I’m a tantrum survivor. Sort of!

As I sat, white faced, close to tears, next to a pale, blotchy, hiccuping daughter, I tried to work out exactly why what just happened had happened. Believe it or not from that description, no major tragedy had befallen us, no near miss in the car, no death of a beloved pet, we still had all our limbs.

No, all that had happened was that we had just survived a tantrum, not just any tantrum though, not a bit of foot stamping or the lying on the floor wailing business that small boy is so fond of. No, this was a full on screaming, punching, kicking, flailing, sobbing, ‘you’ve ruined my life’ kind of a tantrum. (Yes she really said that, she is five, I have no idea where she got it from!!)

I’m aware that I’m sounding dramatic, and maybe we both have a flair for it, she certainly picked her stage well, a packed square in the centre of a popular Italian town on market day. (We had a crowd around us at one point!) However, I did feel completely drained, emotionally battered and physically shaken up in the aftermath, as if we had both weathered the sort of storm that you see on the news.

We have only had a few of these thank goodness, but each time I feel as though my soul has been slightly pummeled. I end up wondering if it was my fault, if I could have done anything differently, whether I am a bad mother.

There are certain things that I think trigger these monumental melt downs, tiredness being the main offender. I also think that sugar is a contributor, and if there has been a change in routine it doesn’t help and over indulgence and spoiling when on holiday or around birthday time is pretty fatal.

But it is impossible to work out which combination of these will result in the tantrum, if at all, because sometimes she is whacked out on sugar after an exhausting party and is the sweetest little girl.

I wish I had the answers as to how to deal with it. I have tried lots of tactics, the most recent being offering a no-strings-attached cuddle, and then sorting things out and getting the requisite apology when it has all calmed down.

Sometimes it is impossible to get through to her though, when she is so far into it, reaching out to her is just not an option, especially if she is angry and lashing out. This is fairly rare thank goodness, and getting much less frequent as she gets older and I learn how to read the warning signs.

During this last one, I kept calm, remarkably calm, I stayed firm and didn’t back down, I’d told her we were leaving the market due to her behaviour, after having given her several chances to turn it round and her continuing down the same line, and I was determined to follow through with it, even when she started screaming as if she were being kidnapped and the crowd gathered!

I am slightly ashamed to admit that I resorted to threatening to cancel her birthday party and even pretended to write a text to the bouncy castle man to tell him it wasn’t needed! (I know I know but it was a desperate measures situation and I was feeling totally out of my depth and at a bit of a loss.)

I got her away eventually, and managed to find a less public place to sit, she raged on for a bit more, until eventually the rage burned out and we were both left sitting there like tornado survivors.

After it had passed, she was the sweetest little girl again. It was hard to imagine her ever being like that. She is not coping fantastically well with the whole idea of school. She misses me when she is there and feels frustrated that she has to go and we do fun things without her. Which I can completely understand.

She is also exhausted, everything new, so much to do, so much to learn, and I am relieved to say that this was at half term and we haven’t had any incidents anywhere near this scale since, but I know that friends are struggling as well, and now I realise how many of us are experiencing this, it does make me feel better to know that I’m not alone, not that I would wish it on anyone else but it’s nice to know there are others out there who know what it’s like to cling to that emotional life raft in a sea of screaming!

Especially as all the mums I know that are also going through it are wonderful, kind, caring people, and it helps me to see that if we are all in the same boat, maybe it is just that some children are more sensitive to big life changes then others, can’t cope with tiredness as easily, find their emotions harder to understand and manage, and it isn’t the reflection on my parenting that I have been beating myself up about in the aftermath of these tantrum tornados. She is a lovely girl usually, she isn’t badly behaved as a rule, we are nowhere near applying for a spot on a ‘send in a nanny and film us all melting down’ type of tv program, generally she is sweet, polite, funny, helpful, just ever so occasionally, something overtakes her that she has no control over.

So if you are a mama and any of this rings a bell with you you, give yourself a hug from me because it’s hideous and horrible but these days will pass and I’m sure that one day we will be sipping wine and laughing uproariously about how embarrassing it all was.

Just not yet!!

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Thankfully things are more like this between us…otherwise I wouldn’t want to get up in the morning! 😀

 

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Sunshine Blogger Award Post.

I was nominated twice for the sunshine blogger award, (I say recently but it was quite a while ago now, been so busy with summer hols that I’ve not had a moment!), I keep stopping and starting with this post, we have been off camping a lot in the newest addition to our family, Wilma, the VW T5 campervan conversion that lovely Mr PB is in the middle of perfecting for us and signal is not always brilliant on our adventures. I am now exhausted so this seemed like a nice post that wouldn’t overtax my tired mind! (I started writing this a while ago and am only just getting a chance to finish it now!!)

