HELP! My beautiful child has turned into Chucky! I have come to believe that my 17 month old daughter has an evil twin. I love her dearly (obviously), but if I’m being completely honest (and I generally am to a fault), sometimes, when she has tantrums, I don’t like her very much. And that is no easy thing to admit.
I don’t know quite when it happened. It wasn’t an auspicious day in any way, shape, or form, but I certainly remember it well. That day my gorgeous, happy, smiling, giggling bundle of joy was suddenly….not. I opened her bedroom door just before 7am to wake her, as I always do, so we could get ready for the childminder. I have a ‘real job’ (or my “days off” as I like to call them) as a secretary, 3 days a week. This had always been my favourite part of the day, and of a morning I couldn’t wait to open that bedroom door to be greeted by the beaming smile, wide sky blue eyes and outstretched, pudgy arms of my then 15 month old daughter who was always so damn thrilled to see me. I love how babies act as though you are the most hilarious comedian alive simply because you smiled at them and said, ‘bee boo!’ from behind closed fingers. But not that day. That day was the first day it happened. The day the evil twin arrived…
What the fuck are you doing?
I opened the door and waited for the shocked inhalation of breath and sudden flip over of body so she could see who was visiting her, and I wasn’t disappointed. However, instead of the usual greatly anticipated joyous greeting, I encountered a furrowed brow, slanted suspicious eyes and pursed lips. I could read that face perfectly well as it mirrored my own at being woken by anyone stupid enough to do so, and it said, quite plainly, “What the fuck are you doing, you moron!? I’m sleeping!” I nearly stepped back out of the room with a muttered, “So sorry”, but quickly recovered and plastered on my best happy mummy face (you know the one, we all have it, that slightly manic, gritted teeth smile that doesn’t reach the eyes) and stepped boldly into the middle of the room with a bright and cheery, ‘Good morning my angel! Did you have a nice sleep?’ My ‘angel’ responded by fixing me with a piercing, unwavering stare, picking up her soft monkey toy by a leg and smashing his face into the side of the cot bars. Message received. ‘Great hairy testicles of DOOM!’ thought I.
The day continued on a similar theme. Nappy changes that had previously been all tickles and giggles were replaced with kicking, crocodile death rolls and plenty of screaming. Meals that were air plane spoons landing gracefully into an eager open mouth had become jet fighters, desperately twisting and turning to avoid well-aimed Godzilla arms that sent them crashing to the ground in an explosion of organic mush and handfuls of lovingly prepared steamed veg thrown against the walls. Playtime had become battle time. I was a great comedian no more, booed and hissed from the stage in a shower of flying building blocks. What’s wrong with her? Is she sick? Is something troubling her? I voiced my concerns to my sister (a mother of 4, Child Health Advisor and former childminder) and was informed, ‘She’s becoming a toddler.” What? No! She’s not 2 yet! That’s when it starts…isn’t it? Apparently not. Tits.
Where was the warning that this was on the horizon? With other milestones come failed attempts at rolling over and face plants whilst trying to crawl, but this? Where was the sodding heads up!
Let’s get physical
I have been kicked, bitten, scratched, and received an almighty, and quite frankly impressive, bitch slap right across the chops (seriously, get the girl on TOWIE, she’s got that bitch slap down!). It used to be just me that she took her excitement or frustrations out on, seeking me out in to vent, but now my husband (the lucky so and so) is also sharing my pain. Literally.
I felt like we’d failed as parents. I didn’t understand what we’d done wrong. I’d seen mothers ignoring their screaming children in trolleys as they trudged, red-faced, around the supermarket and thought to myself, ‘That won’t be us – we won’t allow that sort of behaviour.’ I would like to apologise to anyone who may have read that in my face as I walked the aisles. I had no idea.
I remember standing in the kitchen, head bent, clinging on to the counter top with white knuckles, taking deep breaths and counting silently to ten. The Child was laying on the floor behind me, screaming and kicking at me for no reason I’ve ever been able to ascertain, and I caught myself thinking, ‘You horrid little shit-bag, just fuck off!’ I instantly felt disgusted with myself for thinking such a terrible thing about a child so badly wanted, planned for and loved, so I pulled myself together, donned the ‘happy mummy face’ and picked her up telling her warmly, “Everything is okay sweetheart”. With that, she stopped wailing, grabbed my face in both of her hands whilst I flinched (I’m actually scared of a 15 month old!) and steeled myself for the incoming physical abuse. Instead, she fixed me with those baby blues and a slight tilt to her head, and looked at me as though I was the most amazing thing she’d ever seen. She smiled, and with a sigh smooshed (I’m pretty sure I made this word up but I feel you all understand what a good ‘”smoosh” is) her open, slobbery mouth up to mine with an, ‘Aaaah’, laid her head on my shoulder and squeezed me in a tiny bear hug. I released the breath I hadn’t realised I’d been holding, and it caught in my throat as I dabbed my eyes and croakily praised her so that she knew this was the good ‘mummy loves hugs and kisses’ type of physical contact (I read in a book this is what you should do. Ignore the bad and praise the good). ‘So, the other child is still in there!’ I thought.
And then, acceptance
Chucky, the evil twin is a part of our daily lives now. We never know when the little shit will pop up, forcing us to shuffle from a cafe, food shoved into take away doggy bags, me loudly making excuses for the benefit of onlookers along the lines of, ‘You’ve not been well, have you, sweetie. It’s all too much for you today, we should have stayed at home’, as we smile awkwardly and shrug at the sympathetic smiles (from those who I assume have had toddlers in their lives and therefore understand) and disgusted glares of others. I decide the “disgusted” brigade is those who can’t ever have had kids, or did, and annoyingly spawned little saints. Either way they can cock right off! We exit swiftly with our kicking, screaming Chucky child tucked under my husband’s arm.
A couple of months have passed since Chucky’s first appearance, and we’ve adjusted and learned that the evil twin, whether we like it or not, is now and forever a part of our ‘angel’ child. The tantrums lessen the more she learns to communicate (but when she blows she really blows!) and we do our best to instil upon her those actions which are acceptable and those that aren’t. We have survived the fact that her new favourite word for a few weeks was, ‘No!’ and then been delighted when she developed, ‘Yes!’ along with an affirmed nod of the head. The Child and Chucky are slowly becoming one and the same person. A mixture of the two are developing into a unique personality that will be ever growing with every experience, be it good or bad. And what a personality it is! She has realised she has choices now, and although she doesn’t yet fully understand what they are or what they mean (which really pisses her off!), she’s learning every day. As are we!
She makes me laugh aloud every single day. She can often make me cry within the same hour, actually the same minute! Let’s all just be honest; sometimes our darling children are tremendous arseholes! From first discovering The Motherload® posts and comments, I am at least learning that I am not alone. We are not failing, we are learning, just like our little monsters are. So share with me, dear MOLOs! Vent your frustrations for we are in the same boat! We have all given fruit to small, occasional arseholes! Yay us!
Can’t wait for her to hit puberty (the wonderful little shit)…
Based in Cambridge. First-time blogger, part-time Secretary and full-time confused Mum to a toddler and ever-growing bump (due November 2016). I dream of booze, chocolate and lottery wins (not necessarily in that order).