I’m sure that we’ve all seen the wonderful sugary sweet, picture perfect Hollywood film depiction of a family; two perky , positively angelic children that talk so eloquently and share everything wondrously well. They are never: dirty, pick their noses, poo their pants, scream in your face, batter the living daylights out of each other or play with their winkies in front of all and sundry!
Of course they don’t and we all know why don’t why don’t we? Real life isn’t like that! You can’t create the perfectly behaved child!! They are always going to be fascinated with their private parts and who can blame them eh? Most men I know are still unbelievably fixated with their Tinkie Winkies and fiddle with them all day long!
Children are obviously going to develop their personalities and work hard to assert their independence with no regard whatsoever for the dainty nuances of social etiquette.
You will of course, know exactly what I am referring to if there is a toddler in your family! Wilful? Blimey! Now there’s an understatement!
Bringing a new baby into the realm of the toddler is always going to be a tricky thing and so, like most people with good intentions, I read up about it – I was a Brownie you know and find that I often like to ‘Be Prepared’! There are lots of handy hints in the pregnancy books about how and when to introduce your other children to the new addition; what to say and how to act in order to make your toddler feel at ease. Indeed, some books go into minute detail about how you should position yourself in the hospital bed and what you should do with your eyes (what?) when your toddler comes into the room.
So…as per the instructions in my pregnancy handbook, I promptly bought a present for my eldest, all beautifully wrapped by the newborn (he’s very advanced you know), and told my son that ‘the baby had bought him a present because he was excited to meet his new brother’. As per instructions, I positioned myself as far away from the baby as I could (well, I actually couldn’t move as I was still paralysed but hey ho), and focused all of my attention on son number one.
Great! Brilliant!! It was going well…
He was super excited about: his present and seeing mummy and being in a new room and touching buttons on the bed and trying to have a poo in the hospital toilet cos he hadn’t tried that one before, and touching the curtains that went round the bed and wiping his dirty hands on my bed sheets and playing with his doctor’s kit that the new baby had bought him and shouting so we all knew he was in the room and climbing on the sofa to look out of the window and touching the baby’s head…a lot! Phew!
So we all agreed that apart from the over exuberance it went quite well. There were no tears or tantrums and I was feeling a bit like a Supermum that had not only managed to get chopped open and survive that day (hurrah for me) but I’d also successfully navigated unchartered terrain and ended up with a happy normal well-adjusted toddler……
Hmmmm. Then we brought the baby home.
King Kong seemed to be none too pleased when the very noisy and ever so slightly annoying Godzilla entered his domain!
During the course of my first day back at home I could clearly see the hairs on the back of King Kong’s neck bristle when he heard the noise that Godzilla could emit! This, of course, would never stop him from lording it over his minions, who up until now had always given him their undivided attention and so he cranked up his own ROOOAAR!! My husband and I were being warned in no uncertain terms that there was only one King of the jungle here and no reptile was going to usurp him! The ROOOOOOOAAAR increased.
This was then accompanied by some random tears and some quite inexplicable tantrums, rounded off with a few visits to ‘The Naughty Step’, where there was a flat refusal to say ‘Sorry’ for any Gorilla-like escapades that he had been involved in!
HANG ON!! I read the manual! Surely because I’d followed the instructions this shouldn’t happen?? Where had the Golden child gone? He had morphed into a gigantic ape in front of my eyes!!
Meanwhile, let’s not forget Godzilla. Although small, he definitely had the lungs of a scaly sea creature and was not afraid to do battle for noise supremacy and overall Alpha Male status!!
Couple the din with a lack of sleep, major surgery, hormones and the dreaded breastfeeding (that particular wonder of nature is for another blog) and it all goes to blow that rose tinted perception of ‘my new lovely little family’ out of the water! I wonder if Hollywood is interested in taking them both for a few years and making a new ‘King Kong meets Godzilla’ flick, to more clearly represent the modern family?? Just a thought!