This is an emergency – Santa’s got his dates wrong!!!!

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Not only that but it would appear his reindeer have abandoned him! He’s now resorting to driving an old Merc and using a ladder. God help us all.

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Thoughts on yodelling, a healthy alternative to screaming.

My youngest daughter Isabelle, (the one who won’t sleep or be broken by controlled crying), has the mother and father of all screams. To look at her you’d expect perhaps a gentle gurgle or a cutesy little giggle, but NO, she’s a total yob. When we’re out in public and she starts screaming, I NEVER get a sympathetic shrug or tolerant smile from passers by, I get curled lips or grotesque snarls. On really bad days people have been known to simply run away from us, shrieking because their ears are bleeding.

At the moment she seems to be a bit poorly. I don’t know what’s wrong with her, it may be teething, a virus, permanent emotional scarring from the failed controlled crying, no idea, but she’s very cross, very clingy and very hard work. So, anyway, today she decided that the only place she wanted to be was my hip. At this point, I feel it’s important to say that I’m excellent at doing most things with one hand whilst holding or even breast-feeding the baby. Opening tins, buttering toast, going to the toilet, all easy, but I draw the line at chopping onions. Needless to say, at dinnertime, Isabelle was furious when I dared to put her down to chop said onions and screamed as though I’d just thrown her in the bin, which I have to admit was incredibly tempting.

By the time bed-time finally arrived, I was a match short of fireworks. I don’t know about you, but I find changing a screaming child’s, nappy absolutely hideous. They squirm, they flail and when possible fling poop at areas of the body that have managed to avoid tomato sauce or beige mush. Tonight though, the final straw came in the form of baby-grow poppers. Poppers are IMPOSSIBLE to pop when a baby is kicking and screaming and tonight when none were popping I felt the need to scream. So I did. I wish I could say that Isabelle’s surprise at my vocal outburst stopped her own screams but as you’ve probably guessed it made her scream even louder but with a new element of terror mixed in for good measure. Poor little thing, there’s nothing worse than frightening a baby, so, in desperation, I started to yodel. Yes, yodel. Now that did surprise her and also brought the screams down to a confused whimper.

Now I’m no scientist, (although a double B in combined science is nothing to sniff at) but I do feel as though I’ve stumbled onto some sort of important discovery here. Who knew that yodelling could calm the nerves so dramatically? I’m not talking about the baby of course, yodelling won’t work on her twice in a row, but I found it rather wonderful. I’d even go as far as saying that for a moment it made my spirit soar.

So, if you ever find yourself on the edge of a popper-induced meltdown, just try a quick yodel. You never know, it might work for you too.

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Ten things you should relish before having children

1. Having a lie-in. Once you have children you’re unlikely to have one together for about 15 years.

2. Going to the toilet alone. Children gravitate to the toilet if they sense an adult is enjoying a moment in there alone. They want to be as close to you and the toilet as possible which is not usually a great idea BECAUSE YOU’RE GOING TO THE TOILET!

3. Enjoying breakfast or lunch or dinner without someone saying “Mummy can I have some Ribena please”, just as you’ve sat down or “Mummy this is DISGUSTING, I want fish fingers.”

4. Having a shower without someone screaming in the background, or even managing to have a shower at all when you have a baby.

5. Being able to go out for an impromptu drink.

6. Sleep. Ahh my long-lost friend, how I miss you… Even when you no longer have a baby, it’s likely at least one of the kids will wake up after having a nightmare/accident/illness.

7. Wearing clothes that don’t have, sick, spit, bogies, Weetabix/unknown beige mush or tomato sauce on them.

8. Not having to watch or listen to children’s telly which seems to always be on somewhere.

9. Ironing without the fear of permanently disfiguring a small person going through a “pulling” phase, who decides that under the ironing board next to the iron cord is where they most want to sit.

10. Sunbathing/reading/relaxing on holiday for longer than 5 minutes at a time.

Day 13 Controlled Crying, an improvement? Pah.

Well, she woke up at 5.30am which is good. According to my husband, she did a bit of whining in the night but I didn’t hear it and she must have got herself back to sleep, which is good. However, I refuse to think it’s good because tonight may well be terrible and I want to be prepared.

On a more positive note, little, naughty, sleepless, gorgeous Izzy has started walking this week! Wey hey! She looked sooooo pleased with herself and although she’s not walking constantly yet she’s doing it more and more each day. The day she did her best walk(about 12 steps), my Mum was with me and I thought how lovely it was that we shared that brilliant little moment. So often our kids do cool stuff and no one else sees it (or is interested), but this was precious and I got to share it with someone who really loves Izzy too. Yum.

Also, she’s 1 tomorrow! I can’t believe it, my little baby will no longer be 0. We won’t ever be able to do one of our favourite jokes about putting the baby on the naughty step for zero minutes cos she’s zero, because we won’t ever have another baby. That almost makes me sad but then I get over it pretty quickly and cheer heartily. Hooray!

So Isabelle is asleep, the kids are at school/pre-school and I’m going to have a cup of Tetleys blended tread, a mixture of builders and green tea, which is actually very tasty and also makes me feel like I’m being healthy. I shall also read my book. Heaven.

Day 12 controlled crying. Ho Hum.

Last night during Isabelle’s one and a half hour crying session, Ferg and I had a great chat about our favourite American TV shows. I should probably point out that Ferg is my husband, not my bit of fluff. Ha ha ha ha ha, Sh. We are massive fans of shows like, The Sopranos, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, The Wire, Breaking Bad and of course Homeland. We love telly. Some couples love adventure, theatre, chess(?), but we love a ruddy good sit down and some serious tellyvision. We obviously do other things too… but mainly we watch telly.

I haven’t said much about my hubby, but he’s super. Of course I love him but I also really like him. He also doesn’t expect me to do adventures or theatre or chess.

On the controlled crying front, we did the classic, 5 mins, 6 mins, 7 mins etc etc up to 14 mins with only a very brief shh in between. It was better than the night before by an hour, but who knows what tonight will bring?

So, that’s it really, see you tomorrow.

Day 9, 10 and 11 of totally, out of control crying.

Over the weekend, after my ridiculous declaration that we’d cracked it, my smallest daughter has decided she doesn’t do sleeping. Especially at night. Especially when I’m trying to get her to sleep at night. So I’m considering drastic measures. Here are the options; soundproofing, (expensive and inconvenient but probably worth it) hiring a wet nurse, (old school but creepy) or running away,(cheaper than soundproofing with no inconvenience to me and not creepy. Downside, no home, although that also means no housework. Mmmm sounds good.)

But REALLY what do I do? Last night she kept at it for 2 and a half hours after starting at 12pm, that’s a big chunk of deep sleep time. Even then she only stopped crying because I fed her. I’m making her sound like the enemy here, a very small, gorgeous enemy, but that’s not how I feel. I just feel… Over it.

I know this time will eventually pass but it’s hard, my Mum’s about to have a serious operation to treat bladder cancer and I want to be able to give her my all, to be peppy and positive, but at the moment I’m constantly half asleep and she must feel like she has a zombie for a daughter. Add to that 2 other children who need a loving, attentive mummy rather than a screeching harpy with wild eyes and you’ve got a recipe for tumultuous chaos.

What’s the solution, assuming she’s not going to start sleeping through consistently? I guess we just plug away at it and pray for strength, I think we’re going to need a miracle!