Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Just the two of us (and the terrible twos)

During the events of last summer, when my little family of 3 suddenly became a 2 and I decided to go motherhood alone, I didn't really think that much about the single parenting aspect of it all. It didn't occur to me that looking after a child solo was going to be hard. I guess I was so wrapped up in trying to protect my little one that I never really thought about how I would need to deal with the tantrums, the tears and the refusals to go to bed all on my own.
I tried not to overthink the fact that there would be no-one there at the end of the day to listen to me moan about it taking an hour and a half to get her dressed that morning. No one to rub my shoulders, pour me a glass of wine and tell me I was doing a good job when I got the mum guilt because I had to spend half the day on the laptop and plonk her in front of cBeebies. There was no longer someone there to share with. Someone who got it too. There was no team anymore. I was doing it alone. As a consequence of this though, I think I have sucked up pretty nicely to my new situation. I do have a team. A brilliant team. It's just that the team comprises of Ava and I these days. And is she a team player? Well, not exactly right at this moment. Which is exactly the reason for this blog post....


People had warned me. They had joked. The terrible twos they called it. They would smile and say things like 'just you wait' or 'if you think she's playing up now', with an evil glint in their eye. But you don't really listen. Just like you don't really listen when you are pregnant and glowy and full of naive, exciting optimism and people tell you to appreciate your sleep while you still can. Then, when they are babies all you care about is their next nap and if they are going to be successful enough when they are older to pay for the boob job that they blatantly owe you.
And then two hits you. Like a weapon of fucking mass destruction. And you long for the days of night feeds and colic. Cause let's face it - we've all had the thought 'I kinda preferred you when you couldn't talk'. And if you haven't had that thought then you are blatantly lying. Or you spend a lot of time at your work.

Ava has fully embraced this pivotal and significant stage in her life. And we are talking full on opinions. There are so many opinions flying around our gaff right now I can barely keep up. Apparently Ava now makes all my major life decisions. Which I suppose is marginally better than when wine did. But still, I'm a 30 year old woman and really, I should be choosing my own underwear in the mornings, you know? Suddenly motherhood is a world reminiscent of an Italian gangster movie, full of bribery and corruption. I actually found myself whispering menacingly in her ear as we were leaving a cafe the other day, 'I will give you an actual pound if you just put your jacket on'. Once again, my parenting manual is out next week ;)

But the feet stamping? Don't even talk to me about the feet stamping. Where do they learn this? Do the health visitors slyly take each child aside at their 27 month check and give them a quick lesson in how stamping ones foot will get a person all their biggest wishes in life? Or is it more ingrained than that? Is mother nature responsible for the fact that my daughters only line of defence when faced with opposition of any sort is to make her foot connect with the floor at such great velocity that the neighbours are probably campaigning to get us an ASBO?

She's definitely a smart kid (said with the total biase of every single mother in the UK), and she knows how to play her Dad and I off one another perfectly. But in all honesty for that I have nothing but absolute respect. Any child of mine that wasn't a master in manipulation would have me checking their birth records for possible signs of switching straight off the bat. The girl has manners, knows when to say please and thank-you, and for the most part does it as and when is required of her. But just the other day she was killing herself laughing at the Peppa episode where George continually whines the question 'why' at every available opportunity. As humourous as she thought it was, she definitely didn't see the irony, so she can't be that smart.

So I guess this is just a stage. Just like my 'I'm only reading classics and not Cosmo stage'. And that it won't last. Just like my 'I'm going on a twitter holiday' stages don't. And truthfully I just bloody love her. She could make the kid from We Need To Talk About Kevin look like Hannah Montana and I would still adore the bones of her.

And despite her best efforts, I will be a fully fledged supporter of Team Ava until the day I die.

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