Category: Toddler Adventures

The 10 Negatives of a Toilet “Trained” Toddler

The ultimate joy you feel when potty trained becomes toilet trained. It’s great isn’t it? The utter pride you feel boasting to everyone when it’s complete? Well I now know that those comments of “Oh that’s brilliant, makes life much easier for you now!”, are quite frankly, utter crap! Those people are clearly secretly thinking “Oh good luck with that love, you’ll be wishing she was back in nappies in no time”, followed by an evil chuckle.
Here are 10 of the negatives I’ve experienced so far…
1. Wanting to use the toilet CONSTANTLY.
Seriously. Once they’ve gotten used to using the toilet they will want to use it all of the time, regardless of whether they actually need it or not. This will drive you insane, especially in the beginning when you have to accompany them to the bathroom every. Single. Time! Having to wait for them to finish, even though you know their either not going to do anything or force out the smallest wee possible. Great.
2. Fear of toilets in unfamiliar places.
I experienced this one massively at the beginning. My daughter would refuse to even walk through the door of any public toilet- can’t blame her for that, let’s hope she’s still that picky when she’s older. But when you’re out for the day visiting a farm and she attempts to go the whole day without visiting the toilet, you just know that it’s going to end up with an accident in the sand pit. In my experience anyway! Remember spare clothes EVERYTIME you leave the house with said toddler.
3. Experimenting with toilet paper.
At first this was of no interest to my daughter, she was happy to let me wipe her when she’d finished, but once she started taking herself to the toilet on her own her curiosity took over. You will most probably walk in one day to find your bathroom looking like it’s been hit by a blizzard or in my case a bathtub full off unrolled toilet paper. Breathe.
4. Blocking the toilet (and sink!).
Ah yes, now those not so bad Christmas-like decorations have turned into full on- let’s just put this all down the toilet and see what happens. If you’re lucky like me it’ll be a full roll after a poop. Lucky me indeed. Buy marigolds.
5. Not reaching the toilet in time.
Clothing changes galore on this one. Luckily we haven’t experienced this one too much, probably because of point 1, but the times this has happened tends to be when she’s busy playing and just ‘forgets’. Or challenges herself to see how long she can last without going. Watch out for the ‘need a wee-wee’ dance.
6. Refusing to pull their pants up after using the toilet.
This one is still driving me insane. It’s rather embarrassing when you have company and your toddler returns downstairs with her pants around her ankles, hopping about like a crazed bunny rabbit. Honestly just pull them up!! I have no advice on this one- this is STILL happening, although not as often. The toddler that is- not me.
7. Not wiping their bottom.
Okay so you’ll have probably guessed from point 3 and 4 that I’m not overly keen on leaving the toilet roll within reach of my daughter, so I just leave a few squares by the side for her. Does she use them to wipe? Yeah right. Again it’s a case of hopping down the stairs shouting “Mama come wipe my bum!”. Eurgh. Just what I want whilst enjoying my already cold cuppa.
8. Deciding they need the toilet at the most inconvenient times.
This happens to me ALL of the time. Guaranteed we’ll walk into soft play and she’ll need the toilet. Always when I’m on my own with both kids. Anywhere, anytime, it’s going to happen. Perfect when you answer the phone to someone you don’t really want to speak to though… “oh I’ll have to go and take the little one to the toilet”. Comes in handy sometimes.
9. Curiosity of what else can fit down the toilet.
Ah yes, it’s not just toilet roll. Anything they can find, and reach, will be shoved down the toilet. Think about that the next time you’re about to brush your teeth…
10. Using needing the toilet as an excuse not to go to bed.
As if getting the kids into bed on a night time wasn’t hard enough they now have a genuine excuse to delay the process and you can bet your life they’ll use it! As tempting as it is to ignore their pleas, just let them go or you probably find yourself changing soaked bedsheets at 2am.

So there you have it, if you’ve yet to reach the toilet training stage, all I can say is GOOD LUCK!

Mother Hermit xx

This post first appeared on The Huffington Post UK here.

