7 November 2009

My Little Squirt

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When I was pregnant, there was a whole raft of books, magazines and even telly programmes dedicated to informing me about what to expect at every step of the gestation journey.
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Then when my baby was born, expert "advice" was freely available at the end of the telephone, at the mother and baby group, at the health-visitor's clinic or even from any stranger that leaned into the pram for a look.
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As we entered the feeding him solids stage, there was a library's worth of books telling us how to sneak "green" food into his mashed potatoes.
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(Sadly none of the books went on to explain what to do when he then spent half an hour at the dinner table picking out every sub-atomic particle of green from his mashed-potato causing it to go cold and congeal, giving him the perfect excuse to not eat the sodding mashed-potato either)
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Then when my toddler started at pre-school, we were given plenty of support on his first days, able to stay out of sight in case he found the whole deal of being left on his own too traumatic (he didn't, barely giving me a backwards glance.)
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And now my child is seven and it's caught me off-guard.
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I've been lulled into a false sense of security for the past 7 years.
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Sleepless nights? Piece of cake.
Teething trauma? Absolute doddle.
Terrible two's? I'd do it again tomorrow.
Toilet training? I'll let you know when it's over ...
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There's a conspiracy going on somewhere.
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He has an answer for pretty much everything and is caught between wanting to challenge the world and it's wife, and having nightmares which means he doesn't need his "mum" but needs his mummy and a cuddle.
(Be still my beating heart, he called me mummy again!)
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Someone told me the other day that being seven is a trial run for being a teenager ... a "mini-puberty" if you will.
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Great.
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I'm so glad we're getting a practice run at it.
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And I take no comfort in the knowldege that the next time he goes through puberty, I will no doubt be in the throes of my own menopausal, hormonal turmoil.
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Perhaps Mr Jelly should just remove the doors from their hinges now.
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So I'd like to offer my own advice on what you will need when your own "scrummy-little-munchkin" turns into a seething mass of seven-ness.
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1) Bleach. And plenty of it. Or maybe this is just because I own a male version of the species?
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2) Several toilet brushes. (See point 1 above)
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3) The understanding that even though you have been on this planet for x number of years, you know absolutely nothing. About anything. And anything you do know will be about the most boring stuff ever.
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4) You will have to learn to look past the rolling-eyes your child will frequently give you. After all, it's only a step away from being called "Oh, Mother"
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. Boy*Jelly demonstrating the preferred look of your average seven-year old
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5) Try to put a positive spin on the word "whatever". Pretend it is child-speak for "you're great and you're the best role model I could ever have". Because you're going to hear it. A lot.
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6) Stock up on lots of different types of breakfast cereals. This can sometimes alleviate the agony at breakfast time when your child is asked "what do you want for breakfast?" However, it can also work against you, in as much as your child now has too much choice. (Also see point 7)
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7) Mornings can be a tricky time of the day and are best dealt with in a brisk manner, lest the indecision of what cereal to have ("but I want toast!") and the sigh-inducing task of putting on school clothes drags on for ages resulting in the child burying their head under the sofa cushion in a fit of pique. On really bad mornings, when you are running especially late for school, it might be worth you joining your child in the cushion-burying activity. However, it's worth having a proper grown-up on standby to take over.
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8) Accept that you will never be able to watch your favourite telly programme in one sitting again. You might as well accept that any programme/activity you have been looking forward all day to doing in the evening when your child has gone to bed will be interrupted with demands along the lines of "I need to go to the toilet but the big light isn't on" or "my duvet is too hot" or, (and this is my personal favourite) "Can I have a drink of water just the way you make it"
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There's no point Sky Plus-ing your programme either, because it's the law that any programme you want to watch has to be interrupted.
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9) Never try to understand the latest craze sweeping the playground. There's no point trying to fathom what Go-Go's or plastic bracelets are for. It makes no sense to anyone over the age of 20 and you'd be better off trying to understand how electricity comes out of the wall.
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10) And finally ... take no notice of any advice given to you and just muddle along in the best way you can!
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My Little Squirt
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9 comments:

Kathi D said...

You're on your own, now, sister!

I always hated it when one of my nieces or nephews started school. As an auntie, I got to be the smartest person in the world slightly longer than Mom. But Teacher trumped us all.

Kathi D said...

Also, our from the bed water order was always, "And I want KITCHEN water, not BATHROOM water!" We could tell the difference?

claire said...

ah! very well put :)
My 4 year old called me mother today...stop eating that smelly sandwich mother!!!!! (it was cheese and pickle..he's a picky eater!!)
ps it gets worse..14 year olds inventented the wheel, made the moon and have no need for parents ya know!!!!!
:D

sas said...

You get your own back when they are teenagers, that's when you get to embarrass them ;)
Nice blog Mrs J :)

Kitty said...

My daughter at 7 was hideous. Really horrid. My son pushed lots of boundaries but the thing I found the worst was his sudden penchant for using appalling language. Thank goodness we seem to have passed through that phase now, and I know from other parents that it happened with their sons as well.

Now my daughter is at the adolescent stage, it's different. I think I prefer this (so far) to the 7 yr old version!

x

Pink Feather Paradise said...

Oh dear me... and I was panicking because danny will be 4 on the 31st of January and will not sit on the toilet or pay any attention to anything his body is trying to tell him about pre-empting the need to go! apparently if its not sorted by Christmas he will be "referred" not sure who to but those pre-school teachers don't half make you feel useless! any hints and tips greatly appreciated!

A friend of mine is having troubles with her 3... I tried to get her to see the positive in her situation as dwelling on the negetatives is a) depressing and b) pointless as it achieves nothing... be thankful he's a gorgeous little boy that is full of cheeky charm and write everything down so you can give it to his first real girlfriend... he'll die of embarasement! lol

x Alex

twiggypeasticks said...

Love the photos of your boy. Twiglet is 4 now and already showing signs of being 7. He said to me last week, Look mummy if you don't let me have another bun, they'll be no fireworks for you and I'll smack your bottom :) I suppose my laughing didn't really help matters. Oh well.
twiggy x

Taz said...

Ah the joys of hitting 7. I do warm all my friends (with younger children) that the age of 7 is horrendous. Strangely no one believes me until the day it happens and then they come running looking for advice LOL I had the great pleasure of learning that all kids go nuts at 7 at a fairly young age myself. I used to be a young leader with both a brownie pack and a cub pack so witnessed it first hand at the tender age of 17. It does get better hon, you get a wee lull before the real puberty kicks in ;)

Tip Top said...

Good god. They get worse at 7?? We have all of that at 4.


The 6 year old isn't too bad except for the aiming straight bit.