My daughter turns 3 this month. I think it’s official…she’s no longer a toddler. Yes, we still have clumsy feet (but that’s usually because her wellies are too big). But since we have fully formed conversations, it seems wrong to refer to her as a stumbling, wobbling, bonkers toddler.
Somehow I forgot to post this earlier…when she was a ‘proper’ irrational toddler (yes, she’s still irrational, but perhaps a little more accepting of what’s going on around her?). Perhaps that’s because another challenge took it’s place? Definitely at each stage there’s been a challenge to master or grow out of. But there was a point around about last autumn when this mummy felt like she’d lost control. The two year old was in charge…how did that happen when the mantra had been ‘I’m in charge’?. Well, I guess with a busy work schedule and the frenzied run up to Christmas, I just forgot…and let’s face it, when you’re feeling tired out, it’s easy to give in. Big mistake.
So for all those other mummies who just want to crack open the gin at 11 am…here are the books that got my sanity in check (keeping the gin in the bottle until ‘gin o’clock’) when we found ourselves struggling with a toddler who loved lying down in the street and refusing to move (and the rest you are thinking!).
Toddlers – French Style
One of the best books on parenting that suited my style was Pamela Druckermans’s Why French Children Don’t Throw Food. Not a guide, but her observations of Parisian parenting. I don’t agree with many of the French ways (often pretty much ignoring their children to toughen them up) but I also dislike the ultra pampering and ‘child is king’ culture that’s crept in here and America. The main outtake is that the parent is in charge, what they say goes and no dithering…’no’ means ‘no’. As soon as you keep that in mind and live that ethos, the difficult moments seem to fade away. Amazing really.
So, I re-read ‘Why French Children Don’t Throw Food‘, plus ‘Why French Children Don’t Talk Back’ by Catherine Crawford (an American tackling French style parenting with her kids in the states). I found great advice from both books and if you believe that saying ‘no’, means ‘no’ and are happy to take tough action immediately then these books might be for you. I also liked the ‘less’ is ‘more’ approach to parenting…there is such a thing as too many toys and I liked that both books celebrate a more simple way of parenting and connecting over family meals (when you can).
Toddlers – Bloggers Know Best
Blogging parents have been my heroes over the past few years. The honest blogs of so many amazing mums and dads has been a great help. So discovering that fellow Brighton Blogger Joanne Mallon had written a genius book ‘Toddlers: An Instruction Manual. A Guide to Surviving the Years One to Four‘ which also includes lots of advice from mummy bloggers, it was a total parenting gift (thank you Joanne…I just wish I knew who I’d lent this to?). I loved this book as it’s crammed full of tips from real mums and lots of lovely bloggers I’ve followed over the years. Again…it’s about being boss. I’m still full of cuddles…but I’ve sharpened up…you have too…because yes, whether you like it or not…’Mummy is in charge!’…for a very long time yet…