Nipping it in the bud

These last few weeks have been hard. I’ve been quiet. I’ve been trying not to moan. I know we don’t have it bad. But still, sometimes things are hard, relationships are tested and life doesn’t feel so easy. Unsure why I’ve been feeling this way. The comedown from our beautiful holiday, perhaps? Lack of sleep? Feeling like i’m still struggling to make friends and fit in almost 2 years after relocating?

Probably all of the above.

We had our first family of four holiday to the Isle of Wight a couple of weeks ago.

Joni and Daddy Isle of Wight

Whilst the weather wasn’t fantastic, the week itself was pretty great. Wilbur so very nearly mastered crawling and Joni’s speaking really improved. She now has an imaginary friend called Alan. We don’t know why. He made an appearance one afternoon, “mummy, there’s a boy in the lounge”
“what?!! Where?”
“Hiding behind the curtain”
“What’s his name?”

Alan had red hair and doesn’t like to play. “Alan no play, just watch”. (Trying my best not to find this creepy). He also, like me and Joni, is a friend of the nap. She often tells me she has to go and wake Alan up from his sleep. He only made one appearance on holiday – sleeping on the sofa. I have no idea where all these ideas come from in her mind. She also told Chris that ‘a man told her off for biting a princess’. Looking back, perhaps this was a precursor to events the following week.

These last few weeks have been difficult. Last Thursday I gave myself 0 out of 10 as a good parent. I feel like a complete failure some days.

Little Wilbs still continues to not sleep. I took him to a cranial osteopath who said that he could still be shocked from his birth (cue me feeling infinitely guilty for choosing an elective c-section). She also said that he was suffering some aches and pains due to his odd position in the womb (cue guilt for having a totally rubbish anatomy for carrying children). Anyway, she said that she could help by treating him. We’re yet to see the benefits of this – if there are to be any – because Wilbur is cutting what looks like 4 teeth and has a cough and temperature to go with it. Deep teething joy. Chris and I have averaged 4 hours broken sleep per night for the last 4 or 5 nights. I haven’t exactly kept my cool 100% of the time as a result. Next weekend we plan to ship Joni off to Mam’s house and crack the not feeding Wilbur in the night thing. Let’s see what happens.

So last week one day, I was tired and he was tired. Joni was fine. We went to visit my lovely friend for a big plate of noodles and a good catch up. It was all going well (as well as it can go with two adults, 3 children and a lot of sticky rice in wagamamas) until we stopped later on for coffee and Joni was a little bit wired. She was doing her usual over affectionate climbing all over her little friend and then out of nowhere she bit her. I thought only horrible children bit other children. Badly brought up children bite. Joni bit her friend. Really hard. I was mortified. I still am mortified. I have been trying to work out why she did it. Attention? Experimenting? I have no idea, Chris and I were both so shocked. We need to make sure she knows it’s really wrong but how? She’s two – there’s not much she can understand about the nuances of discipline. I told her it was wrong and that it was upsetting. I made her say sorry to her friend and her Mum. I made her say sorry to Chris and me. Any advice? Like I say, I’d like to nip this in the bud, as it were. I know lots of children go through this phase and I know children do things that are naughty all the time but biting?! Urgh.

Not all is bad though. We are moving house, just down the road opposite the school that Joni and Wilbs will go to. The house is bigger and not as pretty but a LOT more practical and I know we’ll make it lovely to live in. I feel really peaceful about moving. First Days is also going really well, I am really enjoying having something that I do that isn’t just nappy changing and feeling sad about the fact that I can’t face undertaking any form of ‘messy play’ with the little ones. ALSO, I am playing netball again. Whilst I am still incredibly overweight, and very unfit because of it, I feel really good to be playing again. I love that game.

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6 Responses to Nipping it in the bud

  1. CamillaGray says:

    Biting the mystery of not having the ability to communicate…or so they say. My oldest was always bitten by the same girl and her mum tried everything that didn’t work, making her stand in the corner, big telling off, ignoring her but she bit for over a year (this is extreme) my youngest on the other hand bit and I told her if she ever did it again I would take away her favourite teddy, she did and so did I…she lost teddy for a whole night and was not happy about it but she didn’t bite again (except when her older sister was sumo wrestling her and quite frankly I would have bitten too! )
    I am sure she won’t do it often, I am sure it’s because they are learning to speak but can’t communicate everything they want.
    My mother in law always says bite back…
    Good luck!

  2. suzanne3childrenandit says:

    I had a biter, we nick-named him gnasher! He only ever did it at nursery but it was so embarrassing. His was to do with frustration but sometimes children bite when they are excited – when they have an emotion they don’t know how to deal with. He grew out of it and after about a year, never did it again. I had to give him a stern talking to every time and perhaps think of a consequence to her biting which will mean something to her. It’s tough as a parent, watching our otherwise placid and quiet child doing something so aggressive though isn’t it? I hope things brighten up for you soon x

  3. Maria Guichard says:

    My brother used to bite me a lot when I was younger. Mum says looking back it was because he was frustrated because I was getting all the attention and not him. Its a way of communicating. Trying to get some attention.

  4. Jo Trott says:

    I’m sorry you are having a tough time at the moment, Emma. The best advice I can give, is to remember that EVERYTHING is a phase with small children – every bad phase and (less welcome) every good phase too. The other thing that is true, is that, as time goes by, your memory is selective and, thankfully, you will remember the good phases more than the bad ones No matter what you do, you and Chris are the best parents Joni and Wilbur will ever have and they will love you for it, however you are feeling now. A confession – I was a biter (the shame of it!), I have no idea why except as retaliation to my ‘friends’ pinching (?) and I grew out of it!!

  5. 4and8 says:

    know its easier to say than do, but try not to be so hard on yourself. Osteopathy can be splendid at sorting out problems but not necessarily at providing answers. Seems poor logic on the practitioner’s part to mention unproven and unavoidable causes of stress to you, which like any diligent parent are likely to make you feel guilty and therefore stressed, which in turn children can then pick up on, even though you are not at fault. You did an amazing job at bringing your children into the world, no one else could have done that, you were born to do it how you did it. You made the safest and most peaceful choice available when deciding your birth plan, you know your body better than anybody, please try not to let others (including people like me) try to fog that! I know I say this as a non-parent, but as a daughter and as someone whose aware of their body’s limitations, it strikes me that pregnancy and motherhood are not about having perfect conventional anatomy but about making thoughtful and caring decisions with the information you have at hand. That is what you do every day, even when it doesnt feel like it. You wouldn’t write blog entries like this if you weren’t making the effort. Don’t look to J’s biting or W’s sleeping as signs of your failings look to it as two tiny people finding their way through life. I wasn’t a biter but my god was i a tantrumer and I was not one of life’s sleeping babes. As an adult all I feel towards my parents about these phases is grateful that they patented me through them with boundaries and love…and an eenyweeny bit guilty for making quite so many scenes about the pink leggings they made me wear!

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