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Here's the thing, I'm that mum, the one who adores the baby stage. For those of you that don't, I know what you are thinking...I'm crazy. Well actually I am, but that's another post ;)

You see to me the baby stage is completely instinctive. When they say you learn to tell what their different cries will mean it really is true. I remember being pregnant worrying about that, how would I know what my baby wants from a simple cry?? But true to people's word soon you pick up on a different tone that tells you they're hungry, or need a nappy change, or overtired, or just need mama's cuddles. To me, although that stage is exhausting, it's pretty damn wonderful. You feel like superwoman when your actions ease their woes, and let's not forget about the boobs. Sorry, but when you're as small as I am in that department you embrace those C cups, so much so that you actually ponder the thought of expressing for the rest of your life to keep those babies (I joke, kinda). The leaking though, oh I don't miss the leaking. My friend (also small in that department ;) and I leaked the entire time we breastfed, we once joked that it must be down to good milk supply and a lack of storage :P

So yes, I love the baby stage. Now granted I have not had a child who has suffered with colic, or reflux or something else underlaying. I applaud you parents who have, because that shit is tough. I can't imagine months of crying, and I can understand as your baby grows you are glad to shut the door on that stage and embrace toddlerhood.

My problem is I feel like I suck at the toddler stage. I can no longer fully rely on my instincts, and jeezo, if you misunderstand a toddler be aware to suffer the consequences. You didn't realise that your toddler wants your help but actually wants to do everything themselves so is infuriated by your help, then shame on you, how dare you try to be so helpful. Thou shalt be punished with crying and a throw down on the floor by the wronged toddler. That'll teach you. But actually it won't, because toddlers change the goal posts. Constantly. What appeased them yesterday won't today. What was a favourite food one day will the next time go untouched and end up decorating your floors and walls. When you ask for a cuddle or a kiss nine times out of ten you are met with a NO. Gone are the particular cries, now the cries mesh into one as you frantically try to figure out what on earth they want. 

I find this stage exhausting. Yes, the rewards are huge when you see them master new skills and become their own little person, but I'll be honest with you, mostly I find it exhausting, and then I feel guilty because I'm not fully loving this stage.

I actually told Archie to shut up a few weeks back. My exact words were, 'Will you please just shut up, Archie. Just SHUT UP'. (I actually thought this was fairly polite, it didn't feature any swear words which surely counts for something). Do you know he actually did shut up. He must have sensed my tone. At that point I thought, thank god. You've shut up, marvellous, not the best approach, but hey I got my result.

I then later listened to Caleb tell Archie the same thing at the dinner table, 'Archie, will you just shut up'. I died. Gone are my baby winning days, here I am smack bang in toddlerhood losing on all counts. I then had to sit and explain to Caleb how that's not a nice thing to say and that mama was wrong for saying it too. No gold star for me that day.

So this is where I'm at right now, dealing with a little person who's mind is quicker then his tongue and feet. He knows what he wants but doesn't know quite how to express it always, and he wants to always be faster than his feet will allow. It's a stage, and if motherhood has taught me anything in the last nearly four years is that the phrase, 'this too shall pass', is a wise one, because it will. It's also okay to not love every stage too, I'm learning that myself. I need to cut myself some slack. This stage doesn't bring out my inner Mary Poppins, and that's okay.

Let's not forget this stage has its bonuses too. Like the two hour nap ;) ;) ;)


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you have a favourite stage? Like me do you too struggle with the toddler stage?? Or is it your absolute favourite?

Oh and please don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately. I have the approval comment on so as to avoid spam. Once I've approved it shows right up ;)

7 comments

  1. I totally get this Claire. It can be SO Very hard trying to cater to toddler whims. I've been known to whisper the odd expletive under my breath from tinge-time-to-time. They are wonderfully mistifying creatures,toddlers, of which I have two also. But when they are being funny...well 😁

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    1. Oh aren't they the best, but then the next minute the absolute worst, ha!! It's only natural, as they discover their place in the world and how to express themselves in it. But wow, can it be exhausting for us hey?! Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment, I'm equalling fascinated by other peoples take on the different stages and how they deal with it xx

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  2. As a boy I shall decline to comment! Great article as usual though x

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  3. I don't have a toddler yet, but I do have a VERY mobile and strong willed 8 month old who acts like a toddler some days. I'm going to take an educated guess and say that I will very much miss baby-hood.

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  4. So hear ya! Had the toughest day today with my toddler...glad to see I'm not the only one!

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  5. Hi Claire, I am Eszter @zoardminiboy so it is no secret, that what I am sharing with you is about Zoard. Toddlerhood made me sad a billions of time. There were times, when Zoard would lay down on the middle of a sidewalk and I was pregnant with Assya and could not do anything about it. For two or three months he went to kindergarten and I was thinking: is this the only solution to survive this?! To stay away?! And yes, I think being non-stop with a toddler makes you worse than you really are. A few things that helped me: make sure he eats many times throughout the day even if you have to pop things in his mouth. Low blood sugar makes things more horrible to say the least. Two hours before nap or bedtime is the last time to give fruits. Because a high blood sugar near sleeping time is no joke either. Another thing: pick your battles wisely. If he wants cheese on his oats and yogurt, fine! At the same time, the battles you do wish to win, stick to them. You will be tested. Many times. Toddlers are like mini scientists. Are you sure she wants me to wash my hands after we come home from the playground?! We just went mulk shopping, does that mean we wash hands or not?! Etc.

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  6. I've just stumbled across your blog via instagram. I'm finding the toddler stage exhausting too. In fact, I've said shut up quite a few times and I've also literally lost my mind.... But not many mums are willing to publicly admit those bits! I don't miss the baby stage though as I still have a baby, my daughter is 2 and my son is 6 months.... But I totally agree with you.... It's a mind boggling time.

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