Ms Optimism’s guide to providing your 3 year old with a well rounded childhood.
- A tattoo parlour
I wasn’t being inked at the time, but I’m quite sure my grandmother wouldn’t have approved.
- A classical music recital
Which was being broadcast live on ABC radio at the time. Many disapproving looks.
- A shopping centre
Nuff said really.
- On an airplane to Europe with no stop over
Aged 18 months. Many of my fellow passengers on that day may well be suffering PTSD along with me.
- To a psychologist appointment
Gumby on the lappy and headphones to the rescue!
- Anywhere outside the house when there is a full moon
A full moon turns Moopy into a fully fledged wild animal, which even chocolate bribes cannot tame. I have heard I am not alone in suffering this phenomena.
Where are the most inappropriate places you have taken your child?
Image via Jaydubyasee
Motherhood lesson #423: Pick your battles.
Yesterday Moopy hit the skateboard park (yes the skateboard park, yes he is 3) wearing the following…
- Jeans that are 2 sizes too small (I want to wear those ones Mum)
- No underpants (But I don’t waaaaaaaant undies Mum, nooooo!)
- The pyjama top that he’d slept in the previous night (I won’t be cold Mum, I want to wear this one)
- Shoes, but no socks (The socks are too fluffy and soft Mum, I don’t want them)
I’ll be in line for a mother of the year award this year, for sure!
It is worth noting that it was 12 degrees and raining outside today. Even with this in mind, this was a battle I chose not to fight. Some days I fight all of the battles and we both lose, feeling frustrated and angry with each other, apologising to each other for fighting like some kind of bickering married couple. Those are the days I beat myself up over. Is it really important that he wear matching socks, or am I just fighting to win the argument. It’s so hard to not sweat the small stuff when you are a mum. Sometimes you forget that they are 3 and you are supposed to be the grown up. When you are lost in the moment you don’t realise how ridiculous it is to yell at a child “Don’t yell at me!”
So today I chose not to fight partly for him and partly for me. Mostly for me if I’m honest, because at the time I couldn’t really see how stupid it would be to argue over those things, I really just couldn’t be bothered with ANOTHER fight and I didn’t want to be banshee mum again. And in the end it was nice to have a day where I was more relaxed, and we could just kinda hang out. It’s a feeling I’m going to try to hang on to.
Note: Actual kitchen mess, not stolen from internet. Clean dishes and dinner tonight courtesy of the lovely Mr. Optimism. I didn't stage the open dishwasher, that was the way he left it.
I’m only half joking here. I really need a cookbook for when I’m depressed. A book full of healthy, nutritious, vital recipes that have a maximum of 4 ingredients, only use a maximum of 2 pans and require next to no preparation.
I eat badly when I am depressed, which is when I most need to eat well. I lack the energy to cook anything, much less clean up the resulting mess, and then I reward myself with guilt for feeding my son something rubbish again.
My fallback easy meal is salmon on a salad bed. I love, love, love it. It’s fucking expensive to eat fresh salmon all the time and the kitchen is beginning to smell like a fishmongers. I need to add to my repertoire and seriously, there is only so much take away I can bear to eat.
This isn’t comment bait for the sake of it, I’d really love to hear your suggestions! If I have a motivated day maybe I’ll compile them into a free ebook
Being messy is good* because…
- The bigger the mess the more fun we’ve had
- The more difficult it is to clean the mess the more fun we’ve had
- Messes have interesting textures, tastes and smells
- Instead of spending time stressing about cleaning up, I am freed up to make a mess
- Mess can always be cleaned up tomorrow
I am a lazy clean/neat freak. It is a very frustrating combination. I am learning to let go and love the mess.
*Excludes mess that is in any way derived from a bodily fluid.
Seven words which strike fear into the heart of any mother of a 3 year old boy (or girl, I guess, for that matter).
I’ve come to the conclusion that the moment you decide you don’t care who sees you naked when you are in labour is to prepare you for a lifetime of having little people watch you go about normal bodily functions. It is through the course of this observation that Moopy learned about the standing up wee. From his Dad, in case you were wondering.
First, it was just when I was at the park and
too lazy unable to find a toilet for him. Then, it was at a urinal when all the toilets were engaged (again, with Dad…). Horrifyingly, he is now giving it a go at home.
Twice, this has ended in puddles of wee on the floor. It’s not so much a matter of him honing his aim, as it is getting any of it in the bowl. On the third attempt I was busily cooking his birthday cake when he called out once again, “I’m doing a standing up wee, Mum!”. Fearing the worst I ran to the toilet with towels in one hand and floor cleaner in the other. What I found was almost more disturbing than seas of urine on the floor.
