at the cinema on the weekend – so exciting) and the little tedious tasks I have to help him with daily are slowly decreasing in number as he starts to want to ‘do them all by myself’. It’s just a joy watching his imagination in action and even though he has no sense of an ‘indoor voice’, it’s always great fun seeing what gems he will come out with. It’s like getting a glimpse inside his brain. I love wondering what is going on in there each day. Watching him tick. His sense of humour is still as wicked as ever.

I really want him to feel confident and empowered as he develops and it’s so heart warming to see him take pride in the decisions he has made for himself. Especially when being his age must be frustrating – bloody grown ups always giving ultimatums (i.e. “It’s this healthy snack or nothing else before dinner!”) and telling you where to be and when! The boundaries and discipline are so important but I think it’s also essential that he grows up knowing how to back himself (and that his parents support and love him too).

I’ve been trying to build this up in him in little ways since forever and it has been so rewarding! Lately it’s been extra fun…

Choosing his own hair style.

The Little Mister has always been really good with getting his hair cut, but before his most recent one came around, he kept voicing his objection. He didn’t want his hair cut. He liked it the way it was, even though it was always getting in his eyes and was very shaggy and almost mullet-y. So I put it off for a while, hoping he’d come around on his own. I didn’t want him screaming in the chair.

One night, I said, “How about we look at some pictures on my iPad [the magical iPad] and you can choose a hair style that you would like?”

He loved the idea of using the iPad for something so grown up, but he also loved the idea of picking his own hair cut. Suddenly he felt like he was a part of the process and he really embraced ownership over it. Suddenly he didn’t mind the idea of visiting the local barber. Of course, I very subtly redirected him from a couple of styles, but most of the latest hair styles for boys are quite similar and his hair grows like crazy anyway so no real harm done if it didn’t quite work out.

He chose this one:

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We got to the barber’s and he was so excited. He kept asking when we’d show the lady the picture and tell her what he wanted. I decided with her that we would forego the razored side part and make it a little bit more subtle, but ultimately the Little Mister’s decision was going to be put into action.

He was so happy. He has wild hair so we went to the supermarket together and he ‘helped’ me to pick out his very own spray bottle (like the hair dresser had) and a little tub of styling wax for special occasions. He talked about it non stop. His hair would be the real deal! I wanted to take a couple of photos of him when we got home and he posed like a mini Zoolander – so proud of himself. I must admit, he looked very grown up. Disturbingly so.

It’s growing out a bit funny (as I suspected it might), but I am so glad he loved making his own decisions. I swear he walked a bit taller that day.

Helping with home decor. 

I needed to change out our bar stools. We had two bulky ones with badly shredded fabric (it was like some kind of plastic made to look like a soft leather – I promise they were beautiful when we bought them even if I’m not describing them well at all). They’d been fairly fancy and classy when we’d bought them 7 years ago, but they were no longer looking so healthy and I’ve been on a mission to add colour and life to our home. Time for a revamp. I’d found some stools I liked on a furniture store’s website and I knew I’d have to take the Little Mister on a 2 hour round drive to get them. I needed him on board with this mission! Often, making him feel included makes all the difference in his behaviour.

I showed him the online picture of the range – all different colours. I asked him which colours he’d like to see in our house (I was buying four). He said yellow and green (sure I’d already decided I liked those colours too – great minds and all that haha). It’s a long story about how we finally got what we wanted (gotta love people who tell you one thing on the phone and then you drive forever based on that information and then they say they don’t have half of the things you asked them to put on hold so you have to go to another of their stores even further out of your way because you can’t waste the day now can you), but the main thing is that we did. The Little Mister was SO good and I treated the day like it was an adventure – I was sneaking in some life lessons – by example – about adapting gracefully when things don’t work our way (and teaching myself too haha). Look, sometimes he’s a PITA to shop with but other days he’s the best little adventure buddy. He was wonderful about it all and when we got home with our goods, he was so excited. He couldn’t wait to show his dad and he loves climbing up on them and watching me in the kitchen while I wash dishes or cook something. It’s hard to explain but I can just see the sense of pride and ownership beaming out of him whenever he climbs up or talks about them. He takes special care with them. It’s so lovely.

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Here’s what they look like (complete with bad quality phone/Instagram pic and dirty floor)!

Meal prep and cooking. 

I like letting him cook with me. Tonight we’re making mini pizzas together – his choice of toppings. Other times, I let him play with left over pastry dough while he sits on the other side of the kitchen counter. He likes to feel like he’s played a part in what we’re doing. He loves to grab his little step stool and join me when there’s something to be mixed or added to a bowl. It’s not always efficient or tidy, but seeing him so excited to help makes it worth it.

