The Terrible Twos

The clock strikes midnight turning your gorgeous bundle of joy into a two-year-old. Like magic dust has been sprinkled over their pillow as they sleep, the ‘terrible twos’ alter their attitude and you are left wondering what on earth happened to your baby over night?

The sweet alliteration lulls you into a false sense of security that it can’t actually be that bad, don’t be fooled. Friends assure you their child made three drama free then whisper something inaudible about threenagers.

To offer a little advice, commiseration or encouragement, I have compiled my top moments of the phase so far. You will live with a mini volcano that will erupt spontaneously and inconsiderately though. Enjoy that.

They will ask for a blue plate, they want a blue plate, you serve dinner on the blue plate. They will scream for half an hour on the floor as they wanted a red plate and you are such a mean mummy for not sensing this telepathically.

For public meltdowns lift them up by the back of their coat and march out as if they are some sort of wriggly suitcase. Just always remember to zip up first to avoid face-plants.

They will sense any ounce of mum guilt and fully throw it back in your face. My Lincoln stopovers to get last minute projects done in December resulted in a meltdown at Disneyland as neither child wanted to sit with me on a ride, only Daddy. If you take it personally you will cry into your £20 cheeseburger and feel like a tit.

Their sweet nature and willingness to please will disappear, not all the time but enough to make you question if it is worth a Google to see at what age personality traits are set. I am reliably informed Adolf Hitler was a lovely child, maybe it’s not time to panic just yet.

 I smiled at Wilf playing the other day and he turned to me, pointed and shouted: “Do not smile at me mummy,” with the most furrowed brow a tiny face can muster.

Most of all try and keep a straight face. It is so hard at times, especially when they are in trouble for answering their dad back in a hilarious mimic involving a puppet parrot.

If all else fails, hide in the pantry and eat their Christmas chocolate whilst chanting: “You are not the boss of me.”

School Mum

At the tender age of 30 I became a school mum, no longer smug booking term time holidays at bargain prices. I’d heard so many horror stories about the dreaded school gate. A year in, what would I tell myself?

BBC’s Motherland, a comedy based around a group of school mums is actually quite depressing as it’s remarkably accurate, apart from the abundance of wine at children’s birthday parties.

So far that hasn’t materialised. The cliché characters really exist. It’s worse than being 15 years old in an all-girls school, with hormones almost visible as they float down the corridor. Bored school mums can be meaner than the Year 11 captain of the netball team. The worst part is, they will be nice to your face. Just blanket smile at everyone, it’s the safest option.

The school day is ridiculously short. It’s not really worth your while leaving. Why lose your parking spot, a mere 25-minute stroll from the gate after-all? Any trips you do result in a stressed and rushed commute back.

The image of your lonely child, last to be collected, assuming you’d forgotten them impressed on your mind. You’ll shout profanities at slow and leisurely drivers, praying they aren’t repeated at teatime by your two-year-old. Me: “Well they didn’t hear that from me?” Two-year old: “Mummy you said the old man was a sh*t driver.”

You can buy 30 pairs of navy socks and you still won’t be able to find a pair when you are running late. Note, it’s always these mornings that your child tells you they need their PE kit, blazer and library book but can’t possibly find it all themselves as they have to pick a ‘pocket-toy’ that will inevitably be lost in the playground, or launched over the fence. It was always a dare, never original thought, apparently.

Skive work for assembly. Watching your child spot you at the back of the hall and grin from ear to ear will make you want to sob uncontrollably. The guilt at missing one will be huge. “I looked for you mummy, but I couldn’t see you.”

The best part though is you will click with a few school mums and feel like you are 15 again, discussing boys in a hot tub. Only the boys aren’t boyfriends this time, just mini people who stole our hearts the day we brought them into the world.