This morning I walked to my local cafe in a slightly detached stupor, wondering how I could factor a gin-for-breakfast sort of existence into my family life. Now don't get me wrong, I am not an alcoholic. But rational to a fault, I had been mentally ticking off all the ways I could survive the terrible twos, and I had settled on substance abuse as a distinct possibility.
Diving straight into Gin is a perhaps a bit steep, so I decided to give Laughing About It With Other Parents another go first. It's a technique that has worked wonders in the past.
So off to Dan & DeCarlo's I went, texting my friend Bex along the way, telling her I was in need of an emergency coffee. To her credit she appeared less than 2 minutes later, wanting ALL the details of that morning's utterly ridiculous tantrum.
And here it is. And it's a good'un.
We are firmly in the Only Daddy phase, where life simply cannot go on without Daddy being present and responsible for all toddler-helping. Daddy works full time, so it can be a little tricky and somewhat infuriating to say the least. Danger Boy would rather starve himself than be served food by anyone other than Daddy, which of course makes for lots of crazy blood-sugar crash behaviour. He even refuses to get out of bed, sometimes until 1 or 2 in the afternoon, waiting for Daddy and clinging to the bars of the cot so hard that there is no way I could physically extract him without first cutting off his arms.
He likes to vary his Only Daddy behaviour a little to keep things fresh, so this morning we had the famous Octopus Squirm on Changing Table wrestle as I tried for 15 minutes to get his all-in-one Thomas pyjamas off him. I finally managed to get one leg out, and as I was getting the other out, he popped the first one back in. By the time I won (yay!) the battle, his fluffy blond hair was slicked back with sweat from his efforts to get away from Naughty Mummy, as I am known.
We moved on to the nappy.
As we both tugged in opposite directions and he flipped around like a fish on the changing table, I watched in slow motion as the nappy burst open, spewing thousands, perhaps millions, of tiny wee-soaked micro-granules across the room, covering every surface. Even the windows were covered in a fine spray of the tiny, sticky, pungent beads, like little yellow Flying Fish roe.
As was Danger Boy. Naked now, looking scrawny from his refusal to eat without Daddy, and covered head to toe in tiny beads, with mounds of them gathered under his chin and underarms like little yellow snowdrifts.
By some miracle, he looked at me as if to say "oh shit.", succumbed to being hosed down, got some clean clothes on and sat in the buggy obediently, not wanting to catch my eye. I closed the door to his room, wee beads and all, and walked out.
After she stopped laughing hysterically and wiping her spilled hot chocolate from the table, Bex said "Let's go then" and we walked back to my house together, where we donned gloves, armed ourselves with Dettol and my trusty Dyson, and entered the Wee Bead Room.
So there you are. I've now learned 3 important things -
1) If a toddler does not want to change his nappy, use bribery and not coercion.
2) Never ever leave the radiator on in a room covered in wee.
3) Only a true friend will giggle with you while vacuuming sticky plasticised wee soaked beads out of your carpet.