It’s such a pleasure watching him grow. It’s moments like I’ve just described that make me feel like maybe, just MAYBE I won’t totally screw him up (every parent’s deepest fear). Gosh, I love that kid.

What fun things have you done with your pint sized people lately? Tell me about the last time they made your heart burst! x

Why did the chicken cross the road?

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Yesterday I decided it was time to teach the Little Mister how to tell a joke. Comedy for 3 year olds 101. I thought I’d start with an old staple. Something really simple. Sure, it’s not really all that funny now (probably was the first time the inventor of the joke told it but I’d say it’s gotten a little bit old over the decades).

It was:

Q. Why did the chicken cross the road?

A. To get to the other side. 

Something to get the Little Mister started on his long road to stardom as a struggling stand up comedian (maybe I’ll regret that haha). He’d been talking about jokes and loves when he realises I’ve said something funny. He’ll look at me and the corners of his mouth will turn up and he’ll say, “You said a joke, Mummy?”

Then when I confirm that I have indeed tried to be a bit funny, he’ll laugh as if I’m the funniest person alive which is good for my ego. Sure, I had to confirm that it was a joke in the first place, but that’s a minor detail.

*ahem*

So I taught him the chicken joke. He was doing a great job of telling it. I hammed it up laughing when he told the punchline correctly. He looked so pleased with himself.

A few hours later, I decided to test his memory and asked him to “tell me a joke!”

The Little Mister replied with, “ROAD CHICKEN!!!!!”

He then laughed raucously.

Um, sure…

Another time it went like this…

Kez: Tell me a joke!

Little Mister: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Kez: Why did the chicken cross the road, Little Mister?

Little Mister: *shrugs and looks confused* I don’t know.


At bath time, Mr Unprepared tried his luck.

Mr Unprepared: Can you tell me the chicken joke?

Little Mister: OK. Why did the chicken cross our road?

Mr Unprepared: Hmm. Why did the chicken cross the road?

Little Mister: OUR road. OUR road. Why did the chicken cross OUR road?

Mr Unprepared: Oh. Sorry! Why did the chicken cross OUR road?

Little Mister: *sounding confused* This one’s tricky.

Points for improvisation? Kind of?

I am not so excited for the knock knock jokes that will inevitably come, but I am looking forward to telling (and teaching) my old favourites.

Q. What do you call a penguin in the desert?

A. Lost.

Q. What do you call cheese that isn’t yours?

A. Nacho cheese.

Q. What do you call a cow with no legs?

A. Ground beef.

You’re totally judging me right now, aren’t you? Look, I know they’re bad. But they’re simple and my brain remembers them and can tell them without wrecking the punchline (something I am awesome at). I’m just a dad in a mum’s body. I can’t help it. I was taught joke telling by the worst best. My dad. You have no idea how egg-cited I am for Easter. All the yokes I’ll be able to tell then! I’d tell you some now, but I wouldn’t want to whisk you stealing them. Yeah, I’m a riot. Available for parties and corporate functions.*

Anyway, over to you. What are your favourite dorky jokes? Make me laugh! 

*not really available for parties and corporate functions.

Sporadic “Newsletter”: January 2015 edition.

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OK, so this isn’t really a newsletter, it’s more of a “newsletter” because it’s not really a proper one. I am far too lazy and unfocused to actually send them regularly. Hence, the fact that it is a sporadic “newsletter”. Basically, this series will just be some random stuff I’ve been doing/thinking about/reading/watching…or whatever. Gee, I’m really selling this. 

Now that we’ve recovered from Christmas and New Year (trust me – a dear friend referred to it as an ’emotional hangover’ which described it perfectly), it’s been great diving into January with great excitement for all of the possibilities that 2015 might bring. I love that whole ‘fresh new year full of potential’ feeling.

So what have we been up to lately?

Losing actual sleep over toilet training. 

Yeah. I’m not proud. The night before last, I woke at 3am and started irrationally panicking about the Little Mister’s toilet training progress. I have no idea what possessed me as I lay in bed googling the shit out of the situation (or should I say ‘shit-uation’). Maybe the fact that he seemed to keep waking in the night (but not needing my help) because he’d held in his number 2s for a couple of days and was clearly not too comfortable. He has had a phobia of doing them on the toilet, you see. He’d get really anxious and freak out a bit, despite trying to please me. I was starting to worry about how backed up he might be getting and I didn’t want to pressure him and like scar him for life or anything.

So instead of learning that worrying in the middle of the night is not good for you, I came to the conclusion that an incentives chart was what he needed (revolutionary I know). So yesterday we gathered everything we needed. A hanging whiteboard, some dry erase markers and some cool little toy cars from K-mart that cost hardly anything, but would be FANTASTIC bribes to dangle in front of him. He has to get a certain number of ‘ticks’ on his chart to get a reward for various things, like doing wees without us having to ask him to go, wees when we ask him (he has to work harder for this because he’s already fairly good at it), and just one big tick for a poo on the toilet. When he gets all the ticks for a certain task, he gets a little car/truck/helicopter (one of whatever’s in the multi-packs I bought). As he progresses, I will up the ante – wearing jocks all day, standing up to wee, using the toilets at the shops (hey – I’d want a reward for that too) etc.

