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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The mother of all tantrums

{Don't let his cheeky face lead you into 
a false sense of security.
Even if he is a little bit cute.}

Once again brought to you by Murphy's law. Does he even spy & eavesdrop on anyone else, or am I just lucky?

I was mentally composing a post on how my mothering skills are so brilliant, that without even trying Clay no longer sleeps swaddled up*. He simply holds a corner of his wrap in one hand & sucks the fingers of his other hand, soothed by the sounds of his siblings screams & the front door right next to his room crashing closed every two minutes, he peacefully drifts off to the land of Zzz. There was no forethought, no plan or decision made to stop swaddling Clay. Just a natural progression that evolved from Clay turning into a little houdini & me not re-wrapping every thirty seconds.

In this post there may have been sentences how my awesomeness is so awesome that we have even managed to stop swaddling when some of the other minions were babies without any major disruptions to their (or our) normal sleeping patterns, setting a new pb record for three babies in a row now. I know, right? I hate me a little too.

The un-swaddling process with Rianan & Jack was such a production that was fraught with anxiety & scouring outdated parenting magazines by torchlight at 3am for that one miracle tip that would make all our dreams finally happen. Literally...Please. With Ben it was a non-issue - he just didn't sleep to require any elaborate ten step process to ditch the muslin wrap. Then along came the fourth child who just raises himself. My skillz are so stinkingly sparkly that I don't even have to try anymore. As if my maternal ego needed to get any bigger, Will & Clay come along breezing their way through our family dynamics, cementing the theory that after three children status level Effortless Expert is applied.

When really I should have just shut the hell up & been eternally grateful for Clay's placid & easy going nature.

Not thirty minutes later from declaring {in written draft form} we're acing this baby raising gig & feeling a little clever, the tantrum of all hell breaking lose tantrums occurred. You can put the voodoo doll & pins away, karma found me swift & proper. 

Venturing to the shops with four of the minions, we enter into the first of two shops. A knick-knack el cheapo store, to buy a present for Rianan's five dollar secret santa classroom exchange. The standard disclosure was uttered to Blake & Will as we entered the store - do not touch anything, stay with me. Will was adamant he was not going to hold my hand, squirming away the minute there was any skin to skin contact. 

Always under-estimate a three year old. When you think they will listen, never expect them too. When you think they will follow the examples of their older siblings, do not presume they will. 

That was my first mistake, having faith where none should be. Will touched, he picked up, he knocked boxes off shelves in an effort to put the one in his hand back on the shelf. He wandered up & down the aisles, around the corners blocking the path of other customers, spinning sticker stands, & presenting me with cards we didn't need. As quick as possible our secret santa purchases were made & I took my little hot handed boy out of there. 

Stepping away from the store entrance & in an open aired environment to help dis-spell the intensity of any imminent world ending cries, I tell Will I am now holding his hand while we walk around the car-park to the next store. Cue EPDPT {Epic Public Display of Preschooler Tantrum}. Instant psycho killer attacking me screaming, beetroot purple face, spaghetti legs & twisty, verge of dislocating the shoulder body drops. This continued on for twenty minutes. I kid you not. 

We were a sight to shame even the most sympathetic grandparent & been-there-done-that-glad-it's-you-not-me fellow mums. 

Nothing but the freedom to walk to his own beat was going to mollify Will. Shame that the only choices I was willing to concede to were hold my hand or go in a trolley. Only I got to suffer the consequences. Putting on the I'm-ignoring-my-screeching-child mask, not daring to make eye contact with anyone over 4 foot tall & not a genetic link to me, I dashed around the store scooping items off the shelves, throwing them haphazardly into the trolley in between attempts to calm Will down - who was having none of it. Calming words were met with Will screaming louder & kicking his little legs back & forth against the trolley harder. Thank god the trolley we chose had a fully functioning seat belt with all three prongs intact...& that Will hasn't grasped the fine motor skills yet to get that sucker undone. 

Through the entire time Will did not fail in his pledge to set the bar higher for the next tantrum to end all tantrums. Meanwhile Clay just took in the front row experience from his familiar perch in a sling across my chest, with Rianan & Blake walking & chatting as if this was an everyday occurance. Thank god it's not, my nerve endings couldn't take it if it was. 

Consider this post my formal written apology for having gotten too big for my $8 Kmart ballet flats. Even if the intended post prior to Will's cutting me back down to size was tongue in cheek & highly over exaggerated. What I should have simply written is that Clay is sleeping really well at the moment though this is sure to change in the immediate future & Will, what can I say? He is three years old. 'Nuff said.

But that would be boring.


*Swaddling : to bind an infant with long narrow strips of cloth to prevent free movement of their arms or disturbance from the startle reflex.

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