Sir Grumpsalot and the epic meltdown

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(‘Let me take a photo of you… Go on… Just one’ ‘NO NO NO NO NO NO’)

Yesterday marked a special milestone in the toddler career of my little man – the unstoppable, irrational, typical two-year old’s tantrum culminating in an epic meltdown which left even my four year old nephew complaining of a headache.

The warning signs were there. Lack of sleep? Check. Nose turned up at quality home made food constructed of the finest ingredients (i.e including two different types of vegetables. Oh yeah.)? Check. Recent bout of illness? Check.

And still I ploughed on with a ‘Nice Day Out’. The sun was shining and the weather warm and I was determined that under no circumstances would we spend yet another day inside – either watching some sodding cartoon about cars/dogs/fish OR going to a place that induces an actual smile and genuine pleasure in my child… Yup, Tesco.

(I am a little ashamed of that last bit. WE LIVE FIVE MINUTES FROM THE BEACH, GODDAMMIT! We should be permanently sporting wetsuits, matted hair and beautifully exfoliated feet.)

Anyway, given the close proximity to the water, I announced that we would go to a nearby sea pool which had a heated pool for young children (Of course it wasn’t actually heated… And my inability to read a webpage would come back to haunt me shortly.)

So me, my son, dad, sister and nephew packed up the car and headed off. And as a result of some clever manoeuvring between the adults of the group, I ended up wedged in the back between the children. This was fine in the beginning, entertaining both boys wasn’t too difficult. I had this cool mum/aunt thing sorted.

When we got to the pool, the boys excitedly dragged us into the water, which I later found out was 17 degrees centigrade. Or, to put into context, bloody freezing. Most of the kids in the foot deep water had wetsuits on. We made our retreat after 10 minutes.

As the boys warmed up, they spent the time they should have been spending getting exhausted in the water, by amusing themselves in other ways. Or as we would call it, tapping into their mischievous sides… trying to fall off a little step, running after seagulls and attempting to get back in the water (I mean, how short are their memories?!). Perfect conditions for the onset of a major grump.

The warning signs were there by the time we finally got back to the car about an hour or so later – E didn’t want to get down from the wall he’d been walking on and he certainly didn’t want to get in his car seat. Bribery didn’t work, praising his cousin for sitting nicely failed to have any impact and you can imagine how well my final exasperated ‘Get In’ said through gritted teeth went down.

Cornwall being Cornwall, and very popular at this time of year, meant that our half hour journey home took twice as long. Or forever if you’re stuck with a toddler screaming NOOOOOOOOOO. NO CAR SEAT……GET OUT….. for most of it. The last straw was when my nephew started to cry and mumbled to my sister in the passenger seat ‘Mummy I have a headache’…

For my part though, I’m finding it increasingly harder to deal with the temper tantrums. I know it’s part of growing up, but there are times when I just want to stamp my feet on the floor too. And then I remember that I’m supposed to be the grown up.

I don’t want to raise a meek, compliant child who never questions or challenges. And part of the reason he has tantrums is because there have to be limits. So that’s a positive for the parenting bit, yeah? I’m clutching at straws here, but you gotta take the positives where you can…

As with all these things, this morning E woke up none the worse for wear for his ordeal. It’s nice to see he doesn’t hold a grudge. Yet.

 

 

 

 

The Olympic legacy – you want it? Earn it.

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We’ve had a  good Olympics, Britain, haven’t we?

For someone who has very little sporting ability (aside from a pretty mean ‘swagger’ at the weekly Clubbercise class), I’ve been gripped by the talents of Laura Trott, Jade Jones, Helen Glover (well she is from Cornwall), Heather Stanning, Becky James and Amy Tinkler, to name but a few. Yep, go us women! Ok, well done to the men too!

Obvs I was ‘in to’ London 2012 – from the Olympic Torch winding its way along Cornish roads to that opening ceremony, I just remember feeling so proud. In the games makers, in the athletes, in the crowds who cheered everyone on. And then we had the Paralympics too and people who had overcome adversity put us all to shame by being generally bloody amazing. Times were good.

Of course, the legacy from 2012 was about encouraging people to get into sport and becoming Olympians of the future. Would love to comment on whether or not this worked, but my focus since London was to have a baby and, having had said baby in 2014, wallow in self pity over what I used to do with my spare time. (Have just realised that Jessica Ennis-Hill not only had a baby in the same time, but also went on to win a silver at the Heptathlon last weekend. Whatevs…)

So, what do we take from Rio 2016? Having watched many an exhausted athlete interviewed on the finish line as the reality of their medal win sinks in, the overwhelming message has been just how hard they worked for it. Yes, they are supported by trainers and a host of people behind the scenes, but that didn’t all just magically appear on the proclamation of ‘I’m going to be an Olympian’.

Today, more than ever, we hear the positive messages on the theme of being able to do anything you put your mind to. Facebook and Instagram threads are awash with life affirming pictures with positive phrases (like the one in this post that took me five minutes to put together. I have no idea who Beverly Sills is, or if she actually said what she said. But I like it.) Today, more than ever, we can discover what we want to do, find out how to do it – and be supported by a wealth of positivity to give us that gentle nudge in the right direction.

So, let’s dig out our vision boards, feel the fear and do it anyway, get off our arses and do what we say we’re going to do. Wanting it is part of the battle, but it’s the preparation, the action, the bloody-minded dedication, that turns the dream into a reality.