My son seated on the toilet bowl, facing the wall – looking way too proud of himself. Wondering why I was pissing myself laughing at him, no doubt.
I pointed to a spot on the wall about 2m from the ground and said, “When you are this tall you can do a standing up wee at home”. Hopefully by then I will be ready, or he will have moved out of home. Until then, we will continue to practice the standing up wee in any toilet I don’t have to clean.
If she’d had a Kenwood.
Moopy’s birthday party is tomorrow, so today I’m elbow deep in fondant icing and flour. I’m tempted to also grab a bottle of wine, I’m sure that’s in the recipe somewhere…
I think about my grandmother a lot when I am cooking, I’m sure she’s sitting over my shoulder being horrified about how I’m going about it. I’m not much of a chef, but I set high expectations and thus will give most shit a go, like this. Note, this is not my cake LOL. It’s a work in progress.
If Nanny had a Kenwood I’m sure she would have shared with me the following tips, which I am now sharing with you dear readers – yes, both of you.
- Stop the mixer before adding eggs. This way when you drop the eggshell it isn’t smashed into hundreds of pieces and distributed evenly through the mixture.
- Stop the mixer before adding flour, especially if on high speed. This will ensure said flour isn’t distributed evenly around the kitchen and your face.
- Don’t bother with the splash guard, it is a useless piece of shit which just gets eggs and flour all over it – somehow the flour can get past the guard and all around the kitchen (see point 2).
- Don’t be so frigging lazy, do it the old fashioned way.
- For goodness sakes, be more organised you should have started this earlier in the day.
So maybe she wouldn’t have phrased it exactly in that way (she would definitely have said ‘for goodness sakes’), but I’m sure she would have worded me up nonetheless.
So I’m back off to MasterChef Optimistic Edition, hope I’m not voted off…
Moopy’s Birthday has been and gone for another year, and we’re grateful to the Victorian government for giving Mr Optimism and the rest of the family the day off by making it a public holiday. Since he’s well and truly conquered the Strider – including getting sick air at the skate park - we figured a pedal bike seemed like the logical choice in present. He would literally wet himself with excitement when he saw it, we thought.
He walked into the kitchen, clocked the bike, turns to Mr Optimism and says – “Can we measure me now? I grew taller”. $200 well spent. He did, however, spend 2 hours playing with his new bubble mixture, so all was not lost.
Some presents really hit the mark, others not so much. Some presents really hit the mark with Moopy, whilst really pissing me off. Like the time he received a Razor scooter for Christmas when he was two years old. Or the Tonka truck that still managed a 110dB rev after being submerged in the bath and being left in the garden for a week – the latest shot fired in the ‘most irritating toy’ war I am fighting against my SIL.
In the end, he spent most of the day on his bike. By the end of the day he could barely muster the energy to pester me for more cake and was in bed 30mins early – sugar rush and all! That’s what I call a win-win.
There’s a lot of chat about competitions in our house at the moment. Being his Mother’s/Father’s son (we blame each other), he’s a bit competitive. In fact, we have turned this competitive streak to our advantage, and use it to get him to do things he doesn’t want to do. “Who can get into the car first?”, “Who can get into bed first?”, “Who can make dinner and unpack the dishwasher first?”. We have found this to be a very effective
manipulation technique parenting tool. Way cheaper than bribery, and healthier than chocolate.
The unfortunate side effect of this is that everything, everything is a competition now. Like eating dinner, splashing in the bath etc. As a childless friend recently pointed out, this is perhaps not the best strategy to employ. Funnily enough, he never did suggest an alternative… Every day we swear we won’t use competitiveness to bend him to our will anymore. Every day we do
I’ve always been conscious that when it comes to kids, there’s a lot of competitiveness. The Baby Olympics. Whose child is tallest, walking first, toilet trained first (depends on your definition…), etc., and I wonder if it has always been this way? Maternal Health appointments don’t help, with the checklists and graphs and curves. The Baby Olympics can get you down sometimes, it’s worth remembering that by the time they are 15, most children will have reached their major milestones, including but not limited to…
- Sleeping in their own beds
- Being toilet trained
- Being able to wipe their own bottom
- Eating with cutlery in a socially acceptable manner
- Is doing their own washing too much to hope for?
More than anything, I don’t know why we seem to be in such a hurry for our Terrors to grow up.