Oh the grind


I know I said my blog was changing. I know I said it would no longer be just a litany of reasons why motherhood is so damned hard and so damned exhausting and so damned infuriating, but how was I supposed to know that my toddler would choose to grow down instead of up? Nobody warned me about regressive behaviour! Nobody told me that my Little Lion would REFUSE to be anything but a baby. And I mean that literally.

He refuses to speak. Instead he says “me-me-me-me” in varying high-pitched tones, expecting me to spend my life trying to interpret his constant pretend conversation. What a fun game!

He refuses to walk. Instead he crawls through the mud in the back yard until he is close enough to me to moan, “me-me-me-me-carry-me”. We went through five outfits the other day, simply because he refused to walk. Ain’t that a fun fun fun game!

He refuses to eat. Instead he whines “me-me-me-me-feed-me…” every single meal, expecting me to sit between him and The Blossom, alternately shoveling mouthfuls and cursing the mess my two babies spit and toss on the floor. What a fabulously fun game!

He refuses to go to bed. Instead he screams for the bottle he gave up nearly six months ago and the sleeping bag that he hasn’t used in more than a year. He expects me to sit in his doorway until he falls asleep and screams the house down if I so much as go to the toilet. And did I mention the frequent night waking? And the fact that Mr D has been completely barred from helping because only Mummy will do? What a top-shelf-fabulously fun game!

He will  not consider the potty where some six months ago he was absolutely interested. He couldn’t stand a dirty nappy and he told me what he was doing when he was doing it. Now he lies and says he hasn’t done anything when the whole universe can smell it. When I check and correct him, he claims that more is coming, and when I finally take charge to change him, he screams like I am about to rip his legs off. What a top-shelf-fucking-fantastically-fun game! Especially that he can’t start preschool until the nappies go.

So I am looking down the barrel of an eternity with a petulant, frustrated, button-pushing, heart-breaking, tantrum-throwing ‘Baby’ who is, on some level, choosing to stay “just little”. Why???? I am tired. I have nothing left.

I know he has had a rough time at daycare – we took him out four/five weeks ago and we thought that had made all the difference. He’s home with me. He goes to Nana’s. He is happy – or at least that’s what we thought.

I know he has developed fears – we have done and are doing everything in our power to allay those fears, but I draw the line at having every fucking light in the house on all night. Fears are a normal developmental stage, I get that, but surely not to the point where he doesn’t want to be a big boy any more?

I know that having a sister is a hard thing to come to terms with, but she’s been around for over a year and she occasionally needs her nappy changed too! Get the fuck over it – she’s here to stay so you can stop shoving her, smothering her, lying on top of her, trying to pull her arms off… and copying her, for God’s sake!

I praise grown up behaviour. I point out all the benefits of being big. I give him options. I give him control in every area that I can. I try to listen. I try to be patient. I reinforce our boundaries with a kind-but-firm touch. But sometimes there is just no more fuel in the tank, I’m afraid. So now I just want to cry.

What can I do? How can I make the idea of being a big boy even vaguely appealing to a Lion who roars that he is “NOT A BIG BOY! I BABY!” What have I missed?

Because I’m going fucking nuts here…


5 responses »

  1. Off the top of my head….Has your daughter had any ‘milestones’ lately? Walking? running? Solving the Rubik’s cube? Something he’d be jealous of that would make him want to regress and then ‘grow up’ again?
    Or now that he’s not in daycare and back home, he sees what a cracking life his baby sister has, getting everything done for her, and has decided he wants a piece of the action?
    Okay, I’m clutching at straws and I have no solution, coz my son thought his baby sister (and all babies) were SOOOO boring coz they couldnt play ball with him. He wanted to be a big kid and couldnt wait for her to be one too.
    I could give you platitudes…”its just a phase, its normal, this too shall pass” …but maybe it is.
    Maybe do a deal with him, if he’s the negotiating type. You’ll do one sorta “babyish thing” for him if he’ll do one sorta “grown-up thing” and then keep tipping the odds in your favour, until he gives it up, which he WILL eventually. Eventually.
    Hang in there hon.
    PS I adore you, you can definitely have my share of wine at my wake.


  2. It gets better…then it gets worse…then better again. (I have 4 girls, 13, 11, (step daughters) and 5 and 3).
    I share your frustration – don’t have any answers – but I share your frustration.
    Motherhood is so hard and exhausting and frustrating. They tell me it is all worth it in the end. Hopefully I’m still here to appreciate it 🙂


    • Jodi
      My father-in-law once said having children is like the waves crashing in, then they go out, then come in again a little less and so on… It was the best analogy I’ve heard. No one seems to warn you about these things when discussing having ‘cute little babies’


  3. Aww Nadine… that’s terrible.
    First point- he absolutely can go to kinder/preschool in nappies. Absolutely can. No legislation in any state of this country says otherwise. Yes, they would prefer it if he’s not in nappies, and undoubtedly its a better experience for him if he’s out of them, but he absolutely does not have to be in undies/toilet trained to attend.
    Second point- get some help with the sleeping/night issues. Might be a couple of shitty nights of you marching him back to bed every 20 seconds and him screaming the house down, but its a shitty time anyway. Get a good night sleep and you can cope with anything.
    Third point- if he’s loving time with Nanny and she’s nearby (and happy) call in and see her as much as you can and just lie on her couch…
    I’d be ignoring the baby stuff, and I’d be hiding in the pantry eating chocolate and crying…
    Big hugs…


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