Tag Archives: toddler


I'm sure it cannot have escaped your notice that this weekend saw Spring arrive.

OK so it is now an overcast Monday; Spring put in an appearance anyway.

On Saturday, Harry and I paid a visit to my Auntie's house in Portishead.  My Sister picked us up long with two cousins and we descended on my Auntie's house.  We were paying a visit as my Nana and Great-Auntie were visiting from Belfast and we wanted to catch up with them.

After a nice buffet lunch we spent a couple of hours in the garden enjoying the sunshine, watching all five boys (aged from almost-3 up to 10 years old) playing nicely together, whether on the trampoline or playing football.  Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures, other than one I have already shared of Harry covered in ice-cream!  In case you missed it though, here it is again!

Ice Cream!

Sunday wasn't quite such a bright day but after a morning of clearing the washing pile the husband, Harry and I headed to the local park.  This isn't a park that I have been to before because I had always thought it was too far a walk but D insisted that I would be able to manage it so I was happy to go along as well.  Harry decided that as Mummy didn't know the way, he would show me.

the walk3

Harry's confidence on the play equipment has always amazed me, he has never had any sense of fear but then I suppose toddlers are often like that.  I think they mostly pick up on fears from others around them and we've always been happy to let him roam, whilst keeping a close eye on him.  However, during this visit he didn't want our help at all with anything and was absolutely determined to do things solo, I think he was even contemplating the fireman's pole himself but that was a step too far for us and the husband helped him slide down it.

Playground Fun!

After lots of fun on the equipment, we took Harry out of playground to run around the open green and he ran towards the paddling pool.  Since it clearly isn't quite Summer yet, the gates were locked but Harry wasn't convinced so stalked around the gates, stopping every now and again to try and force his way through the barriers.  At the discovery that he couldn't, in fact, squeeze through the railings and Daddy wouldn't lift him over we could see a tantrum simmering just beneath the surface and then suddenly we were saved by the bell.  Well the ice cream van.

Now, to the best of my knowledge, Harry has never actually had anything from an ice cream fan but he does like music, any music and he will dance, so I can only assume it is his love of tunes that made him run towards the van where upon he spotted ice cream and asked for one (including please!).  One ice cream purchased and we made our way to a bench to sit and eat it, shared between the three of us.  Except, stupidly, we chose a bench in view of the paddling pool.  Now there were three tween boys that had climbed over the wall to retrieve their footballs, which of course meant Harry believed he could go in after all.  Mummy and Daddy were clearly lying and the most epic tantrum we have ever had the misfortune of dealing with in public erupted.

Whilst I carried on eating the ice cream (hey, I can hardly pick him up at the best of times!), the husband tried to persuade Harry he could go back to the playground to no avail so promptly picked him up and our trip to the park was brought to an end.

Harsh maybe?  I don't know but there was no way we were attempting to reason with a toddler in full tantrum mode in public!

I am linking up to #CountryKids for Outdoor Fun!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Until now H hasn't had a huge amount of interaction with his peers or a consistent playmate.  On moving to Bristol I found one local group I liked which became so popular you had to pre-book, sometimes two weeks in advance (at least one week, no more than two weeks and not two weeks in a row...) and I gave up with it once we discovered we were going to be made homeless.  Since living in temporary accommodation his only interaction has been us and my family although he does not seem to have been hampered by that.

A couple of weeks ago we passed a woman and her son in the hall way of the hostel in which we currently live and her son and H started playing.  It was just a short period as it was coming up to dinner time.  A few days later and the boy knocked on our door and asked if he could play with H, his mum was with him and so they came into our room, again just briefly.  Last week was half term here so H and Z (who attends pre-school usually) played almost daily, sometimes for a couple of hours at a time.  Whilst I like that H has a new playmate and it has highlighted that he has missed having peers to play with however much fun he can and does have with Mummy and Daddy, it has brought a whole new dilemma.