The 2-Year-Old Sleep Regression

Okay, I’ll admit, I’m one of those annoying mother’s who’s always boasted about how well my kids sleep. How they sleep all night through, until 8am, taking naps everyday etc. etc. That is until recently…

The 2-year-old sleep regression- it’s not really a thing right? Well to me it’s never been something I was worried about because my daughter has always been an amazing sleeper. I really do mean sleeping through from a few weeks old, from 8pm until 8am as well as taking 2-3 hour naps per day- only rarely having bad nights when she was unwell or struggling with teething. But now? Well now I know exactly how annoying I must have sounded to other parents! Those evil dagger looks were well deserved fellow parentals!

So my darling toddler (born January 2014) decided that around four months ago she was going to give up her daily naps. No heads up from her, she just stopped and refused to sleep during the day at all. My reaction? Gahhhhhh, noooooooo! Those two hours on an afternoon were my time to get some chores done, prep the dinner and occasionally write, although since having our baby boy in February it was pretty much guaranteed he would wake up for a feed and those two hours of attention as soon as his sister went down.

With the naps stopped completely it seemed like the perfect opportunity to start the bedtime routine earlier because some nights she wasn’t going to bed until 8.30/9pm. She took to it pretty well and the new routine was in full force; Bath at 6pm, in bed and story at 7pm and she’d be asleep within minutes. However- you knew that was coming right?!- after a couple of days, maybe a week, she started waking at 2.30am EVERY night. Guaranteed at 2.30am she would be up and we would hear the pitter patter of her feet running across her floor and after a few attempts she figured out how to open the baby gate on her bedroom door. The first few nights she would make a bit of a fuss, ask for some milk, make any excuse to get you out of bed and refuse to go back to sleep for a few hours, often waking her baby brother in the process. She just wouldn’t go back to sleep until she literally passed out with exhaustion and would still be up again around 6am in a bad mood and you just knew that the day was going to be filled with hellish toddler tantrums.

After a few more days she appeared to be getting better at sleeping longer but became very sneaky- our very own night ninja! She would wake up around 4am (I didn’t realise this for the first few nights) and sneak out of her bedroom, head downstairs for her tablet or a toy, bring it back upstairs and lie on the end of our bed. She wouldn’t wake us and would happily lie there but we’d wake up at 6am and she’d be sat glued to Netflix looking like a teenager who’d pulled an all-nighter! That phase didn’t last long as we started hiding her tablet on a night time when we headed to bed but that still didn’t stop her waking up.

She continued with the 4am wake ups but every morning we could hear her putting herself on the toilet then grab a book and just chill in our bed. Super proud of her using the toilet by herself as it’s not something she’d even attempted to do during the day! However, coming into our bed at that time in the morning, reading a story to me to wake me up, prodding me to get up and get her some milk, anything she could possibly think of as an excuse to wake us up really, just didn’t help the sleep matters at all and we’d all be in a bad mood the next day due to the lack of sleep. Apart from baby boy that is, he’s in his own room in his cot, although his sister would sometimes wake him by sitting on the floor in his room and reading a story to him!

This all lasted for around four months- guaranteed to happen every single night with no explanation and no reason whatsoever for her waking. Once she was awake that was it. I’m pleased to say that this appears to have now come to an end altogether and she’s still going to sleep between 7-7.30pm and sleeping through once again until around 6.30/7am. She’ll be coming up 3 in January and it appears she’s now beginning to realise how amazing sleep is! If she’s tired she’ll let you know and will have a quiet hour rather than throwing a storm of a tantrum. Fingers crossed she’ll stick to this!

So yeah, the 2-year-old sleep regression really does exist, and it’s total hell.

Good luck fellow parentals!

Mother Hermit xx

This post was first featured on MeetOtherMums.com

Mother and Daughter Date

Since my son was born in February this year I’ve always had a slight guilty feeling for my daughter. Even though she’s only two and doesn’t really understand the ways of the world, it must be so hard for her having had my undivided attention 24/7 for two years and then all of a sudden one day find that she has to share me. That was a big reason for me putting her into nursery for two mornings per week, so she then had those few hours to be able to play with other children and not have to watch me with her baby brother all of the time. So yesterday, as G had decided to work from home, I thought I’d take the opportunity to take my little Violet on a date just me and her.


