Monthly Archives: January 2013

Making me laugh – my chatty girl

Last weekend I went shopping with Ellie and her grandma and granddad – it was a relatively short shopping trip which is about all I ever want to do to be honest. Anyway, at one point not long into our trip my Dad turned to me with a huge grin on his face (and a touch of exasperation) and exclaimed ‘she doesn’t stop’! It took not even a nano second for me to realise that he was referring to Ellie’s talking and as the shopping trip continued it became a source of much amusement.

What I realised is that this isn’t anything new but I’m attuned to Ellie’s chatting or should I say tuned out to it?! Or probably a mix of the two.

At one point mid shopping I was suddenly aware of Ellie shouting loudly, so eventually we all stopped to listen. Ellie paused (clearly to check we were actually listening) and then proceeded. The conversation went like this:

‘Well I have an idea.’ ‘Why don’t grandma and granddad go to the shop they need to and we’ll go to the shop we need too and then we meet up.’ I replied ‘that’s a great idea Ellie but since grandma and granddad want Boots and so do we – why don’t we go together?’ Ellie didn’t miss a beat before replying that was OK then.

Apparently that was important enough to have been shouting at three adults.

That of course didn’t stop her chatting. She then gave a commentary to what she could see in the shop. When in the car she gave a commentary about what she could see out of the window, or what we would do when we got where we were going. When back at my parents house I had a running commentary of what grandma and granddad were both doing. You get the picture.

So, it wouldn’t be fair to say that Ellie chat’s a lot … she simply doesn’t stop. Learning to wait to speak is something we are still working on, but I have to say that secretly I’m actually fond of her chattiness and not ashamed to say that she probably inherited that trait from me.

What I do think is that her talkative nature means that she’s very quickly developing an answer for everything (and answering back). I’m fairly sure this isn’t unusual for a 5 year old but since she’s my only 5 year old I’m just guessing. Anyway, for your amusement, I thought I’d finish this post by sharing some of her best one liners in recent days. They amused me either at the time…or of course a little while later!

  • When told I’d have a cuddle in just one minute and five minutes had passed – ‘Mummy – you promised to sit with me so please stop working now.’

  • When asking her to hurry up and finish cleaning her teeth for the fourth time – ‘I’m going to tell you off if you say that again.’

  • When asked to say sorry after being naughty – ‘ You’ve been naughty too mummy telling me off, so you say sorry.’

  • When told 45 minutes after bedtime to get to sleep NOW! – ‘Well mummy, listen, I can’t sleep but I’ll just count things or something then.’

  • When watching Charlie and Lola and I stated that we’d seen it before – ‘I haven’t mummy…have you been watching it when I’m not here?’

  • When giving me a rundown of her school day see url (for those of you who don’t remember, this never used to happen but chattiness is now extended to an after school report!) – ‘and the children kept standing on my hands and feet too’! I have to add that I have still no understanding of what she was talking about – even after much probing but she wasn’t on the floor, she didn’t tell the teacher and it didn’t really hurt?!

  • Now I have to admit I’m sneaking this one in although it’s one from a while ago but I can’t resist. When showing her uncle where the cello tape and glue was kept – ‘I’m only allowed in here when Mummy isn’t looking’

  • Of course my favourite line from Ellie is as always ‘I love you mummy’.

When I read this post through it’s actually a pretty good summary of life with Ellie – it requires lots of energy, causes considerable frustration but is lots of fun and full of love.

I’d love to hear about anyone else’s chatty children and what they have to say so please do get in touch either via twitter (@sharonmsmyth) or by leaving a comment on this post.

When hell freezes over – an uncontrollable strop

Okay so hell might be a bit of an overstatement but after several hours of nonstop tantrums and trauma I’m sure you’ll allow me a little poetic licence. 

Somewhat unusually for me this blog post centres around one specific event. It all started when, as a result of the significant snow, my boyfriend and I found ourselves walking to school to collect the two children. It’s not a short walk but it’s doable and with the level of snow the car wasn’t an option. I was actually looking forward to the excitement of getting the kids and having some snow fun on the way home. (I am snorting to myself as I write this – contempt for my naivety.)

Anyway, our plan to make the journey fun for all was to first walk to the nearest shop that sold sweets and buy two lots of sweets per child. One for on the way home and one for once we got home. A tactic designed to provide incentive and distraction. So after collecting both children and explaining the plan we all set off from school. Ellie was chatty and excited. I heard lots about her day and lots about the impact of the snow at school. We were smiling…lots. Sadly however within minutes we hit the shop and here began the nightmare which started as a trickle and ended up a huge torrent.

Once inside the shop Ellie was struggling to decide what to have and eventually picked up three things. She was very clearly told that she had to choose and by the time the rest of us had chosen and she hadn’t  I started to limit the time available. “One more minute Ellie!’ Ellie initially chose, but then at the point of us being served at the checkout changed her mind. After not insignificant fuss she handed the new item over and one item was selected at random to put back. Ellie immediately began crying and yelling ‘I want all three’. This was my first jaw dropping moment – have I spoiled my daughter so much that she really thought it was okay to have a fit over not having THREE lots of sweets! Apparently being told no and explaining that she was already getting two, so be grateful, wasn’t sufficient and the tears rolled.

We were now stood outside the shop and I knew instantly that it was the moment – that moment when Ellie will go one of two ways. She will either manage to calm down and move on, or it will become a major uncontrollable strop where she grows horns. Sadly, my explanations and attempts at distraction failed miserably and Ellie moved swiftly down the path to an uncontrollable strop.

Uncontrollable strop: ‘The inability to calm down or breathe. An irresistible need to hit, hiss and snarl at your mummy. If outside of the house this generally results in everyone looking at you with sheer pity.’