So on our way home from the shops with all these toilet training incentive supplies, he told me “I need to do wees.” He then held on until we got to our house 5 minutes later (I had offered that we could go to the shops if it was urgent). This never happens. Usually he has to be prompted or he wets his training pull ups because he doesn’t think to tell anyone ahead of time. Then we were home and right before his day sleep, he told me he needed to poo and blow me away with a feather, he did it. On the toilet. No accidents. No hiding anywhere, no crying, no fussing. Yes!

I have heard that sometimes the novelty wears off quite quickly, but I shall remain hopeful and try to keep things interesting and motivational (but still realistically achievable) for him. I don’t think he’d understood the concept fully before, so that’s probably why we didn’t introduce it earlier. The moral of the story? Insomnia pays off. Sigh. I am not nailing this whole ‘functioning as a grown person’ thing haha.

Planning our camping trip.

We’re really excited because we’re going camping soon. I’ve been excited about it since last year! I am looking forward to beach days, fish and chips from the front shop (the best ever) and watching the Little Mister run around. Mr Unprepared has done some stuff to make sure our camper van is ready for another year (it was made in the 80s – the type with the pull out ends) and I have been making some lists. Because I’m good at lists. It should be so much easier to pack this year, because we set so much of it up last time. Such a relief, because I HATE PACKING.

There’s been plenty of beach time at home too.  1743670_10152726859693218_2598099152522802652_n Yep. That’s my fam and that’s our local. A beauty, isn’t it? We’ve also been enjoying my parents’ pool (I recommend that everybody’s parents have a pool haha). The weather has finally started to heat up and while we’ve had some stinkers, it’s still worth it (and I know I only say that as a spoilt person with aircon in my house and parents with a pool). I love the summer.

I’ve been watching a lot of teevs.

Yep. I am loving the fact that now summer has come (and brought with it a lot of lame TV reruns and sports), I can finally start watching everything I’ve recorded on my DVR for the last year or so (I’m not kidding)! I’ve had a massive Parks and Recreation marathon (best time of my life) and now I’m obsessed with the MTV show Catfish. Like the episode where a dude sent a chick money and she bought an engagement ring and sent it to herself without him knowing (rendering them engaged for all intents and purposes) and it got all creepy, or the time a chick was a catfish but then came clean with the dude she was chatting with, but it turned out he was a (transgender) catfish too, but they fell in love anyway. Yeah, I know. Weird and wonderful stuff. If you don’t know what a catfish is, this doesn’t make much sense. Basically, it’s when you lure someone into an online relationship, by pretending you’re somebody else (usually a fictional person you’ve created by using stolen profile pictures and stuff). You’re welcome.

Hey, I’ve had to fill the hole in my life that has been left after I finished listening to the Serial podcast!

Catch up on Awesomely Unprepared here!

Here are some of the blog posts I’ve written lately (and some updates on those situations)…

Happiness starts with us. I’ve been reflecting on what happiness means. The whole toilet training insomnia thing shows me that I need to work on the ‘not stressing excessively’ part, but we’ll get there 🙂

Reading list. I listed the books I am keen to devour. I am making good progress with Mindy Kaling’s book because I’ve sacrificed some stupid time wasting I was doing before bed (playing a rather addictive word game on my phone). I am really enjoying it, thanks for asking 😉

My thoughts on spiders…and how to kill them. So I confessed to my ridiculous arachnophobia and how to kill a red back spider the Aussie way (hint: it involves footwear). Just last night, Mr Unprepared saw a huntsman spider jump out of nowhere. He emptied his lunchbox (for work the next day) and threw it at the spider, in the hopes of trapping it…but accidentally killed it in the process. It was equally horrifying and hilarious and terrifying. I mean, killing a spider with a lunchbox? Who does that? My husband does. The lunchbox was re-packed (well – a clean replacement one was) and I sat there for the rest of the night, wondering where the spider had come from and how many times I had walked past it. Also, THEY JUMP. Spiders should NOT be allowed to jump. Oh holy sh*t.

What have you been up to lately? Tell me everything! x

Toddler talk.

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I have to be really honest and admit that BC (Before Child) I was really excited for the day I might have a toddler of my own, who just says the most ridiculous stuff. I dreamed of a child that would be my favourite comedy show, day in and day out. I imagined a life where I would be all, “HA HA HA. I CAN’T BELIEVE HE/SHE JUST SAID THAT. HILARIOUS!” every five seconds.

