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!!

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

 

dragon

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Losing my baby to school – Sisterhood Award post

A pretty fair depiction of me this last month I'd say!  Last school trips, leaver's parties, final shows. Sob!
A pretty fair depiction of me this last month I’d say! Last school trips, leaver’s parties, final shows. Sob!

So I’m just sitting, feeling a bit meh, (technical term), because my baby girl has her last day at preschool tomorrow and then, after what is feeling like an increasingly short summer holiday, she is off to school.

So excited and looking super cute but just looking at this makes me well up!
So excited and looking super cute but just looking at this makes me well up!

Oh don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely school, really lovely, and she is fairly excited and it’s very close by, but I just feel a huge sense of loss when I think about it. I really feel that when I watch her little uniformed figure disappear through those gates that a part of her will be lost to me forever. I am no longer in charge of what we do every day. I can’t decide to whisk them off on a midweek adventure day, just dropping an email or text to preschool explaining that she won’t be in.

Of course we will still have weekends and holidays but everywhere will be busier, noisier, with long queues for things. I feel this tremendous weight of all the things I wish I’d done with her while we still had the chance to go when it was quieter. It feels like an out of control juggernaut, time, steaming forward with me desperately trying to load it up with as many experiences as possible before it’s too late, hanging off the side with one arm, trying to encourage my reluctant children running alongside to keep up.

So I’ve decided to stop. I’m out of time now anyway. I don’t want a summer of stress and frantic attempts to enjoy ourselves while in reality, everyone will just end up miserable, hot and bothered. This summer is going to be….The Summer of Nothing,

There, it has a proper title now and so we will have to abide by it. This summer we will relax, have fun where we find it, take hours to go to the shop for an ice cream instead of chivvying them along everywhere, have water fights in the garden, pick blackberries, (they are ripe already, this isn’t right surely?!), see family, see friends and just take each day as it comes.

Life moves by so quickly, time ebbing away in a flurry of playdates and trips, mundane things like doing the washing and going to the supermarket, that I don’t want to waste any more of it. The amount of times we have planned a trip somewhere, teeth set on edge before we even make it out of the door thanks to dawdling, reluctance to move, lost shoes. Then far too long of the obligatory in car arguments over music choice, who is going to get out first etc etc. We have had tons of days out that were wonderful of course, but really, some of our very best days have been spent on a blanket in a field, playing Pooh sticks and eating squashed sandwiches.

Nature Walks. Cheaper then Legoland & just as fun.....surely?!
Nature Walks. Cheaper then Legoland & just as fun…..surely?!

Instead of flitting about trying to do everything, I want to just chill the hell out, stop trying to be a tour guide, standing up front, waving my umbrella about in the air while my children flop about and moan at the back, overtired and grumpy, looking for every opportunity to escape out of a side door into the sunshine, and just do Nothing. Oh, and take a lot of naps! Naps are good. 🙂

I googled for images of tour guides and then bored tourists and this gem popped up. I think it's probably very similar to how we look as a family at the end of a day out somewhere!! :D
I googled for images of tour guides and then bored tourists and this gem popped up. I think it’s probably very similar to how we look as a family at the end of a day out somewhere!! 😀

(This post was written in the aftermath of the ‘celebratory kiddy dinner with a few friends’ that graduated into a leaving party of around 30 kids and their mums! Amazing fun but I’m super tired and on a sugar and e-number crash down today! Let it also be noted that everyone brought something along and as a testament to their fabulousness, around 90% of it was sugar based! :D)

Luckily I'll still have the  Whirling Wonder Boy to keep my mind off it. Dread to think what I'll be like when it's his turn!!
Luckily I’ll still have the Whirling Wonder Boy to keep my mind off it. Dread to think what I’ll be like when it’s his turn!!

     

Luckily I remembered that the lovely Claire from Art and Soul had nominated me for this Sisterhood award and it inspired me to write the above post, so thank you for snapping me out of my funk and making me smile again!

Now I have cleared my mind of the serious bit, I can set to work answering her questions and coming up with a few of my own, yay!

1. When was the last time you wrote something with pen and paper? What was it?

I filled in a transition form for my daughter’s preschool this morn, hence the reason it’s all on my mind I think. I then forgot to actually take it in with my, but hey ho, we got half way I guess!! 😀

2. Have you read a book more than once? What was it?

Oh heaps! I read Mallory Towers so many times when I was younger that it genuinely fell apart, I don’t think reading it in the bath helped either, water and paper don’t mix very well. I do blame this book for the misguided idea it gave me of what boarding school would be like. It was NOTHING like it. I was very disappointed for a long time!

3. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Ooh, tough one! I love seeing the things that I think written down, I like the sense of satisfaction I get from creating sentences that flow nicely. I’d forgotten how much I love words and language. I wrote all the time when I was younger but recently I let it slide and I get a real thrill now that I’ve rediscovered it, especially seeing that other people enjoy my posts enough to take time to comment on them, that has to be the biggest high.

4. What’s the funniest video you’ve ever seen on the internet? If you can remember and find it, please include the link!

No question, hands down the bacon dog. This makes me cry laughing no matter how many times I’ve seen it. I remember when it was withdrawn due to copyright or something and the sense of loss I felt when it wouldn’t play. Also the happiness when it reappeared. Whoop!

I would like to nominate a few bloggers who I’ve really enjoyed reading posts by and chatting with.

Doodle Mum because her illustrations always make me smile.

Phoenix over at Struggling to Thrive

Silence Killed the Dinosaurs

The questions. I’m going to do 4 as well.

1. If you ever got a tattoo, what would you get and where?

2. What is the one hairstyle you’ve always wanted but never dared try?

3. Do you have a dog?

4. Which country would you visit first if you came into some money?

Thanks again for the nomination Claire and I can’t wait to see your answers nominees! 🙂

To accept the award, you have to:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.

2. Copy the award badge and display it in your award post.

3. Answer the questions the blogger who nominated you asked.

4. Nominate other bloggers and set them some new questions to answer (I believe it’s supposed to be 10 bloggers and 10 questions, but you’ll see I’ve reduced this a bit! If my nominees want to go ahead and use 10 that’s great).