Having checked the weather forecast and found that it was going to rain most of the day I had a look at our local cinema to see what was on. Our local cinema is a Cineworld which have ‘Movies for Juniors’ showings early in the morning, especially for kids at discount prices. They were showing Zootropolis and it cost just £3.60 to book up for both of us- I was pretty over the moon with that plus I’d been looking forward to seeing the film for ages! I was a bit worried about how Violet would sit and whether she would watch the film because the last time we took her to the cinema she had just turned two and was still in nappies so we didn’t have to worry about the numerous toilet breaks. As usual I didn’t have much to worry about though.


We headed straight for the snacks after collecting our tickets and I was really impressed to find that a Kids Snack Box containing popcorn, a Capri Sun and some Milkyway Magic Stars was only £2.50. By the time we walked into the screen the lights had gone down and the trailers had started- cue the startled scream from the shocked toddler pleading to go home. My poor girl got such a fright as one of the trailers burst onto the screen as we were making our way to our seats so I spent the rest of the trailers cuddling her in on my knee. Once the film had started and I explained the first few characters and that there was nothing to be afraid of she perked up no bother and laughed at the film the rest of the way through whilst scoffing her snacks. Massive sigh of relief from me because I really didn’t want to have to ring G to come straight back to get us! And I wanted to see the film- obviously. It was brilliant. Such a good story line which had us laughing all of the way through, I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet.


When the film had finished it was lunch time and even though Violet had scoffed her way through her snack box she was asking for some dinner. It was absolutely chucking it down so we literally ran over the road to the cover of Frankie & Benny’s where I literally had no idea what to expect as I haven’t been since I was a teenager! I was totally impressed with our whole visit. It was quite quiet and we were seated and brought drinks really quickly. Violet went for her usual cheeseburger and chips and I opted for a pizza wrapped hotdog and fries off the lunch menu. Whilst we were waiting for these to arrive we spent some time taking silly selfies, dancing to the music, giggling like mad and colouring in the children’s activity book we had been given.
The food was amazing. I’ve never seen Violet eat so much of a kids meal and this was definitely one of the biggest portion sizes she’d had. My pizza-hotdog didn’t look like much when it arrived but the hotdog inside was huge, was packed with flavour and it really was incredible. I was absolutely stuffed once we’d finished but thought as it was our treat day we totally had to have a dessert so I ordered Violet a kids ‘Ice Cream Candy Shop’ and Brownies and Ice Cream for me 🙂 Mine was gorgeous but Violet’s was totally unreal! Two scoops of ice cream in a bowl, a pot of marshmallows, a mini jug of chocolate sauce, three bottles of different sweets, a pack of popping candy and a little paper bag to put the extra sweets in to take home- I kind of wish I’d got one for myself! The whole meal, our two mains, two desserts and three soft drinks came to £18- yet again I was really impressed with this.



Once we’d finished our lunch we were both full and Violet was shattered so I asked G to come and collect us and we headed home. Our date in total cost just under £25 which I was really happy with considering what we had for our money. It really was perfect being able to spend that few hours quality time with my daughter and I think she loved it too, she’s been my little shadow and best friend every second since and I’m usually the naughty Mammy (I never know why…) so I think I earned some serious brownie points! Our date totally made me realise how important it is to make sure I take time out to have quality time alone with each of my children. Whilst they get on so well and have an incredible bond already I really do think it’s important for them to have a few hours of my undivided attention every couple of weeks and I’m already thinking of ideas for our next date 🙂

Mother Hermit xx

 

 

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best

I Created A Monster?! 

Holy crap, what the hell happened to my daughter?! Just five minutes ago she was a teeny tiny baby depending on me to feed her orange mush and wipe her bum fifteen million times per day- but now? She’s turned into some sort of bloody monster!

IMG_2776
Don’t let the cuteness fool you!

Violet goes to nursery two mornings per week, simply because we wanted her to have those mornings to herself without her having to watch me with her baby brother. It gives me 6 hours to get some things done around the house and 6 hours for her to play, socialise and run riot without me having to be the one to chase her. If we could afford more mornings she’d be in there. No doubt.

So this morning I dropped her off and received the usual “Bye Mammy, pick me up later!” With a swift wave of her hand and abrupt back turn, she was off. Honestly, she may aswell just stick her fingers up at me. ‘That’s right woman, you go spend your morning tidying up so when I get home I can trash the place all over again…’ Seriously, I’m sure that’s how toddlers think!

