I swear before I had children I never had any issues walking down the street. I would dander along, taking in the sights, enjoying the experience reaching my destination in a calm and relaxed manner. Growing up in The Lake District on a farm encouraged this passion. I used to walk for miles and miles and always took a great deal of pleasure from walking. This is something my husband literally cannot comprehend. His view is ‘why walk when you can drive?’ and he certainly doesn’t understand the concept of just ‘going for a walk’.
Unfortunately, recently I have become aware that I’m not quite as calm and relaxed on my walks as I once used to be.
There are three things in particular that are liable to send me over the edge -particularly after a sleepless night and frantic morning (of which there are many):
- Dog poo- I’m not sure if the amount of dog poo has increased or just that I have suddenly become more aware/ less tolerant of it, but recently it seems to be everywhere. When trying to push a double-pram along the pavement with a toddler who refuses to be in the pram, I find it even more challenging due to having to be on constant dog poo watch. No matter what I say to my toddler and regardless of the fact that it is blatantly easier to walk on the pavement, she still insists on walking on the grass verge (unless she’s trying to walk on a wall, curb or some other unsafe obstacle -which adds a whole other level of stress).
- Bins on the pavements – I don’t remember ever experiencing this before so it could just be the area that we live in or my obliviousness pre-children. Every bin day bins are left strewn along both sides of the pavement, requiring me to weave my way in and out of them and onto the road. This is also whilst trying to keep my toddler from walking in dog poo or falling off a nearby wall. One day someone actually had the cheek to shake their head at me as I was walking along the road with the pram, dangerous I know but hardly my fault given the obstacles. My response was not exactly a polite one I can assure you.
- People parking across the pavement – this is my all time pet hate and definitely not one that I ever was aware of pre-pram pushing days. I am usually met with cars parked in this way numerous times on my various outings and dependent on the amount/lack of sleep and tantrums I have had that night/day will absolutely determine my response to the situation. What really brought this home to me was one day when passing the home of a regular perpetrator of this particular offence, my toddler started to bang on their gate shouting “excuse me”. I couldn’t help but laugh. The previous day I had done the exact same thing and rather condescendingly suggested to the lady that if she could ‘just park a little further forward’ it really would be incredibly helpful.
My little copy cat made me laugh at myself. However, it really hit home to me just how much these little people are influenced by and mimic our behaviour.
This week alone my 2.5 year old told me: I was in her space, her sister was in her space, she instructed me to get in the kitchen and informed me that both she and I had babies in our tummies.
One day, whilst breastfeeding the baby I noticed my toddler lift up her top and position her baby against her chest. When I asked her what she was doing she cocked her head and looked at me like I was an absolute idiot.
” Baby needs booby milk Mummy”, she explained.
Of course, silly Mummy.
I mentioned in an earlier blog (maybe I’m not so grown up afterall) that I had read somewhere how apparently you are meant to use the correct words when talking to children. Since reading that I have made a conscious effort to do this. That said apparently there are a few words that have slipped through the net. Not only do we regularly use made up baby words for things, both my husband and I have a tendency towards repetition when talking to our children.
The following are just a few examples of words that my toddler has learnt courtesy of us; her parents. They sound even more ridiculous when she is screaming them in full tantrum mode:
- “I don’t want to put my nicky nak naks on”
- “It’s a biggy wiggy Mummy”
- “That hurt my bum bum”
- ”I want my dum dum”
- ”I don’t want a choccywoccydooda”
As I’m writing this my husband is singing the Manchester United football chants to both girls. They are gazing adoringly up at him, clapping along delightedly…. Let’s hope they don’t copy the words!