The above definition nicely sums up the remaining 20 minute walk home. Ellie’s staying power is impressive, as quite frankly is my commitment to being her mum because I didn’t just leave her in the snow. (Seriously – it didn’t really cross my mind!) The other key element of our journey was the snot and tears now pouring down Ellie’s face which I did manage to care enough about to periodically wipe away.

Inevitably, during this delight of a journey we managed to bump into numerous people who stared, smiled, looked with pity and in one case even commented “doesn’t she like snow?’ I could not resist the reply of ‘no it’s not the snow, she doesn’t like that she can only have 2 sweets from the shop, not three’. To her credit the woman smiled, looked at Ellie and said ‘well we can’t have everything we want can we?!’ Nice try lady – but once she blows…she blows. I very much doubt Ellie even heard her.

Suffices to say that during this walk I decided that when we got home Ellie would be doing time out in her bedroom and she wouldn’t be getting any sweets at all. A fair conclusion to the entire event and one which I had hoped would make the point and end the situation.

As we arrived home I took her wet clothes off and took her to her room. I got her into fresh clothes and Ellie…well…continued to cry. She had by this point stopped hissing at me at least and finally, just as the others got in from their more leisurely walk, she finally stopped crying and screaming.

Once things had calmed (i.e. Ellie and mostly of course I mean me) I went up to her room to talk about what had happened. As I started to talk to Ellie I hit the second jaw stopping moment of the day. The conversation went something like this:

Me – ‘So Ellie, you know why you’ve been in your room’

Ellie – ‘no’

Me – ‘are you serious?!’

Ellie – no answer

Me – ‘I’ll leave you to have a think then’ (I personally think that was a pretty calm response for someone who’s child seems to have instantly forgotten screaming, hissing, crying and hitting them for about 40 minutes in total!)

After a few minutes more, I went back upstairs and we tried the whole conversation again. This time it went more along the lines I might have expected. We eventually listed all the things she’d done wrong and she apologised. Even now though I’m not sure she quite understood why sometimes you just can’t have everything you want and you can’t go having a hissy fit about it. I guess time will tell and I’ll keep you posted.

Thankfully it was by this stage dinner time and this was very quickly followed by bedtime. The next day Ellie woke in a considerably better mood and we had a great day with four of us in the snow. In some ways I feel a bit mean outing my daughters tantrum in my blog, but I’m fairly sure she’s not the only one who does these things? I’d love to know how others experience this stuff and how they handle it, so please do get in touch either via twitter @sharonmsmyth or by using the comments below.

Making memories

Ellie and I kicked off 2013 with a few days together before the school holiday was finally over and we took a trip to see old friends where we used to live.

Our short break started with a journey of just under three hours in the car which, if I’m honest, I was dreading. Ellie isn’t a great traveller and I didn’t relish the idea of her throwing up whilst I was driving, and us both turning up to my friend’s newly finished house smelling of sick and looking well…worse. In the event though it turns out that ‘if we sing mummy then I won’t be ill’ was actually true – who would have known! So singing, chatting and generally giggling away I found myself at the half way point feeling immensely proud of my little girl, and blissfully happy to be sharing this experience with her. So with huge grins on our faces the journey flew and before we knew it we’d arrived.

I should note that there were one or two moments (when clearly I wasn’t chatting or singing sufficiently) when Ellie informed me she was starting to feel poorly. Um – it really is hard to tell whether I should feel totally manipulated but on reflection it was a fun journey with a clear absence of sick, so I guess it doesn’t really matter.

Anyway, on arrival at my friend’s house Ellie was immediately invited to make ice cream. Her initial shyness passed very quickly and ice cream making definitely topped the list of great things to do. (Note to self – must do more cooking with Ellie. Note to friend – you are a genius). In fact the next day my friend invited Ellie to do yet more cooking and blueberry and white chocolate muffins were created. These were another great success with both Ellie and everyone else who enjoyed eating them.

Other than cooking, a trip to the beach and an indoor play area, the key focus was catching up with old friends. It was so fantastic to see them – to catch up on what’s happening and happened for them. There is no doubting the fact that I miss my friends and seeing them is just a delight. For me, whenever I visit, it’s quite emotional as it’s full of memories from Ellie’s first 18 months, mixed with sadness that I’d had to leave both the area and my friends.

As we drove past the exact area we used to live I found myself wistfully reminiscing to Ellie ‘that’s the library we’d go to when it was story and rhyme time, that’s where we used to walk when you were a baby, that’s one of my favourite restaurants’ and so on. My bubble of emotion was however quickly burst as Ellie suddenly exclaimed ‘stop going on about babies mummy, I’m not a baby anymore’. So I guess it’s fair to say that we were looking at things through very different eyes and Ellie clearly didn’t remember, nor particularly care, about my reminiscing.

It’s a reminder that Ellie won’t remember that I took two years off work and spent every day with her, that she won’t remember living near the sea and that every time we laugh and have fun like we did on that journey down, it’s a new memory for me. Eventually we’ll make some memories for her which she’ll remember in years to come…but perhaps not just yet. For now, I’ll hang on to the fact that I’ve my blog, my click book, our photo albums and so far my one follow url letter to show her what she won’t remember. 

It’s also a reminder having recently moved to a new area that I’m starting again in laying down roots, trying to forge new friendships and a new life for Ellie and I. So whilst I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions, (since historically any I’ve made have generally been broken within a pathetically small period of time,) this year I just might make one.

Now I know I’m a little late with this but surely it’s not too late to make a resolution so my 2013 New Year’s resolution is…to put time and effort into settling in to our new area and forging new friendships. I will of course, keep you posted on how I get on.

So there it is, my first post of 2013. As always, please do share my blog with others and do get in touch. You can add a comment via this page, or send me a tweet @sharonmsmyth.