The Playmate Dilemma.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

You see, I don't particularly like Z.

I know he is only 4.  I know whilst it is clean and safe it's not particularly pleasant or secure (in the sense it isn't permanent or even long term) for any of us to live here.  I know that the snatching is normal.  I know that the being defiant (even when it's just me supervising) is normal behaviour.  I know it is perfectly normal for him to be territorial over his own toys as well as H's when they play together.

The real problem the husband and I have with Z is his swearing.  We have heard him use the whole range of inflammatory phrases and words. Whilst I don't really regard an exclamation of "Oh my God!" as swearing it is offensive to some people and also, in my opinion, not particularly pleasant to hear from such a young child anyway.  I have also now a few times heard him say "Fuck off" to us, to his mum and to H and whilst I always hoped to not have to tell someone else's child off (clearly I am naive) I did tell him that swearing isn't nice and if he said it again he wouldn't be able to play with H again.

Perhaps I am too used to being able to control who H plays with.  Maybe I need to loosen those apron strings a little earlier than I had hoped.  I know he will pick up these behaviours and language when he starts pre-school.

I am aware H isn't perfect but on the whole he is polite and well behaved but then he is in the presence of at least one of us all the time still.  Even when he did attend nursery and then a childminder, we never had any complaints regarding his behaviour, although I recognise that he was a lot younger then!

I don't want to stop H from playing with Z.  It isn't fair to either child really, least of all my own since Z is currently his only play-mate.  Yet I am concerned by H already picking up certain behaviours from him.  I've noticed a marked increase on H's whining.  The husband has noticed him reacting in an usually OTT way to a simple trip.  Although there is no real telling whether it is pure coincidence or not!

I know from reading an article in the Fail today that I am not alone in wanting to try to retain control of my child's choice of play-mate, not that H has much of a choice currently but it doesn't make it any easier feeling so conflicted.

Realistically, how much control can we have over who our children play with?


H is usually one of the most laid back, adaptable toddlers I have ever known.  Everyone comments on his nature and a line that is often said to us is "He is so laid back he is horizontal".  Whether it be keeping him up late, going away for one night or four, changed his routine through switching childcare providers or jobs, he has always adapted well and on returning home after going away, settled back into his original routine with amazing ease. ...continue reading


Toddlers are a pretty resilient bunch of people aren't they?

We have gone through a huge upheaval recently and whilst I spend what feels like hours at a time beating myself up, trying to work out how it all went so wrong, H is still largely happy, playful, cheeky and back-chatting as always.

There is no doubt that there have been a few clingy moments but with so much change at such a young age, no one can really blame him. ...continue reading


Image courtesy of Phanlopp 88 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am the first to admit I am far from a perfect parent.  I make mistakes.  I mentally chastise myself when I make mistakes anyway but when it comes to a slip of concentration or error of judgement with H I can beat myself up for days at a time.  However, I do try and learn from those errors.

In my sensible moments (which let's face it are few and far between), I know that every one makes similar mistakes. ...continue reading


Toddlers can be contrary creatures at times, can't they?  At least H can be.  Him up there. *points up there*

Breakfast time goes something like this:

Me: "Is it time for breakfast now?"

H: "No!"

Me: "OK, what shall we do?"

H: "Daddy!" (He actually says the husband's first name but let's forget that for now) ...continue reading


Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have a problem.  My fuse is a bit short of late.

I have never really been the best at controlling my temper, although funnily enough I always managed it in a professional environment, just not in my personal life as my long-suffering family would attest.  In fact, my explosive anger is a large reason why I was asked to leave home once I had finished college.

Somehow, until recently I have always managed to control it around H.  As I have recently written, I have a lot going on at the moment, a lot of stress which not only makes my depression worse but manifests itself in physical ways too, namely rather severe IBS, even though I avoid the trigger foods.

Unfortunately, much to my shame, around 4-6 weeks ago now (I can't remember exactly) I shouted at H.  Loudly.  Loud enough to make him cry.  And so, of course I then started crying too.  I have done it a couple of times since as well.

