Sunday, 15 March 2009

Lists and things like tantrum control

I love my children. I love my children. I love my children. This is actually just a precursor to the fact that I'm going to moan about them and not because they've done anything particulalrly cute today. But now I've written that I feel a tad guilty, so I'll just give you a couple of cute tidbits before I start the moan.

From Renée - 'Mummy - you're the best Mummy in the world. And if they had Mummy's on other planets then you'd be better than them as well.'

From Edie - 'Mummy - Edie Nenée's big sister.' 'No Edie, Renée is the big sister. Renée is Edie's big sister'. 'No' (going red in the face and stamping her feet). 'Edie Nenée's big sister.' 'No Edie. Edie is Renée's little sister.' 'No' (throwing herself on the ground and thumping her fists). 'Edie big sister. Edie got bigger bot bot.' 'Well, yes possibly...if you look at it like that.'

But aside from the cuteness of it all, I do like a good moan. I should really be called 'Moaning Mum' but I found a blog written by someone who uses that pseudonym already so I'll just stick to being Emily and I promise that my next blog post will be slightly more upbeat because in all honesty I adore my children and wouldn't have it any other way. But in the meantime, here's the moan...encouraged somewhat by a Twitter update I read today from Backpacking Dad. It read something like this...(actually it read entirely like this because I've just cut and pasted it)...

'If toddlers could fire rifles with any accuracy they could take over the world. Temperaments of freedom fighters. Uncompromising.'

It made me laugh because it reminded me of Edie. She will not stop until she gets what she wants. I honestly don't remember the tantrum stage with Renée (a case of rose-coloured spectacles possibly), but Edie has one every five minutes. A tantrum putting on shoes (if I try to help). A tantrum leaving the house (if I try to open the front door instead of her). A tantrum getting into the car (if I don't let her climb into the car seat all by herself). A tantrum if I put her in her own car seat (instead of Renée's which is infinitely superior because Renée's is a 'big girl's seat'). I could go on and on. I let it wash over me most of the time because I'm sincerely hoping it's just a phase. I'll come back to you in 8 months time when she's out of the 'terrible twos' and let you know then.

But it did get me thinking that my daily life now revolves around hair brushing, teeth brushing, tantrum control, dawdling prevention, meal cooking, more tantrum control, breaking up sibling brawls and various other exciting things which I had no idea about before I became a Mother. And then I thought about how different my life is now compared with how it was just a few precious years ago. So let me share these lists with you.

10 exciting things I did before having children

  1. Interviewed the legend that is Magic Johnson and made him laugh at my jokes.
  2. Climbed to the top of one of the highest active volcanoes in the world - Cotopaxi in Ecuador - whilst filming the Raid Gauloises for Trans World Sport.
  3. Sat next to Stevie Wonder in a bar in Paris.
  4. Flew in a 4-seater aircraft and landed in the middle of the Sahara Desert on my way to film the Marathon des Sables in Morocco.
  5. Ate Dog in South Korea. Not intentionally of course.
  6. Went to Equatorial Guinea to film Eric 'The Eel' Moussambani. Ok, so probably most of you won't know who that is but he was big at the Sydney Olympics. Remember, this is a pre-children list!
  7. Had Stephen Fry sing Happy Birthday to me when I was 17. Well the truth is, he sat at the next table to us when I was blowing out the candles on my cake and everyone else joined in - so he may have hummed along. And yes, I know he's not even following me on Twitter, but that's because I'm too proud to ask.
  8. Won a Blue Peter badge for being runner-up in the Winter Wonderland competion when I was 9 years old.
  9. Got married to a wonderful man who was my partner in crime for so many years as we filmed around the world.
  10. Gave birth to my two beautiful daughters and became a Mother. Which leads me neatly on to the next list.

10 exciting things I do now that I have children

  1. Wake up in the night because one child has been sick all over her cot. Spend almost an hour bathing said child and changing sheets and mopping up sick. Child is too upset to sleep in cot so comes in to bed with me. Finally drift back to sleep to be awoken by child throwing up all over my bed clothes instead of hers. Spend half an hour changing my sheets. Finally drift back to sleep only to be awoken by other child who has wet the bed. Change sheets and try to go back to sleep but am unable to for fear of being woken again. To be fair this did only happen once and it was more than a year ago, but something like that is hard to forget.
  2. Clean up chocolate biscuits left on the floor by toddlers. Decide to eat a few large crumbs whilst tidying up only to discover that they are not chocolate biscuits after all...but child's poo. (Yes I know I already told you that one), but it is a corker.
  3. Put on a combined total of 8 stone during my two pregnancies. And yes I know I told you that one too, but I obviously haven't got over it.
  4. Never ever ever have a lie in because my husband is always away and when he's home he's so full of energy that there's too many things to do.
  5. Leave the house wearing a brand new cashmere jumper (and thinking I don't look half bad) only to discover that there's vomit down my back and has been there all day.
  6. Regularly clean up sick and poo and don't even think twice about it.
  7. Spend all day trying to stop one child pulling another child's hair only to have my hair pulled instead.
  8. Spend so much of my life talking to children that when I'm faced with talking to adults I momentarily forget how to speak.
  9. Load the washing machine at least three times a day. Then dry the clothes, fold them and put them away only to take them straight back out to get them dirty all over again. Told you these were exciting things...
  10. Oh yes, I almost forgot. Write a blog about how exciting my life is because I really do think it's exciting (in a funny sort of way).


  1. Well, as a new mum of two, am feeling better after reading your blog. Actually had a lovely day today as Otto - who is also well into the terrible twos - was an absolute angel and unbelievably co-operative with everything. Still in shock. But have had some days in the last month when I have thought why on earth did I think it was a good idea to have another child when I can't even cope with one??

  2. I am glad I am not the only one who sometimes struggles to talk to adults!!! see you tom at swimming. Claire

  3. I am glad to see that I am not the only one mastering the "Toddler Fighting"! I was in the lead until this morning when I gave up and gave him chocolate cake instead of porridge for breakfast. I could no longer cope with the rolling around on the floor and the high pitch screams, all of this before I had my coffee... I shall be back by tonight let me tell you!!

  4. My husband always says having one child is like having a pet. Having two is like running a zoo...and it's true. Yes, I give chocolate cake for breakfast too (but only if there's a tantrum on the horizon)!!

  5. Ah man, I have given up trying to be adult like around my friends now that we have two kids. I'm just glad that some of our friends are starting to have kids now so they can join us in recounting stories and talking in baby voices :)

  6. That "forget to speak" thing. Yes. I do that. I always occasionally point out tractors and diggers, out loud, even if I'm on my own in the car.