6

Because That What Supermums Do

You know it's going to be one of those days when you are awakened by your toddler screaming at 4am which inevitably leads to a very grumpy 4 year old appearing in your bedroom "Mum, Fin's screaming scared me and it made my bladder implode so my wee wee came out all over my bed".

4am or not, my day had begun; I stripped the bed, stripped Ben, redressed the bed, redressed Ben, reassuring him that I'm not cross (because that's what supermums do), put the kettle on - and the kids were straight into their morning routine of making their cereal choice, complaining that Cbeebies isn't on yet and asking me about 20 times why they can't go and jump on daddy to wake him up.

Having persuaded Ben that jumping on a very tired daddy at 4am is not a great idea he then decides to bang as loudly as possible on the table with his spoon - which soon turns into a game with the two boys competing to see who can bang loudest - cue the simultaneous and rather grumpy sounding banging coming from daddy above.

Already I can feel myself getting wound up and it's only 4.20am. So I take a large mouthful of tea - scalding my mouth, offer up a quick 'please give me strength God', paste a smile on my face (because that's what supermums do) and calmly walk to the table to deal with the spoon banging. This is not as straightforward as you might think...

"Boys, spoons are for eating your breakfast with, please use your spoon properly". Which kind of works until Fin starts banging again - which results in Ben hitting him and pushing him off his chair and sending the Shreddies flying. Just to put you in the picture - Ben sees himself as an honorary adult and so sees no reason why he shouldn't deal with bad behaviour - taking it on himself to tell off his brother and other children. This is usually with words but he reserves physical punishment for his brother.

I then have to make a quick decision - what do I deal with first? The soggy Shreddies being squashed into the carpet, a crying Fin or Ben (for hitting). So I ignore the Shreddies, I pick up Fin and give him all of about 3 seconds comfort before turning to Ben and calmly (because that's what supermums do) say to him "time out for hitting".

Timeout itself is a trial to be endured - with Ben doing whatever he can to get my attention - which I ignore (because that's what supermums do). Ben knows exactly what to do to reeeally get to me - which at 4.35am is to shout as loud as possible and stamp his feet on the floor (God bless my poor neighbours and the grumpy and now awake Jon upstairs). All the time I am ignoring Ben I am also dealing with Finlay who is having a full-on tantrum because I won't let him open the door to go join Ben on the stairs. So I use distraction methods (because that's whats supermums do) but these just make the tantrum worse - so now I am ignoring a shouting Ben, a screaming Finlay, the sighs from upstairs and the ominous silence from next door. Once again I take a mouthful of tea (perfect temperature this time), offer up another quick prayer 'Lord are you actually awake yet?', paste a smile on my face (because that's what supermums do) and calmly walk away from the situation.

It's on mornings like this that I wish I could have a pocket size childcare expert in my pocket to whip out and consult. There are a couple of local legends in Sheffield that would do very nicely - Geoff or Ann from C'mon Everybody spring to mind. As it is, I will rely on me, my hubby, my quick prayers and my smile (because that's what supermums do).

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