Parenting Moments: Pooping is not a team sport

I thought I’d do a couple of posts on my favourite and least favourite parenting moments. This is my list of least favourite. Tomorrow, I’ll list my favourite, which I think will be a much longer post. I’d like to make it clear, before I start receiving tweets about how terrible a parent I am for suggesting that my child is anything other than perfect, that I love her very much, imperfections and all, and I accept entirely that everything on this list is pretty normal for a parent to experience and that she’s learning about how the world works and that involves pushing boundaries and also not really understanding a lot of things for a long while.

1. Pooping is not a team sport. The inspiration for the title of this post is about a phase that, thank goodness, we have just about passed. Basically, Pip’s always been a bit clingy. I couldn’t be out of her sight for more than about fifteen minutes without her becoming completely hysterical until she was about two. Luckily, once she started attending a creche once a week for a couple of hours, she really settled and was to be looked after by other people, which made life a lot easier for everyone. However, until very recently, she would follow me around the house no matter what I was doing, including using the bathroom. This was extremely annoying at times.

2. The Why Phase. We’re still in the midst of this one really. On the one hand, I really like that she’s curious about everything she sees and keen to learn new things. On the other hand, there’s only so many times I can explain how a robot works or why fireworks are different colours before it starts becoming a bit frustrating. Husband and I decided very early on that we’d always answer any question she has, partly to encourage a love for learning and partly to encourage an openness so that she feels that she can always talk to us about anything. I sense that this will be particularly important during her teenage years. So I will continue to endure endless questions about why oranges are orange and why the sky goes dark at night time. Even if it does sometimes make me want to scream.

3. Potty Training. Something of a rollercoaster, emotionally speaking. One day it seems like we’ve had a breakthrough, the next we’ve got puddles everywhere. It only happened once but finding a pooped in pair of pants behind the sofa was possibly the worst moment of potty training.

4. The ten second tantrum. Pip has a bit of a talent for this one. It’s best described with an example.

*sudden, screaming and crying from Pip*

Me: What’s wrong?

Pip: *between sobs* I want to go to nursery.

Me: But you are going to nursery today.

Pip: *crying instantly stops, replaced by smile* Oh okay.

Me: *left dumbfounded in shock*

5. The full on tantrum. It can last for hours and ruin whole days. Sometimes cured by a time out or by calm conversation. Other times nothing works and it must simply be waited out. Sometimes we can go for a whole week with not even a little one, other times they seem to happen constantly. I always try to remember that she’s probably feeling as frustrated by it, if not more so, than I am.

6. Pyjama time. Pip is not fond of bedtime. She will avoid it at all costs. This means that trying to get her into pyjamas is very often accompanied by her hiding in various places, running, wriggling and flat out refusing to cooperate, while I attempt to remain calm and speak in a level tone. I will admit that I don’t always manage that. Even after she’s in bed, she’s pretty good at coming up with excuses to leave it again.

7. Meal time. Generally speaking, Pip will eat anything. I’ve never had too much trouble getting her to eat fruit or vegetables but she’s really not keen on bread so sandwiches are often deconstructed before eating. Every now and again, we’ll have a few days where she eats very little and makes a real mess out of her dinner, mashing it into pulp, before poking her little fingers into it and smearing it everywhere. Other days, she seems to be a bottomless pit of endless hunger. These days usually precede growth spurts.

8. This one actually has very little to do with Pip and more to do with me. It’s the overriding sense of worry and anxiety that I feel on a daily basis about whether I’m doing the very best I can for her as a parent and if my best if even good enough. Luckily this has become a little less all consuming now that she’s a bit less fragile looking and a tiny bit more independant – for instance, I don’t need to try and work out if she’s too hot, too cold, hungry or uncomfortable in any other way, she’ll just tell me and, sometimes, just sort it out herself.

So there it is. My least favourite things about being a parent. Tomorrow will be my favourite things, a much more positive list. So we can all look forward to that.

Thanks for reading.

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