The Adventure of Superheroes and Dreams

All my Noah wants in life is to be a superhero. Judging by the number of superheroes that exist in the world of television these days, I am quite sure that a lot of four-year-olds share the same dream. Of course, with Noah, the superhero fixation is intense. And although I find it charming, although I am proud of the boy’s imagination, I do find it all a teeny tiny bit exhausting.

Example:

Last night, my husband was working late, therefore not in the proximity at bedtime. Noah knows what’s what. He knows what he can get away with. He knows I am the weaker one, the one with the more wobbly and changeable rules. My husband is the first to attest that Noah never plays him up at bedtime. Oh no. He saves that particular superpower for me. Two minutes after I said goodnight and left him in his bedroom, he was calling me. I trudged back upstairs.

“I need to be blue, Mummy,” he said. “Blue like the Blue Beetle. How can I get a blue face?”

“You can get face paints. Goodnight, Noah.”

“Will face paints make my face blue?”

“Yes.”

“All over my face and my eyes?”

“Yes. Now, goodnight.”

“But not inside my eyes, Mummy.”

“No, not inside your eyes.”

“Because if paint gets inside my eyes, I won’t be able to see. And it will hurt.”

“Okay. Goodnight now, Noah.”

“Wait, Mummy! What about my feet? How can I get blue feet?”

“You can put face paint on those too. You should have been asleep ages ago so I’m going now.”

“Face paints on the face of my feet?”

“Er…yes…”

“And my legs?”

“Yes.”

“Both sides of my legs?”

“Yes.”

“And I need blue arms.”

“You can use face paints. We’ll get lots of face paints and you can be painted completely blue. But right now, you need to go to sleep.”

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A lot to answer for

Every day, Noah wants to dress up as a superhero. He can go through several different personas in the space of fifteen minutes. I have to watch his superhero moves on my bed. “Watch this, Mummy!” And he launches up in the air at a contorted angle. “And Mummy! Watch this!” And he attempts some sort of gymnastics, landing in a heap. Putting the washing away takes about half an hour because I have to enthuse over so many of Noah’s moves. The bedsheets, pillows and mattress protector have to be reattached to my bed several times a day. There is no escape from the superhero downstairs, either. He launches off my chair (which I am not allowed to sit in) and throws himself across the room crying “Super cat speed!” Every time he needs to pick something up, he declares “Super Gekko muscles!”

I am also required to be a superhero myself in role plays where Noah is director, creator and controller of the game. He tells me everything I have to say and every move I have to make. I often get things wrong which enrages him. There is no room for improv on my part and no opportunity for my own creative exploration. Noah is a creative dictator.

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I’ll be Batman and you be…the green one…and you stand over there and don’t say anything

Noah’s passions have always been relentless from the moment he was born. His first passion, of course, was breastfeeding. As a baby, this was all he was interested in doing all day and (especially) all night. Until he discovered the delights of food and breastfeeding was just at night. All night.

Noah is a spirited and an intense child and I often question whether I am cut out to be the mother of a spirited and intense child. I wonder whether I’m getting it wrong somehow. When we are in a restaurant and Noah is hanging upside down from his seat, refusing to talk in anything but baby speak, refusing to eat anything, I look around the restaurant and every other child of his age is sitting there eating dinner calmly. I have no idea how other parents manage this. Okay, so a lot of these quiet children are on ipads so maybe I do know how a lot of parents manage this…But I have to wonder – did I eat too much Haribo when I was pregnant? Did I make Noah like this? Because I did eat a lot of Haribo.

And yet, as my Dad is fond of saying, it’s the Noahs who change the world. Passion is a gift. Spirit is a gift. Dreams are a gift. So I play along with these superhero games with as much enthusiasm as I can muster. I often find myself gritting my teeth and waiting for Noah’s phases to pass. But do I actually want this phase to pass? Do I want Noah to give up on wanting to be a superhero and get the bad guys? Do I want him to stop believing he can do the impossible?

Hell no.

Today I turn 35. Every time I think of this, I feel like a bucket of ice has been tipped over my head. I am closer to 40 than I am to 30. I am virtually middle-aged. I have grey in my hair and frown lines between my eyebrows and little pouches under my eyes when I smile. I have a little lump that comes and goes on my leg, about the size of the fingernail on my little finger, and I am terrified it will turn into a varicose vein. My metabolism gets a bit slower every hour (although that could have something to do with the amount of jaffa cakes I consume to get me through each day). Today I turn 35 – that magical age when a woman’s fertility suddenly takes a nose dive because my eggs are all old and my ovaries are weary. Yesterday, when I was 34, I was so much more fertile than I am today. But today I turn 35 and I am still chasing after my dream.