I headed back over (literally over the road from our house) to pick her up for her finishing and walked in to see this sweet little angel sat singing a song about a bumble bee and she was concentrating on copying the actions with the words. She looked so cute and perfect, I could have cried! Once she spotted me I got a finger point and a “not yet Mammy, I’m busy singing a song” Fair enough. Once she’d finished she jumped up and ran into my arms for a cuddle. Awww I hear you say, I know lovely right? Wrong.

We headed out the door whilst she told me how much fun she’d had but as soon as we stepped off the school grounds all hell broke loose! First it was the screams for a dodie (dummy) which I didn’t bring, it’s literally a minute walk home. Next it was an attempt to run onto the road! Then she decided to throw herself onto the ground because I couldn’t carry her the twenty steps home because I was pushing her brother in the pushchair. When I finally got her home the tears started with the high pitched screams for juice. I gave her juice- more high pitched screams because I put the juice in the wrong cup. How dare I?! She only has one flaming juice cup! So that was thrown across the room and the screams continued as she threw herself to the ground. This bout woke her brother up who then started to scream because of the fright he’d just had! Violet continued her tantrum because now her brother was upset and of course it was all my fault and then I lost my cool and sent her to bed! With no argument she ran up the stairs, jumped into bed and within 5 minutes was knocking out some serious Z’s.

Wowza’s. In all of ten minutes she went from angel toddler to midget of mass destruction. The ‘terrible two’s’ are ending and the mighty ‘threenager’ mode is kicking in fast!

She’s waking up and I’ shitting my pants for the rest of the afternoon. The Malibu’s on ice for later…

…tell me it gets better?!

Mother Hermit xx

 

Midwife and Life

Afternoon Twist

No I don’t mean twist as in the form of dance. I mean twist in the almighty annoying variety of toddler form. I’m not sure how I’ve survived this afternoon. Since V opened her eyes from her nap it’s been nothing but brutal destruction and screeching. You know those ones that just keep going and going and going and by the end of it you can’t stand to hear it anymore?! Like you actually despise your own childs voice? The slightest whimper makes you cringe? Yeah. That’s been my afternoon. “Maaaaaaaaaaaammy! I want dis! Dop doing dat!!!! I want a doddddyyyyyy! Mammmmm! Sdop ittttt!” Like how do they honestly come up with half of the tantrums they have? She told me off this afternoon for not making a sand castle properly out of lego- are there parents who can actually do that?! Magicians perhaps? Am I missing something?? 

Parenting. Best job in the world eh?! ❤️ 😂 


Mother Hermit xx

Life with Baby Kicks

Mission Potty Training- Complete!

A few weeks ago I wrote the post All aboard the Potty Train!, all about the beginning of the potty training journey with my toddler daughter V. A few days after I wrote that post my in-laws came to stay with us for a week- I saw this as the perfect opportunity to give the potty training an almighty push. She absolutely adores her Grandparents and with her Daddy taking a few days off work to spend with everyone as a family, I knew it would help her progress with it.

For the first few days we continued with the nappy off- naked from the waist down- approach whilst we were at home and this worked a treat, with only a few accidents (on my brand new sofa’s might I add!). Lot’s of Fairy Liquid and Febreze used during those little episodes. She mostly used the potty because I really didn’t want to push the toilet and confuse her, but she did follow her Nanny a few times to show her what a big girl she was for having her wee’s on the toilet. I carried on ‘throwing’ her on the toilet for her poop’s when I caught her slipping into that favourite hiding spot, which she didn’t like at all, but I managed to persuade her by giving her one of her favourite books to read and standing outside the bathroom door. She did it one day and we praised her massively but she still didn’t like it and for the next couple of days she held it in and just refused to poop! What a madam! So I decided to be a madam too, even though it made me feel like a pretty sh1tty Mammy, I joined in the refusals by not letting her wear a nappy just to do her business. I really didn’t want to confuse her even more, letting her think she had to wee on the potty but poop in a nappy. I drank A LOT of wine those couple of nights!