Of course, I probably had quite the rose tinted visions of my future (that didn’t include tantrums over the most weird things or toilet training or me being interrupted EVERY GOD DAMN TIME I SPEAK), but generally speaking, the Little Mister has not really disappointed me with his chatty ways. Even some of the infuriating stuff can seem pretty funny in hindsight.

Some days, it’s all about the “What’s this?” (the pre-cursor to “why” I’m told). It’s constant. And it’s always stuff that he knows.

“YES, LITTLE MISTER. THAT IS A COUCH. THAT IS A DOG. THIS IS A BOOK. THAT IS YOUR NOSE. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME??”

Of course, I don’t really say that. I put on my ‘patient mummy’ voice and say, “Hmm. What do you think it is?”

Aargh.

“I don’t like…” is often uttered in regards to all of the Little Mister’s favourite foods for absolutely no reason at all, with no predictability whatsoever. Usually at the worst time. I think what he means is that he doesn’t feel like that thing right in that moment, but it’s still really irritating! Why you gots to be so difficult, child?

“Don’t know.” Said with the tone of a belligerent teen. An answer for every question he’s too lazy to answer properly. I asked Mr Unprepared where he was getting this annoying phrase from and he answered… *wait for it*…

“Don’t know.”

*eye rolls* He says his reply was a joke, but I’m not buying it, just quietly!

“Bleeeeergh.” This covers everything from foods he doesn’t like, to the idea of getting a kiss on the cheek. I am waiting for the day he says it to a stranger for a really inappropriate reason. In public. 

The Little Mister also comes out with some very random things. He never fails to take me by surprise. These things are usually wildly out of any kind of understandable context and completely irrelevant to whatever is being done or talked about in that moment.

“I have bones. You have bones too, Mummy. And Daddy has bones. Everybody in the world has bones!” He has a point.

I’m doing yoga (pronounced ‘oga’),” as he does a very convincing downward dog, making me wonder if he is actually my child.

“Mummy, you don’t have a willy.” I want to give him the correct terminology for my lady parts (and I have subtly done so) but I cringe at the idea of him yelling about them to everybody in the middle of the supermarket. We all know that moment is coming. It’s just a matter of ‘when’.

And at other times, “Daddy! YOU HAVE A WILLY! AND I HAVE A WILLY!” in a tone quite similar to Oprah giving away cars. Like everybody wins because they have willies.

“I want a sandwich cut in two halves, but NO BREAD.” 
Um OK. I asked him, “How can you have a sandwich with no bread?”
He shrugged and chuckled, “Don’t know!”

Of course.

Sporadically asking for porridge and then not eating it. Every few weeks, the Little Mister will suddenly, unpredictably, ask for porridge for breakfast. He’ll be all excited. He will even retrieve the oats from the cupboard for me (or Mr Unprepared) with the joy of a child on Christmas day. The porridge will be made, then served. He will then show absolutely no interest in it whatsoever. Just walks away without a word. Like it never happened. So we wait another few weeks for the next surprise porridge demand.

When the Little Mister was about 18 months old, he was adorable. WAS. I remember clearly, heading over to Tasmania to celebrate the life of my grandfather who we had just lost to dementia. The Little Mister couldn’t speak very much back then (although he gave it his best efforts anyway), but he would just burst into the sweetest little baby voiced “Row row row…” and the rest of the family would sing Row Row Row Your Boat along with him. It brought him so much joy to initiate a family singalong and it was even more touching when we all realised it had been my grandfather’s favourite song. It’s like he knew. I mean, AWWWWWW.

Now?

“SING THE ROW BOAT SONG, DADDY!”

“Row row row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.”

“HAHAHA – BUTT! BUTT! YOU SAID BUTT, DADDY!”

Cue hysterical giggles.

Sigh.

He also makes up songs about poo. The only lyric is the word ‘poo’.

Yesterday (at around 6pm – other parents know what that means), I was trying to explain something or other to Mr Unprepared. Every time I opened my mouth, the Little Mister would run around and yell at the top of his lungs, “EMERGENCY!! EMERGENCY!!” 

I’d try again (one word in)…“EMERGENCY!!! EMERGENCY!!!” *maniacal toddler laughter*

Another attempt, “EMERGENCY EMERGENCY EMERGENCY!!!”

And one more time because I’m an idiot, “EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY!! EMERGENCY!! HA HA HA HA HA!”

Before I could open my mouth a fourth time, the Little Mister looked at me and said in an amused tone, bordering on patronising, “Oh, Mummy. You’re trying to say words.”

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And there’s so much more toddler gold where that came from.

What’s the darndest thing your kid has have ever said? Did you ever embarrass your parents? (seriously I love these stories)