Diagnosis: Mumnesia

Tuesday, 20 January 2015


I write this just after encountering a particularly dramatic toddler meltdown. My 20-month old spent a few (loud) minutes this morning in the hallway, sat on his new nemesis 'the thinking chair'.

All because I wouldn't let him eat his sister's strawberry chapstick.

I'd forgotten about this bit of parenting. It seems I'm suffering from mumnesia.

I've been here before alright. My first born Dylan would bang his head on anything he could find. In pure rage. Not particularly hard and the tantrums were usually short-lived but, being my first baby, the head banging really upset me. I needn't have worried. This phase soon passed and was replaced by throwing things at his baby sister for no apparent reason. Every cloud....

(He's eight now and a very polite, gentle, lovely boy by the way).

Meryn on the other hand, could never be bothered with the rage; but boy could she whinge. She's still pretty good at it actually. 

It wasn't so much a tantrum, but more a long, whimpering Academy Award worthy performance. Followed by the need for lots of cuddles; which was fine by me.

So which toddler tantrum style is Ayden going to roll with?

So far I'm seeing a dash of diva and a hint of hissy fit, but he's never too cross for a cuddle.

It's funny. Even with a gap of five years between Ayden and Meryn, I was well-prepared for everything a newborn brings - and really looking forward to it all - but I'd forgotten so much. Milestones, teething remedies, the specifics of weaning, how often I'd forget the little red book at health visitor appointments. And the toddler tantrums. I'd definitely forgotten about those.

So, despite the apparent mumnesia, it seems I need to root about in the darkest corners of my brain and find the other bits I'd forgotten. Like how to look anything other than gobsmacked when Ayden throws himself face down on the floor and thrashes his little limbs around like a complete nutcase. And how to keep calm and choose my battles. Maybe it's not the end of the world if he doesn't eat my homemade Italian casserole with the rest of the family and would prefer to squash the butterbeans between his fingers before feeding them to the dog. 

I'm also going to try and forget that he took the set of 'pems' (crayons) that Santa brought him and created quite the toddler masterpiece on my painted doorframe. 

I remember having quite an impressive repertoire of distraction tactics when Dylan and Meryn were toddlers. Better get those out again then. And the wine. Whoever invented 'dry January' clearly didn't have a 20-month old!

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