Since I was twelve, I have wanted to write novels. In fact, I have written several novels. I wrote a series of novels when I was a teenager. Think Sweet Valley High. Think Sweet Dreams. Think Point Romance. I created my own version called The Kool Kids. I wanted to have a novel published before I was 30. When I was 28, I decided I had better get cracking so I religiously wrote for 20 minutes every single day. After ten months voila I had my first novel. Alas, it wasn’t good enough. So when I went to Vienna and faced two years of unemployment, I decided to neglect my Hausfrau duties (such as doing the washing or tidying up) and spend my free time writing another novel. But an average literary agent receives fifty unsolicited manuscripts a week from people like me. That’s 2600 a year. An average literary agent takes on about three of these writers. This is the kind of thing they teach you at the writing events I have been to: how unlikely it is that you will ever get published. The book I have just written is better than the book I wrote six years ago. But is it good enough? Look at the odds.

If this novel gets rejected 50 times, if this novel doesn’t make it, it will be disappointing. No, it will be soul destroying. Every rejection hurts. Of course it does. I am not particularly resilient by nature. I am not particularly confident or driven. But eventually, I know for a fact, my soul will heal, I will get over it and I will start writing another novel and maybe that will be the one. Who knows?

My spirit and determination is altogether a quieter thing than Noah’s. But I am 35 and I still have a dream. I still have a dream because my Mum and Dad believe in me and they are as close to real life superheroes as you can get. By the time Noah is 35, I hope he is everything he wants to be. And if he isn’t, I hope he still has a dream.

So when Noah is at nursery today, I will go to the shops and find him some face paint. A lot of face paint. And I will come home and paint him blue if that is what he wants. And I will let him paint me green. Or red. Or stripy. I will do whatever I need to do to keep him believing he is a superhero for as long as I possibly can.

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Present Boy…Superpowers include unwrapping other people’s presents and camouflaging himself in the wrapping paper.

P.S. Can anyone tell me where to buy face paints??


 

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10 Not Toy Things to Keep Toddlers/Threenagers Amused for Hours

Here is a list of non-toy things that can keep toddlers or threenagers amused for hours… okay, for at least 10 minutes.

  1. The brown paper stuff that comes in Amazon parcels (aka a pet snake, an obstacle course)

Phone Pics 8.4 0902. A dustpan and brush. Noahella was only 13 months old here. We trained him well (I wish). When we bought him his own toy set from ELC, he lost interest: he used it as a weapon instead. The times I have been smashed over the head with the broom…

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3. CDs/books/DVDs. This creates an awful mess but at least he is old enough to put everything back now… in theory…

1052989_10100357523307834_1662826393_o4. The washing basket is very versatile. It can be used for hide and seek, toy storage and as a football goal.

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5. Pine cones, acorns, sticks, pebbles, twigs, leaves, stones, grit, muck etc are great for treasure hunts…or stuffing in shoes. Seriously, this is one of my favourites as it keeps Noah occupied for ages.

20150809_1113196. Sellotape is Noah’s tool of choice in our household. Sellotape is stuck to the mirror in the hall. Sellotape is stuck all over the cover and in between the pages of Noah’s Postman Pat book because one of the pages had fallen out. And every Buzz needs a bit of sellotape to secure his wings, right?

20150809_1155427. Our sofa never looks like a sofa: it is a bouncy castle or a fort or just a mess.

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8. The bath is a swimming pool, especially when it’s 39 degrees and you’re bored but it’s too hot to go outside. Or rather, the bath was once a swimming pool and never will be again seeing as the bath being a swimming pool meant the whole bathroom being a swimming pool too. Watch out for the water gun.

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9. The sprinkler in the park is a perfect non toy toy: it’s not in my house; if it gets broken it’s not my responsibility to fix it and there’s a nice shady spot where I can sit and watch him.

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10. The fan goes on. The fan goes off. The fan goes on. The fan goes off. The fan goes on. The fan breaks. It’s 39 degrees. Take a valium.

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You Baby Me Mummy

The Adventure of being a SAHM (Part 1)

For those of you who don’t know, a SAHM is a Stay At Home Mom. I write it the American way, because I am sure it was originally an American term. In December, I am moving back to England with Noah and I have been thinking about what I want to do on my return. As a result, I’ve been contemplating my life as a SAHM quite a lot. It’s something I never thought I would be. But here I am.

