Oh. My. God. The day that I started writing this post was actually one of the worst days I have ever had with Little J. Honestly, I have the cuts, bruises and tear-stained cheeks to prove it. What has happened to my child? Is this due to lockdown or is this the terrible twos?
But before I talk about that, let’s go back. Before Covid-19 come into our lives, we were in a pretty good routine. We had Caterpillar Music, clubs, groups, playdates and family visits.
Little J would nap for around 2 hours a day and go down to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 each night without the need of settling. Yeah, his eating was pretty hit and miss but generally, he would eat to the table.
Of course, he would have temper tantrums. He would scream, cry, shout, stamp his feet, bang his head, scratch and everything else. I thought it was tough then. Good grief, if only I had known how much more difficult it was going to get.
Then Lockdown Happened
Where do I even begin? Yeah, the start of lockdown was hard. It was hard on everyone, I can’t imagine how children felt. At least we understood what was going on, it must have been so so confusing for them. One minute life is plodding along, next, we’re all stuck in the house seeing the same faces, day in, day out.
I think what I’m saying is, I expected some bad behaviour from Little J when lockdown started. Hell, I was bad tempered and confused, I’m not going to punish Little J for being the same!
We tried to keep a normal-ish routine in place. Up, breakfast, washed, dressed, playtime, lunch, play, tea, walk, approximately 1,000,000 snacks in-between (me and Little J). And things were sort of okay, to begin with.
Then there was this one night that we put Little J to bed like normal. We said goodnight, left the room and went downstairs. Like NORMAL. We hadn’t done anything different. After 5 minutes Little J stood up and started banging his head against his bedroom wall. What?? We went straight upstairs and tried to settle him. We had to sit in his room until he fell asleep.
He slept the night and we just assumed that it was a one-off. The next day he was fine. Until nap time. I put him down in his cot and left the room. He was having none of it. And that was it for nap time.
You have no idea how much I fucking miss that nap time now it’s gone. Naptime was my time to decompress for an hour. Do a couple of odd jobs/get some blog work done/have a hot cup of tea/stuff my face with chocolate/not have a child moan and whine at me. And now it’s gone.
But It’s Not Just That
oh no, far from it. Where he’s no longer napping, Little J is tired and cranky all day. Which means he’s moaning at me all day like it’s my fault. Then, he’ll try and fall asleep at 4pm which obviously is a no go because he wouldn’t go to bed until 11pm if he napped then so he gets annoyed at me for keeping him awake.
There has been the odd occasion where he would nap for a little bit in the day but when he wakes up he is the devil child! We can’t win!
No one is allowed to leave the room anymore. If I leave the room to go upstairs to grab some washing, a charger or go to the bathroom, Little J loses it! He’ll bang his head, scream, cry and all the other rubbish.
So, if I need the toilet I take him upstairs with me. That also annoys him. I am not allowed to go to the toilet. Sometimes he stands directly in front of me and tries to stop me from pulling my trousers down.
Talking of toilet business, Little J has never really liked having his nappy changed but now it’s impossible. He runs away, screams, arches his back and rolls over. That ain’t fun when you’re dealing with a poo, I can tell you.
Little J also no longer sleeps through. This week just gone there has only been 1 or 2 nights where I haven’t had to sleep on his floor. He’ll wake anywhere between 12am and 6am. I miss sleeping in my own bed.
Food, Glorious Food
Then we have the food situation. The food that Little J will eat is:
- Chicken nuggets
- peas and sweetcorn
- Sausages (sometimes)
- Rainbow veg Salmon couscous
However, he picks and chooses when he wants to eat the above food. I DREAD tea times. No matter what I cook, Little J will moan, cry and push his plate away and push his chair away from the table as far as he can go. He’ll also scream, throw his head back and try and tip his chair over. So we have gotten into a slightly bad habit of letting him watch the iPad whilst eating. It doesn’t always work though.
One thing that Little J really REALLY doesn’t like is being told no. Now I know that no-one likes being told no, but he loses it! He growls, screams, cries, stamps his feet, throws himself around, scratches, pinches, slaps, deliberately smacks my glasses off of my face, pulls my hair and the worst thing of all….
THE FUCKING HEAD BANGING
Little J will find the closest hard surface to him and he will bang his head. Objects including, but not limited to:
- Wooden doors
- Oven door
- Glass door
- TV unit
- Sharp corners
- Cot sides
- My head
We previously called the Health Visitor and we were advised to ignore it and that Little J will stop before he hurts himself. I’m really not so sure. There have been times where Little J has used his whole weight to throw his head against the door. It is frustrating, annoying, terrifying and scary.
Just to be clear though, it isn’t just me that has to deal with all of this. Poor Daz also gets his fair share of getting hit, scratched, head butted and he also gets his beard pulled.
Little J isn’t always this terrible, difficult child. Sometimes he is an absolute dream. He’ll eat the food put in front of him, he’ll happily amuse himself with his toys, ‘read’ his books to himself, give the biggest loveliest hugs, smother us in kisses, fart, then laugh and run away (this is a new favourite of his, he has recently discovered that he can push farts out!) and just generally be a joy. Like in the photos below of the last few days:
When he’s lovely it is so difficult to believe that he can be so mean and aggressive. When he’s being difficult it’s hard to believe that he’s ever good.
So Why Am I Telling You All Of This?
Honestly, I want to let other mums/dads/carers reading this to know that you are not alone. I know what you are going through. We love our son to the moon and back but it’s okay to admit that being a parent is fucking hard work.
I’ve also written this post to ask for help. Is there anyone reading this that has been through this already and can share some advice or words of wisdom? Is this due to lockdown or is this The Terrible Twos? Have you found anything that works well or anything I should avoid? I know that all children are different but I would love to hear your advice! I know that the Health Visitor says that this is normal but I am so worried that he is going to hurt himself. There surely must be a better way for him to vent his frustrations.