Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Well D-O-N-E!

I seem to spend a lot of my time telling off my 19 month old daughter.  You know the sort of thing. 
Don’t touch that
You can’t go in there
You remember what I said about going near the nuclear reactor. 
The usual sort of stuff.  But so much of my time seems to be taken up by telling my daughter all the things that we would really rather she didn’t do.   See this post for examples of the sorts of things she does, familiar to you all I’m sure.

This has the effect of making me feel like I am an incredibly mean person.  There are all these things she can’t do, with me acting as the bad guy who has to stop her.  Already this morning I have caused her to have a major grump out at least twice by stopping her from doing things she knows she isn’t allowed to do.  This consists of her being told not to do something, and then being removed from the object of her desire.  At this point she either reacts by just moving on to the next unobtainable, and therefore desirable, thing that catches her attention, or in her crashing onto the floor, and wailing, whilst flailing limbs mean that her body becomes the centre of a no-fly-zone which extends much further than I would have imagined she could stretch.

Sometimes though, sometimes she just does something that is so extraordinary, just so wonderful that it makes you forget all these other things.  There are times when she will delight you just by saying please and thank you. Without prompting she will just come out with it.  We have worked really hard with her to make sure that she says this, and seeing that work paying off is fantastic.  Of course, it doesn’t last, and soon enough we’re back to reminding her, but every now and then she gets it and you want to spin her round and round and shout congratulations at her.  But her mummy doesn’t like it when I do that, and anyway, we’re British so a firm handshake and small nod has to suffice, until mummy leaves the room of course.

Just this morning was one of the good times.  We are currently in the throes of potty training, which is an experience that I really must tell you about sometime, although you probably won’t thank me for it and it’s unlikely to win me any awards.  Anyway, today we managed to get her out of her nappy and on to the toilet in time.  Woo yeah!  High fives all round.  It is brilliant to be able to praise her when she has done something good.  Sometimes, it is just nice to be able to say well done, because all too often we are forced to say the other thing and that’s no fun at all.

And sometimes she will just be downright amazing.  Not good or bad, just incredible.  As with all parents everywhere my wife and I spell things out so that we can talk about them without the little one knowing.  It’s the sort of little habit that I am terrified I am going to accidently come out with at a party or some other social occasion.  As though it’s some sort of unbreakable code that I can employ with impunity to say anything to my wife without anyone knowing.  “That woman’s really I-R-R-I-T-A-T-I-N-G.”  Happily it’s not happened yet, but it’s only a matter of time.  One of the words we always have to do this with is Calpol.  She does love her some Calpol, and so we have to be careful when we talk about it.  I think she might be onto us though.  She has been poorly for most of the weekend, (whilst we were on holiday, but more about that in a later post) which had stopped her from sleeping. She was miserable and so were we, so my wife suggested Calpol as a last resort C-A-L-P-O-L (in case you were hazy on the spelling yourself?).  Now I know that N can’t spell, and she must have picked it up from the time of day and what else my wife had said, but she immediately looked up and said Calpol.  Clear as day.  It was an astonishing moment and while it might not seem it, really magical.  All these little evidences that our little girl is growing up are moments to treasure in my view.

Like bungee jumpng for kids (infant suspension, geddit?)
Sometimes having a child is so hard.  Sometimes it is like walking on air.  The trick, it seems, is remembering the good bits and forgetting about the bad ones.  Shouldn’t be too tough, right?


  1. I love this line: "But her mummy doesn’t like it when I do that, and anyway, we’re British so a firm handshake and small nod has to suffice, until mummy leaves the room of course."

    Great post! We're T-3.5 months here. I'm trying to stock up on sleep. It's not working.

  2. Thanks so much Carlos. Sleep is a tricky thing to get credit in unfortunately. And it turns out you can never catch up either. Really it's just lose lose on the sleeping front now. sorry

  3. My mum used to talk about things she didn't want us to know about using backslang. This was fine with her mum and sisters, but my dad just couldn't get his head around it. In fairly short order me and my siblings had worked out how to speak the backslang thing, and we all used it to confuse my dad. How mean of us.

    Your method is good, because now she can say Calpol, but she'll probably also be able to spell it ;-)

    1. Yes, we're training her to spell words and then she can go on the talent show circuit!

  4. All sounds horribly familiar, and I hate to tell you, but it doesn't get any easier. Our 3yo got enormous praise today, for typing her name on the iPad without any help (she doubled up on a couple of letters, but we'll let her away with that one). She ruined some of the goodwill though, by being a demon in the bath and getting water everywhere. So much so she got lifted out early.

    Kids, eh?

    1. Who'd have them!

      Sounds soggy round yours tonight, but good work with the iPad.

  5. I remember the day my mum learned that she couldn't use that technique any more. We were going to go to the F-A-I-R :)