It’s not a glamorous job.

I have just looked in the mirror. I don’t do this as much as I used to. I no longer stand in front of the mirror when I brush my teeth: I make use of the time by sorting through the washing basket, wandering into my bedroom to get my clothes ready for the day or completing some other one-minute chore. I no longer give myself a full length once-over before I leave the house; it simply doesn’t enter my head. The only time I usually look in the mirror is when I brush my hair back into its daily ponytail, and even then, I only really look at my hair. When I do happen to look in the mirror for longer than five seconds, I am often horrified by how my eyebrows have overgrown without me noticing or by how dry my lips are or how my eyelashes seem to be growing thinner and fairer with age. Sometimes I pause there and try giving myself a smile. It’s horrific. My eyes have a slightly demonic glint – it’s the desperation in me to see the same reflection I would have four years ago. The skin is thinner around my eyes and puckers with the effort of the smile that quickly slides from my face. I don’t hate my appearance. I don’t fret about it. I am just slightly mystified by it.

So, I have just looked in the mirror (standing quite far away) and what I thought was this: have I become a Mumsy Mum? What does mumsy actually mean? I googled it and I found:

  • A woman who has an old fashioned appearance
  • A traditional mother
  • Dull
  • Unfashionable
  • Dowdy
  • Frumpy
  • Inelegant
  • An insult
  • Anti-feminist

Hmm. Poor Mumsy Mums.

Never have I felt more dowdy and inelegant as I did when I had just had Noah. My real clothes didn’t fit me. I was breastfeeding so clothes had to have easy access whilst at the same time being discreet. I made sure I had a shower every day but that was as far as my grooming progressed. I lived in leggings and baggy tops and UGG boots (so used they grew a shiny sheen). I put on just under two and a half stone when I was pregnant (quite normal I am told). After the birth, I immediately dropped a stone but the rest of it wasn’t going anywhere until Noah started weaning. I felt like a frump. I felt like the definition of Mumsy.

And yet…

I felt like I shouldn’t be a mum. Noah was always (a) distressed or (b) feeding. When guests came around, there were no snuggly newborn cuddles. Instead, I looked on desperately as he was passed around like a hot potato to see who could get him to stop crying. There was only one person and that was me, or more specifically, my boob. Health visitors and “experts” claimed babies should settle into routines of feeding every three hours. I was lucky to get an hour unattached. Despite this, he dropped from the 75th to the 9th percentile. I spent my whole existence, morning and night, feeding my child only for him to hover at the top of the 9th percentile for three months. I felt pressure to stop breastfeeding but I refused. I was failing him*. And then there was the love. The love I felt for my child. The desperation I felt to protect him. The load I carried in my mind of all the imaginings of bad things that could happen to him. I just didn’t know what to do with all that love. What had I been thinking, getting myself pregnant and having a child? I wasn’t cut out to be a mother!

*(Of course, I wasn’t really failing him. As he stayed in the 9th percentile, his weight gain was deemed “satisfactory”. We discovered at 3 months that his jaw was out of line. Once that was fixed, he piled on the pounds.)

So when I was looking my most mumsy, I was feeling my least mumsy. So much for that definition. I shall never use it again.

At my most mumsy...apart from the red boots
At my most mumsy…apart from the red boots

But, my appearance has changed since becoming a SAHM. I hardly ever wear make-up. I am always casually dressed. But what do I expect? I never go anywhere apart from to the shops, to the kindergarten and to the park. When I used to go to work, examining myself in front of the mirror was a vital part of the job. Did I have VPL? Who wants a thirteen year old girl sniggering at knicker lines on their backside? Not me. Was my top too tight? Was I showing any cleavage? Who wants a teenage boy distracted even more distracted from their lesson on Macbeth because he’s ogling their boobs? Most certainly not me!

And yet…

Do I buy less clothes since moving to Vienna and becoming a SAHM? Hell no. I buy clothes all the time to cheer myself up. Just ask my husband. He claims I will need to put some of my clothes in storage once we move back to our shoebox in Essex. Ha. What he doesn’t know is that half my clothes are already in storage – all of my work clothes – and they will be coming back out again when we move home. Clothes in storage? I don’t think so, dear.

When I move back to England, I am contemplating being more glamorous like my Mum and my sister. Maybe I will go for facials, get false eyelashes, get my nails done. I will certainly get my fringe cut more often and keep my roots blonde and shiny. Being a teacher isn’t a particularly glamorous job either, but I was always coordinated. In other words, I always had a necklace on to match my outfit. Now I don’t even know where half my necklaces are.