It worked though! Sure enough after those couple of days holding everything in, V had to give in and go on the toilet. Fair play to her Daddy- it was when they were swimming and he had to run out of the pool and quickly ‘throw’ (we’re good parents, honest!) her on the toilet in the changing rooms. I’ll always remember the look on her face when she got home and burst through the door after swimming and announced to me that she’d had a ‘massive poo on the toilet’. Such a proud Mammy-moment to see how proud of herself she was. Everyday after that she asked to use her potty to do the deed but she’d ask you to hide it in another room and no one could enter until she had announced she’d finished! Honest, total madam. Obviously we followed her rules.

The in-laws left us to fly back home to South Wales on the Thursday (gutted!). On Friday V went to nursery with her nappy on but I spoke to the girls and explained how the potty training was coming along and they were totally lovely about it, really supportive and told me that they’d keep asking V if she needed the toilet. For the first few days she followed the girls to the toilet but had refused to sit on it- I put this down to the fact that she didn’t know these people, she’d only just started attending, so we let her continue wearing her nappies when she was out of the house. Now I’d been a bit naughty and had told V that she wasn’t allowed to wee in her nappy at nursery and she needed to tell someone when she needed the toilet but this seemed to work! After a few sessions she started telling the girls when she needed a wee and pretty soon it got to the point where she was using the potty and coming home in a dry nappy. How did that happen?!


So last week I just went for it. I bought her a pack of colourful knickers, let her pick a pair and took her into nursery with lots of spare leggings and underwear. Three hours later I went to pick her up to find that she’d used the toilet for the full session and her knickers were bone dry- no accidents! Woohoo! I was absolutely over the moon and our V was so proud of herself!


V now only wears nappy’s for her naptime and bedtime and the private poops are no more! She now happily announces to everyone around that she’s going to have a poop and sits on the potty whereve it is. My Dad’s face was a picture when she paused their game of coin counting on Sunday and announced that she was going to have a poop! 😂 We’ve been to playgroups, shopping trips and done family visits and not had one accident. Obviously I’m still carrying lots of spare underwear and leggings with me everywhere I go, she’s still a toddler and accidents are going to happen- but I’m so pleased to say that V is officially potty trained and I couldn’t be prouder right now!


Mother Hermit xx

Cuddle Fairy

 

All aboard the Potty Train!

April2016 622Potty training. Whenever anyone mentioned this to me in the past I always shrugged it off with ‘Ah she’s so advanced at everything else I’m sure she’ll pick it up really quickly’. Well she may be advanced, but this potty training malarkey is an absolute nightmare!

My daughter started showing interest in a potty when she was around 18 months old- we thought we were clever by hiding it among her many toys allover the living room- and pretty soon she asked to use it. We had a successful wee on the potty around her second attempt and I thought that was the beginning! Cue the proud parent going slightly crazy annoying anyone and everyone who would listen that my daughter was the cleverest girl ever! After that successful wee we even had a few requests to use the toilet but nothing ever happened there, she seemed to think it was some kind of monster and was absolutely terrified by the sound of the flush! We continued to push the potty but we failed miserably because we tried to force it too much- epic fail!

Since then it’s been a bit of an on again off again relationship with both the toilet and the potty. As she’s got older she’s shown more interest in trying it, especially when she’s seen her little friends at playgroup using the toilet and we’ve been through many phases of going a full day having all of her wee’s on one or the other but then the next day she doesn’t want to go near either. I’ve spent many a day and night stressing about it and googling to find anything to help! To be honest I haven’t really found anything online which has proved all that helpful- I guess it’s just another one of those ‘every child is different’ parenting directions. Basically wing it.

So she’s now 2 (26months to be precise) and we’re having another go! With the little madam starting nursery next week I’m trying my best to work with her. It’s difficult, especially since we now have a six week old boy, it’s not as easy to run back and forth to the toilet with her ten million times per day! I’ve gone with the leave the nappy off and completely naked below the waist approach to start off with and it’s proving a total success so far. I’ve even managed to quickly throw her on the toilet for a poo a couple of times when I’ve caught her slipping off to her usual pooping hiding spot. Alright so I didn’t actually throw her on it, I’m stressed but not that much! 😂

It’s a frustrating journey, one in which I’m absolutely determined to see through to the end result of having to change only one child’s nappies and not both! I have a feeling I may be leaning on my good friend Echo Falls for support during this ‘difficult’ time! Wish me luck! (With the potty training, not the wine drinking- I’m good at that!)

 

Mother Hermit xx