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The lovely Mr Pear Bear hard at work making Wilma beautiful!

The first lovely blogger who nominated me is the fabulous Claire at Art and Soul. These are her questions for me.

If you can’t have both, do you go for a starter or dessert?

Ooooh this is so tough!! I think it would have to depend on what was on the menu, if there was nothing I really fancied for desert, I would probably go for starter.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell myself to be myself no matter what anyone said about it. To have more confidence!

What celebrity would you like to meet and why?

Michael McIntyre. He makes me cry with laughter.

Tell us about a personal achievement you’re proud of.

Last September I completed a half marathon, I’d only been running for 10 months!

What was your favourite toy(s) when you were a child?

Spot! My stuffed toy dog. I loved him. Oh, and Gaby bear, you could put a cassette in him and he’d tell a story and his face would move. Until I took him in the sandpit and he got sand in his inner mechanisms and never worked again. Sob!

The other lovely blogger who nominated me is Miss Ky.

What is your middle name?

Pear 🙂

What is your favorite thing to do?

Sleep!! Only half joking 🙂 I also love to make things, sewing, painting etc.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, or maybe Ubud in Bali.

Would you rather live without Facebook or Instagram – why?

Instagram I think, as I’m pretty new to it and so haven’t really built up a following. (Since I wrote this, I have got massively into instagram, and now I would say facebook for sure!!)

What is your favorite memory?

I have so many that it is hard to pick but I think one of my most wonderous memories is our hotel lobby when we went to Disney World as it had real parrots flying around. It was just out of this world to a 9 year old!

Do you have any favorite makeup products?

I cannot live without mascara, glitter is a big must and I’ve just started getting into nail varnish again.

If you could re-name your blog, what would it be?

I don’t think I would rename it. I’m pretty new to it and so my name is all shiny and perfect. Ask me again in 5 years time!

What’s your favorite season?

This is so hard for me as there are things I love about all the seasons but if I had to pick, I’d say Autumn. New boots and colourful leaves and chunky knitwear. Bliss!!

What do you look for mostly in people? (ex: personality, smile, funny..)

Sounds really cheesy but kindness, it helps if they share my silly sense of humour too. Oh and I’m a sucker for a dog lover!

What’s a secret that you have kept? (can be either yours or someone else’s)

When I was at school, we regularly used to climb out of the window and escape over the roof. Plus my friend and I once had to run down the school corridor with lit cigarettes and ended up passing the headmaster! I was a bit naughty at school I think!

Your ideal date?

Hmmmm, pretty much anything child free is bliss at the moment, but one of our most fun dates was a hot air balloon flight. Sooo amazing.

The rules:

  • Thank the people/person who nominated you.
  • Write a post featuring the award button and answering the questions from your nominator(s). They will have nominated the same number of people as questions they answered.
  • Nominate the same number of bloggers the person who nominated you did and come up with the same number of new questions.
  • Let your nominees know you’ve nominated them.

Ok, so my questions.

  1. There is a national shortage of, erm, milk, and there can only be one for the rest of time, pick the ice-cream flavour that we will all have to live with forever.
  2. Which song do you absolutely have to dance to, no matter where you are (think the Full Monty post office queue scene!), even if you totally embarrass whoever you are with?
  3. You are about to be kidnapped, you’re at home, how do you escape?
  4. Who would you take on a really really long road trip?
  5. Zombies are coming, choose your weapon!!

I nominate the following bloggers, (if you would like to take part of course!), because I think you are all pretty fabulous and I really really want to hear your answers!

  1. Mudpie Fridays
  2. Silly Mummy
  3. Run, Jump, Scrap
  4. All the beautiful things
  5. Brummy mummy of 2

Where are you from? Also a step by step guide to giving blood.

Not literally, but historically! I give blood and I am a B negative which is so rare that only two percent of the population have it, and today the nurse who was taking my blood was very excited because she has the same blood group and noticed that I was the second person she’d come across with the same blood group and same very slightly odd toes as her.

She told me that from the research she had done already, our blood group is likely to die out in the not too distant future and that no-one is quite sure how it came about.

She also said that she found an article about possible links to skeletons found that are sort of human but with extra long limbs. Sounds very bizarre to me……and also very intriguing! So I am going on a mission to find out more. We all know how accurate the internet is, (hah!), so I will take it all with a pinch of salt but I’d love to know if you have anything that makes you unusual or know something about the origins of your blood group or mine, the stranger the better!! 😀

Any truth in this do you think? Source Waking Times
Any truth in this do you think? Source Waking Times

I also thought I’d do a quick guide to giving blood and some tips as these things can be very nerve-racking the first time you and it is such a worthwhile cause so if I can allay anyone’s fears about going, I’ll be very happy.