No, being a SAHM is not at all glamorous. But, it does have its blessings. The biggest blessing is time. Yes, a lot of my time involves the experience of tantrums, the hopeless emotional outpourings of a three year old boy. Here is a list of the tantrums I have lived through today:

5.15am – tantrum because I had taken the fan out of his room

8am – tantrum because I tried to force him to count the spots on the dice when we were playing his dinosaur board game and he couldn’t be bothered

1pm – tantrum because he wanted one of the chocolates my husband gave me for our anniversary last weekend and I had eaten the last one

4pm – tantrum because he didn’t want to wear his shoes to walk back from the park

5pm – tantrum because he wanted to use my iPad (I never even said he couldn’t!)

And when I say tantrum, I mean screaming at the top of his lungs. I mean having to avoid a few slaps and jabs. I mean him being inconsolable for at least 20 minutes. If I had gone to work today, I would have only experienced 40% of his tantrums. If I had gone to work today, I’d probably be feeling less fraught. I probably wouldn’t have just eaten four Oreos (I could have stopped at two). But I wouldn’t have been there on the way home from nursery when he decided to run through the sprinklers in the park. I wouldn’t have heard his squeals of glee and I wouldn’t have seen the delight on his face.

Undoubtedly, I have found being a SAHM hard. It has been that much harder because I am living in a foreign country. But it has been precious.

Who needs necklaces when I have my Noah? My darling boy who runs his hands over my face and says, “Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, you’re so beautiful!”

True happiness
True happiness
A great way to cool down in 33 degree heat
A great way to cool down in 33 degree heat

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Adventures at Our Park

We live on a road that runs around a park. It is Our Park. We love our park. It has two unsightly flak towers on either side of it, but luckily, the view from our window is through the middle of them. You get used to them. To Noah, they are a sign of being home.

A bit of PR for Vienna's parks in the run up to Eurovision
A bit of PR for Vienna’s parks in the run up to Eurovision

The flak tower is hardly noticeable
The flak tower is hardly noticeable
Over the past 16 months, the park has been ideal for picnics, scooter races, playing in the snow, bike practise and cheap ice lollies from the café (90 cents for a Twister!). It gets us out of the house. It is a place where Noah can’t cause too much trouble, try as he might. It is beautifully kept with flower beds and sprinklers and gardeners in green uniforms. On trips home, I miss the park on our doorstep.

And then there’s the playground. I am not exaggerating when I say that the playground has saved my life. Noah and I have been to that playground in -9 degrees blizzards and 40 degrees heat.

However…as with everything involving a three year old, our park has its challenges.

 

Challenge 1 – Buzz

When we go to the park, Noah switches to his alter ego, Buzz. Buzz is a naughtier version of Noah. Who snapped the new flag off Noah’s new bike? Buzz. Who left a pile of shoes, socks, coat and hat in the middle of the hall? It was Buzz. Who threw a plate of food on the floor because he didn’t want it? Buzz, of course.

At the park, Noah keeps up a steady stream of conversation with Buzz. If I accidentally call my son by his given name, the name that came to me in a dream when I was pregnant, I get an angry response: “I’m not Noah, I’m Buzz!”

Where is my Noah, then?

Buzz speaks to other children, not as a peer, but as a superior being, an intergalactic space ranger. Sometimes, his authoritative tones make smaller children cry, especially when coupled with Buzz snatching his spade back from someone who has borrowed it.

Austrian children don’t tend to talk to themselves at the park.

 

Challenge 2 – Sandpit Wars

Noah has a range of sandpit toys. As well as the bog standard bucket and spade, he has a digger, a dump truck, a watering can, ice cream cones and scoop, a brick mould and trowel as well as an array of those shape things you fill with sand and then tip upside down. Other children covet Noah’s sand toys. Neither Noah nor Buzz like other children touching their things. Oh no.

At first, I didn’t mind either. Then the sand toys started to disappear. I’d have to keep track of who had Noah’s bucket as well as keep track of what Noah and Buzz were up to hanging upside down off the slide. His spade and shape things were buried by bigger children and I had to dig up the entire sandpit with a rake before I managed to excavate them. Now I’m not so generous with Noah’s sand toys, especially if the park is busy.

