You can’t always get what you want

Daddy and Megan

Me and Megan. She looks thrilled to be in my company!

Ever since Heather was a baby, I’ve been her favourite. When she hurt herself, it was me she looked to first for comfort. And when it came to bedtime, she always preferred being tucked in and read a story by Daddy.

That’s still the case today, but I think it’s eased off and she’s more balanced in her affections. Which is a good thing, because I know it was something that always upset Gem a little.

And I know how she feels, because Megan is the complete opposite – she’s very much Mummy’s girl, and it’s my turn to play second fiddle.

This has proven a little problematic in the last couple of weeks, particularly when it comes to bedtime. Megan refuses to go to sleep unless Mummy is the last one to give her a “cuggle”, and often one isn’t enough. A few nights Gem’s had to go back up to her three or four times before she’d settle.

We do tell her this isn’t acceptable, of course, and that it has to stop, but we also know that she’s in pain from her last four teeth coming through, so it’s a bit of a balancing act between compassion and tough love.

Tuesday night was the worst. She wailed for a good hour, and it was only after a dose of Calpol that we couldn’t have given her any sooner that she finally settled. To her credit, Heather somehow managed to drop off in the next room, despite the racket her sister was making.

What’s interesting, though, is that she’s only like this when she knows (or thinks) Gem is in the house. If Megan thinks Mummy’s out, she’s quite content for Daddy (or my folks when the girls go for a sleepover) to put her to bed. And that was the case last night, which I was quite relieved about – after the trauma of Tuesday, I must admit I was approaching bedtime on Gem’s Slimming World night with some trepidation.

But it passed off without a hitch. There was a slight wobble, when Megan asked about Mummy, but I made her a deal – if she tried to go to sleep, Mummy would give her a kiss and a cuddle when she got in. And I’m relieved to say that did the trick – and Mummy upheld her end of the bargain too, although she waited until after we’d eaten before going up.

I remember Heather going through a similar phase at round about the same age. That resulted in her bedtime becoming a long drawn out affair, involving multiple stories and songs, and we’re keen to avoid getting drawn into that with Megan. Hopefully it’s just a phase, and it will pass once those troublesome molars are fully in.


This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

I hate you so much right now

An interesting development tonight – one of my daughters isn’t talking to me!

It was my turn to put Megan to bed, but when I tried to pick her up all she wanted to do was cuddle her mummy. Not the best start to bedtime, although it did get better when we stood blowing kisses before heading up the stairs. She even managed to blow a kiss all by herself, for the first time ever – unfortunately we were round the corner at the bottom of the stairs, and the only person who saw it was me. But still, it happened.

Brushing of teeth was the usual battle, and there were tears, but I think we were still friends at that point. It was after story time (Meg and Mog… AGAIN!) that it all went horribly wrong.

While I got her sleeping bag out of her cot, Megan decided to go for a wander. She got to the door, and made as if to open it. I said “No” and she flashed me one of those cute grins I wrote about recently, before trying to open the door again. “NO” I said, summoning up my stern tone. Judging by the noise she started making, I’m guessing our youngest wasn’t completely happy with this turn of events.

I held out my arms, and she came to me… then turned away and picked up Daddy Lion, who consoled her while I got her sleeping bag on and lifted her into her cot. Where I was given a very cold shoulder when I tried to kiss her goodnight. At least she was quiet at this point, which was more than could be said by the time I got back downstairs.

Five minutes later, five minutes of constant wailing, I went back in to calm her down. The noise stopped as soon as I opened the door, but she did her absolute best not to look at me. And I know this wasn’t just my imagination, because I picked her up and turned her round, and she turned her head away again. And when I left the room again? More wailing.

So Gemma went in, and Megan calmed down instantly. And we’ve not heard a peep in the 4 hours since. Win for Mummy!

Megan is going through a real tantrum phase just now – at least we hope it’s just a phase. Any time we take something off her, or move her from somewhere she shouldn’t be she kicks off. Like proper, throw herself on the floor and beat it with her fists kicks off. Like I say, we’re hoping it’s just a phase, and a short one at that, because it gets tired very quickly.

So anyway, that’s why Megan isn’t talking to me tonight. I’m hoping it will be forgotten by tomorrow, and we can be friends again, but I’m not completely convinced that it will be. I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that our one year old is already capable of holding a grudge.

I guess I’ll find out in the morning.

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

Technology fail, kid win

This blogging is tougher than it looks! I’ve currently got 3 drafts – including 2 for the artist per week project – waiting to be finished and posted. And I could have done it today, if I hadn’t spent lunchtime catching up on the fallout from Sunday’s NFL playoff games.

Instead, I’m bringing you this little nugget from last night, which I think will be my first Heather post. First of many, I hope.

Today is Gemma’s last day in work for 9 months (maternity leave!) and the girls from the office took her out last night for dinner and drinks. So I’m getting Heather ready for bed, and thought it would be nice to send a night night video to Mummy. So once the Dora pyjamas were on, out comes Daddy’s phone, I hit record and Heather nails it. “Night night mummy, wuvoo much” followed by some blown kisses and frantic waving. Absolutely perfect.

Except that it hasn’t recorded. Another try, then, and again Heather nails it. Super cute. And again, it hasn’t recorded.

At this point I realise that the memory card is full. So… I delete a few songs and have another go. However, between getting changed and performing, by this point Heather’s been standing in the same spot for about 10 minutes and is getting a little bored.
So we try again. I feed her the lines this time, they get shouted, bellowed even,and then for some reason she decides to show off her belly, and pulls up her top. Pulling down the trousers is less successful, but that doesn’t matter because me and Uncle Ian are already in hysterics behind the camera. Which accompanies the kisses and waving that complete the piece.

Ironically, Gemma didn’t have a strong enough signal to download the clip, so it seemed a wasted exercise. But it still made her smile when she got home.

The moral of the story is, of course, to check you’ve got space before trying to record something. But in some ways I think the end result was even better than the first attempt – it seems somehow more Heather. And she definitely liked it, at least that’s the impression I got from her repeatedly asking to watch it until she went to bed.

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!