DADDY UNCOOL: The dizzying highs and exhausting lows of parenting two little girls.

 

#4. Temper Temper

 

I was looking through the On This Day section of Facebook recently and came across a photo of Blondie stood proudly next to her brand new sister, Red, at a special event in a local park, a year ago. I felt a warm glow of pride, until I remembered what that day was really like. It was supposed to be the day we showed off Red to some of our friends for the first time, and of course Blondie would be mature enough to let her take centre stage. And of course, this didn’t happen.

 

We were, by now, well into the era of the “threenager”, which began with a screaming fit bang on her third birthday because she didn’t like people singing “Happy birthday” to her. Weary parents in the know will inform you that having a “threenager” is just an extension of the “terrible twos”. I’d say from our experience that the main difference between the two is that 2-year-olds will stubbornly refuse to do ALMOST ANYTHING you ask them to, whereas 3-year-olds will on a good day make you feel like things are improving and your child is on the verge of being reasonable, before astounding you with outrageous displays of rage.

 

I can honestly say I’ll never get over the horror of dealing with the tantrums of a 3-year-old. They often come from nowhere, like a switch has been flicked. There are brilliant books out there of pictures of kids having meltdowns for the most ridiculous of reasons, but when it’s happening to you, it’s not funny at all. They tend to save them for when you’re surrounded by people, often strangers. Remember those times you were in a supermarket and would hear a child bawling, with a helpless parent stood over them, and you’d tut and instantly judge them as being a shit mum/dad? Didn’t know how hard it could be then did you? Not so quick to judge now, eh?! I remember Blondie went insane one New Year’s Eve because her ice cream was “too cold” in Wagamama. We were at a loss as to how to deal with her. All we knew was, the screaming had to stop. So in a blind panic, I picked her up and ran away, across a shopping centre with a screaming little girl in my arms. I then panicked because I was terrified somebody would think I was kidnapping her. In the end I put her down and had my own meltdown, begging her to stop until Mummy Cool lived up to her name and managed to settle us both down. Another job well done from me.

 

All parents have to be prepared to get their children a crap cuddly toy from an overpriced stall at a fair. Into the hook a duck arena I went, sweat forming on my brow incase my manhood was called in question by the tiny net. No problem with that, here, have a cuddly blue unicorn, oh daughter of mine. The storm clouds parted and a ray of light beamed from Blondie’s face. For five minutes. Then Blondie decided she wanted a pink one instead. So we reeled in the pink one. Not good enough. With a face like thunder, the tantrum was now in full effect as Blondie began shouting and screaming that we had to also buy the purple one as it was the only one left and would be lonely otherwise. While looking back I admire her sense of empathy, going insane over the matter in front of friends and strangers was very embarrassing. Unlike most tantrums this one just went on and on, and poor Red’s spotlight was cruelly snatched away as people laughed at our eldest. And for good reason, to be fair, but that doesn’t help a poor little girl in the middle of a breakdown. After buying the third, Blondie decided she hated them all. She started throwing them across the field. The only option was to leave, but at the same time as rejecting them (didn’t like the feel of them), she refused to leave them behind. So if she threw them, we needed to pick them up. If we picked them up, she went barmy and threw them away again. It took what felt like five hours to escape that field, and if I had my way I’d have set fire to the bastard things in some sort of Wicker Man-style-event that would have formed the centerpiece of the whole sorry experience. To cap off the day, when we got home, Blondie hung all three off a door handle while we ate our tea in silence. When we asked why she’d done that, she said she didn’t like the way they were looking at her…

 

Thankfully, Blondie is no longer a threenager, but it seems she’s always going to have a bit of a temper, and that’s come from me, Mummy Cool takes great pleasure in reminding me. She is very particular about the way her dolls look and if she ever asks me to dress them a certain way, my heart stops. I’m a man, I just don’t get it, and she hates that. The other day she threw a doll at me and shouted “Well this is a nightmare isn’t it?” after I said I couldn’t give it a ponytail the way she wanted it. But at least she apologises straight away now. What worries me though, is that Red is only just over a year old and yesterday she had a tantrum because I couldn’t feed her custard fast enough, and didn’t stop whining until I handed her the pot to hold as a trophy. And she’s supposed to be the mellow one….

 

DADDY UNCOOL: Parent Blog has been written by a local East Riding dad, check him out on Twitter @Daddyuncoolblog and daddyuncool on Facebook