Sandpit wars don’t just involve the children. Sometimes parents get involved. Other parents (who haven’t brought any sand toys with them) have, on occasion, informed Noah (and me) that it is okay for their child to play with Noah’s toys. If they speak German, I blank them, though I hear what they are saying loud and clear. Usually, they’ve heard me speaking English to Noah, or overheard Noah’s and Buzz’s conversation, so they speak English. They have that skill.

 

Challenge 3 – The Big Swing

Our park has one of those big woven swing things that fits about four children inside. I don’t know the official name for it, but we refer to it as “the big swing”. The big swing is Noah’s current favourite thing in the playground. The big swing is a popular feature: it’s never empty. Wherever Noah is playing, he always has one eye on the big swing. As soon as he notices it is free, he makes a run for it, yelling at me over his shoulder to hurry up. Unfortunately, Noah’s legs do not always carry him fast enough. The big swing is popular with big kids and big kids get there first. Then all hell breaks loose with Noah sobbing at the side of the swing whilst the bigger kids blithely jump aboard for a twenty minute swinging session.

Since moving to a foreign country where I speak little of the language, I have developed into a bit of a wimp. One day, Noah was waiting patiently by the big swing. There were four children sitting in it of ages from about eight to twelve. Two of them were eating ham semmels (rolls for those of you who don’t speak the lingo) and two of them were eating ice lollies. Noah waited, and he waited. They could see he was waiting. I went to stand beside him and glared at them.

“Mummy, are they getting off soon?” Noah enquired.

“I’m sure they will get off and give you a go,” I said loudly.

Except they didn’t. Twenty minutes passed with Noah waiting by the swing. Rolls were finished. When roll wrappers were taken to parents sitting ten metres away chatting, one child stayed behind to guard the swing, and to make sure the desperate three year old who had been patiently waiting to have a go, couldn’t claim his turn.

I glared at the parents. I glared at the children.

And yet. I said nothing. What a wimp. Why didn’t I politely ask if he could have a go? Twelve year olds learn English in school. They watch American films and speak English in an American accent. But I said nothing. And I have felt guilty about it ever since.

Instead, I coaxed Noah home with the promise of two jaffa cakes.

 

Challenge Four – The Tree House

It isn’t really a tree house because it isn’t in a tree, but I can’t think of another term to use to describe it. There is a wooden house about six feet off the ground. You can get to the house by climbing a rope ladder or walking up these wooden posts with foot rests. You can get down the same way, or there is a fireman’s pole to use.

Noah is far too young for this. He can climb up the rope ladder but getting down is a different matter: it is too daunting when he is six feet off the ground. Last year when he managed to get up there, he dropped down into my arms from the opening where the pole is, but he no longer has a two year old’s fearlessness.

I usually make sure he steers clear of this contraption, but I have always been inclined to slip into a daydream. Whilst Noah is on the slide, my mind sometimes starts to drift. I am called back to reality when I hear my son’s voice screaming at me from the other side of the playground. He has got into the not-treehouse and he can’t get down. I try in vain for ten minutes to coax him down the rope ladder. But no. There is only one way Noah is getting down from that not-tree house and that’s if I go up and get him. I kick my flip-flops off and climb the ladder. He throws himself at me and I grip on for both of our lives, rope burns cutting into the soles of my feet. I try to get him to put his weight on the rope but he’s having none of it and clings tighter around my neck. Inevitably, this results in me losing my footing and my leg falling through the hole in the rope ladder. I then have to perform a back bend worthy of an acrobat to slide Noah off the ladder onto the floor so he lands on his feet. The whole process is extremely undignified.

Next time, my Noah, I promise I will get those big kids off the big swing so you can have a go.

Noah and/or Buzz in the sandpit
Noah and/or Buzz in the sandpit

Mummascribbles

10 things you should know before embarking on a board game with your 3 year old

  1. There are not many board games that a 3 year old will fully understand. 3+ actually means 5.
  2. Most games involve counting. Although your 3 year old can confidently count to 11 (in English and in German), it seems he cannot count at all whilst playing a board game. Four on the dice is two and two, but two and two does not make four. Confused?
  3. He will constantly put the dice in the mouth. This will result in a conversation about choking to death, without actually mentioning death because you don’t want him to understand about death yet, but at the same time, you don’t want him to put the dice in his mouth.
  4. He will not throw the dice sensibly (i.e. so it lands within arm’s reach). He will throw it across the room every single time it is his turn, despite you saying “Keep it on the rug!” every single time it is his turn.  He will then excitedly chase the dice. He will get more and more animated every time he chases after the dice, just like a dog and its stick. You do not want him to get excited, you want him to focus on the board game because you want him to pass whatever tests the government are putting in place for four year olds when they start primary school next year.
  5. You will lose the dice. This will keep you awake at night. Did it somehow land in the bed? Could he choke on it in the middle of the night?
  6. The box won’t stay box shaped.
  7. You will later find bits of the board game under the rug, in between the sofa cushions and in the washing machine.
  8. He won’t take turns.
  9. The game will randomly be packed up by your 3 year old, inexplicably, 50-75% of the way through.
  10. On the odd occasion he does see the game through to the end, he will win.