I hope it is largely a good sign that we got to over two-years old without me actually shouting at him, although there have been lots of firm, slightly raised words had; I am not an angel!  I am sure matters aren't helped by the fact that he has, on the whole, dropped his nap during the day and it is utterly pointless doing any housework or cooking when he is awake.  Why is it, the times you WANT your toddler to sit on the sofa and watch Peppa Pig or Thomas the Tank Engine, they decide Mummy/Daddy can't possibly leave them alone, even for a minute?

I know this is normal toddler behaviour and I am sure reminding myself of that hundreds of times a day is what has helped me last so long but I need to do better.  I know he doesn't deliberately wind me up but sometimes it is all too easy to lose sight of that and just shout "MUMMY IS BUSY!".

So, when you are close to losing it, what do you do?

As ever, thank you for reading.


Since turning two, H has started jabbering non-stop.  Aside from a few real words such as "Mama" "Cat/Car" which sound the same "Door" "Dog" and some others.

The thing is, as much as the husband and I understand H, most of the time no one else does.  That is normal right?

For example "Goo goo" is Peppa Pig.  I have no idea why but that is what it means.  You might think "Rael" is me if you know my real name when in fact that is H's word for my sister's boyfriend's daughter.  Which, incidently, sounds nothing like my name.  The husband gets called by his real name. 

H defintely said "I wuv mama" the other day, which I in my adoring parent state took to mean "I love mama".  He pointed to himself for "I" then to me for "mama".  Yet because I am fairly sure that no one else would understand him clearly I haven't confidently said he can string a few words together.

H communicates well on the whole I think.  He can, in some way, make his wants or needs known.  When he gets a word wrong, we repeat the correct word but at just two years old we don't make him repeat it. 

An acqantince recently put on facebooj about her 18 month old son using a sentence of about 10 words.  I like to think that the mum was paraphasing.  Or rather putting words in to his mouth.

I know H's development is fine and I guess the last six months have shown me it is just as easy to be worried when they aren't in structured childcare as when they are!


When H was a baby he was a chilled out, relaxed one. He wasn't massively clingy, apart from at night but co-sleeping for a while sorted that.

From around 6 months he very much knew what he wanted and the stubborn, wilful side of him started showing. However, he seemed to accept he couldn't always get what he wanted and wasn't particularly vocal, saving his noises for hunger if a meal or snack wasn't on time, or for when he grabbed a hot radiator on an October evening!

How things have changed!

I posted recently about his tantrums but today I have another matter which is driving me up the wall. Not literally obviously as I can't drive.

Getting H dressed has become a battle. If I manage to get some clothes on him, they very quickly come off. I've given up trying to win that battle if we are staying at home for the day but today is a nice sunny day in Bristol. I had got myself showered and dressed, complete with make up, before 9am, which is a rareity. I wanted to either go to the park, the nature reserve or a toddler group. I told H mummy was going out and asked if he wanted to come with me and was met with an enthusiastic yes. Then came the matter of getting him dressed. "No!" I offer a choice; 2 t shirts, 2 pairs of jeans. "NO!". I managed to get a pair of jeans on him and immediately he took them off, throwing them on the floor shouting "NO!" As he did.

I took his wet nappy to the bin outside, leaving the back door open and H promptly ran into the garden in just his nappy and vest and started playing. I told him to come inside. He refused. I said he couldn't play in the garden unless he got dressed so he came in and sat in the lounge, asking me to read to him.

He clearly wants to go out. He keeps pointing out the lounge window "dare" (there), asking for "wing" (swing) or to see dogs yet as soon as I mention he needs some clothes on to do any of these things, he just shrugs and plays with a toy.

How do you deal with a toddler who won't keep his clothes on? Will people call social services if we go out with him just in his wellies (the only thing he wants on) and vest? Any advice gratefully received!

Thanks for reading.

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