  1. First off, make an appointment. They get too busy to take walk ins often and if you have an appointment they can send you out the forms to fill in at home. In peace, unless you have children obviously!
  2. They can also check that you are eligible to donate to save you a wasted journey. Things like tattoos and piercings don’t mean you can’t donate but there are time frames you need to adhere to and you need to mention it so they can run a few extra tests.
  3. When you arrive, there is a reception area with a computer and you will be ‘checked in’ and given a guide to read containing all the important information you need. You will be given this every time to refresh your memory as there is usually 3 or more months between donations. Our donation centre is a church hall so don’t worry that you’ll have to go to hospital or have to pay for expensive parking.
  4. You will be directed to a waiting area with some magazines. I usually bring my own or a book. It can be a long wait as things like someone calling in sick or a donor feeling a little unwell after can delay the process a little. Usually it isn’t too long a wait and they will keep you well informed if there are any delays. There is a nice camaraderie I’ve found, and so you will probably find someone to chat too to pass the time.
  5. Your name will be called and you will go into a little screened off cubicle to confirm your details and to go through the questionnaire you answered in more detail if you answered yes to any of the questions, things like medication changes, trips abroad etc, and the answers will be expanded on and signed off. Then there is a test to check your iron levels. A tiny pin prick will be made using what looks a bit like a dog training clicker and a couple of drops squeezed out into the tiniest pipette. This will be squirted into a test tube of green or blue liquid and timed to make sure it sinks in the requisite time. If not, your iron levels are considered too low to spare any blood and you won’t be able to donate in that session and directed to see your gp.
  6. All being well with your iron, you are then sent to a second waiting area and invited to help yourself to a drink of water or squash & have a seat.
  7. When they have a chair free, you will be asked if you prefer left or right arm and they will adjust it accordingly. You’ll sit in the chair and they will make you comfortable.
  8. There is a machine to whichever side they are taking from the makes a bit of noise when it is going as it keeps the bag of blood moving continuously and beeps when you’re done, nothing to panic about if it is being loud! 🙂
  9. The nurse will thoroughly clean your arm and then insert a needle. Not the most pleasant but it really is just a scratch. Once in, you genuinely won’t feel it and the blood will start flowing down the small tube attached to the needle that will get taped to your wrist. You will also be reclined almost flat.
  10. There are two bags attached to the tube, a very small one that samples will be taken from, how many samples depends on whether you have been abroad/ had a recent tattoo etc, and the larger one on the moving platform.
  11. Then you are left while the bag fills up. It is recommended to clench and un-clench your fist to help the flow and you are also given a sheet with some exercise suggestions. You are generally advised against reading if it is your first time but if you’ve been a few times, you can read now…..a book is far easier to hold than a magazine one handed as I have discovered from personal awkward experience!
  12. Once the bag is full, (I promise it’s not that big, they aren’t leaving with a brimming carrier bag!), the machine will alert them by lots of beeping, there is nothing to worry about if they are tending to someone else at that minute as nothing bad can happen if you are waiting a little while, (not that that happens often!), then the needle will be removed and you are given a gauze to press down on the seriously tiny hole and they sort all the tubes and your donation out.
  13. You will be sat upright and given a few minutes to check how you are doing. It is very rare for people to faint but you can feel a little light headed if you’ve not eaten or drank enough in the day. I’d say from sitting in the chair to being sent for a biccie is around 20-30 mins.
  14. Once satisfied you are ok and when you’ve had your gauze swapped for a plaster, you will be sent over to the refreshment table and offered a cold or hot drink and there are a large selection of biscuits. These are obviously calorie free as you have just given away a lot of calories! 😉
  15. Another appointment will be offered for the next session and when you are fully recovered, (finished your biscuit!), you can go home. Feeling pretty awesome for potentially saving someone’s life and having a license to eat cake when you get home. (Still calorie free obvs!)

It may be different in other areas of course, and for different people but that is my experience as an NHS donor in the UK. I PROMISE you that it isn’t scary, it doesn’t hurt much and they honestly don’t take very much, and the fluffy feel goods last aaaagggges. Oh, and all the staff are lovely and friendly and make it a fun cheerful atmosphere, even if they have been there all day and you are the last donor as I was tonight.

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Installment 2 of my personal alphabet challenge where I am attempting to omit one letter from a paragraph at the end of each blog post to see which is the most difficult to write without using.

To B or not to B!

This is easy, no difficulty, I think it would seem a whole lot harder to actually have to use the letter in every word. Although if I wanted to write the post that comes in front of this I would certainly struggle.

I would need an alternative word for that red stuff that pumps through your veins, pushed around using the fantastic, strong heart, taking vital nutrients and vitamins and cells to your extremities, keeping you warm, running your organs, fighting infections and healing wounds.

Claret perhaps? Though that is a little Silence of the…….youthful sheep!! 😉

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