You win, my Noah.

P.S. Orchard games are really good for 3 year olds!

Noah enjoying a game of Ladybirds. (He is actually wearing pants!)
Noah enjoying a game of Ladybirds. (He is actually wearing pants!)

An Hour in the Life of My Noah and Me

A rainy afternoon…

2.30pm

“That’s enough television for one day, Noah,” I say, switching off Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as it finishes. “Let’s play with your toys.”

Noah decides to play stickers. He has a Melissa and Doug sticker book where you can make a meal on a big plate, including drinks and desserts. He sticks some scrambled egg on top of a fried egg and tops it off with two spears of asparagus. Dessert? Ice cream. Drink? He isn’t thirsty.

And that’s the end of stickers.

2.35pm

“Shall we play Duplo?” I ask.

He agrees. I spend ten minutes building the new Duplo castle he got for his birthday while he pelts me with the Duplo cannon. It stings. He starts to play happily, engrossed with the knights and the horse and the drawbridge. He refers to the knights as “sisters” which I find a bit strange but don’t want to interrupt the rare flow of his independent play in order to question him about it. I stretch out next to him (because if I left the room it would be game over) and prepare myself to enjoy a few moments of peace while I scroll through Facebook. I manage to upload a photo of him in the park before the knights are having a rowdy sword fight. The fight moves from one knight attacking another knight, to one knight attacking the whole castle. Before I know it, there are Duplo bricks flying around the room.

That is the end of the castle and that is the end of Duplo.

2.50pm

“Shall we get all of your cars out and play with your garage?” I ask.

I get the box of cars and he arranges them into a very precise line along the edge of his rug. Then he picks each one up and lobs it in a different direction. One of them just misses my head. Instead of telling him off (which I have been doing constantly since 6am today) I pretend the car has really hurt me and fall to the ground with a moan. I close my eyes and go still. He comes over and pries one of my eyes open with a grubby finger. He peers into my face. “Do you want to build a snowman?” he asks.

And that is the end of cars.

3.00pm

While I am collecting the cars, he lines his dinosaurs up in a similar military fashion. I expect they will go the same way as the cars but at least flying dinosaurs cannot break the window. I am wrong: Noah gets his new birthday digger and drives it over the dinosaurs.

That is the end of the dinosaurs.

3.05pm

He wants his CD player on. Unfortunately for the people in the surrounding flats, the CD player seems to be stuck at the highest volume. I sing along with the nursery rhymes at the top of my voice. Who could resist? But Noah shushes me and tells me to go and sit quietly on his bed. He dances around his rug for at least three songs, kicking whatever toys get in his way. Then he gives up on dancing and just wants to spin. Unfortunately, he is spinning holding the tail end of his slinky dog meaning the top end of slinky becomes a weapon of mass destruction: all of the toys that were neatly arranged on his shelves are now on the floor.

Wind the Bobbin Up comes on the CD and I will not be silenced. I stand up and do the actions. Noah gives up on telling me to be quiet and goes and gets his guitar to add to the mix.

Then he starts swinging the guitar over his head and that is the end of nursery rhymes.

3.15pm

I write an N for Noah on his Megasketcher. He attempts to copy it and doesn’t do a bad job. Then he starts stabbing the Megasketcher with the pen and that is the end of Megasketcher.

3.17pm

“Shall we colour in a picture from your Peppa Pig colouring book?”

“No.”

“Shall we dress up as Pirates?”

“No.”

“Shall we fix something with your tools?”

“No.”

“Shall we read a book?”

“No.”

“Shall we play with your train set?”

He picks up as many pieces of his train set as he can possibly carry and dumps them in his fire engine tent.

And that is the end of trains.

3.25pm

“Let’s watch Frozen,” I say.

Thank goodness it’s nearly the weekend, My Noah.

Being naked on the bottom half as often as possible is a toddler thing. Right?
Being naked on the bottom half as often as possible is a typical toddler thing. Right?

*PLEASE NOTE: No sugar was consumed prior to the events in this blog.*