Parenting dilemmas

Not a comprehensive list by any means and perhaps just down to my own silliness/hang ups about some things but these are just some of the dilemmas I have found myself in since I have become a parent. It makes me wonder if they are common dilemmas or whether they are problems created by my stupid brain. For example yesterday I was in the supermarket with little man and he was starting to get bored and restless in his trolley so as per usual out came the snacks for bribery purposes obviously but the dilemma involved got me thinking about this and further mishaps I have encountered along the way…

1. Whilst in the supermarket with a narky mini you do you produce snacks from the bag or a snack from the shelf? Either way you risk looking like a petty criminal. From the bag- I look like a thief, if it’s something out of a multipack- I look like a thief. Obviously I know that I am not. It’s not like I’m taking something out of a multipack and then putting it back on the shelf but it’s something I don’t like doing. By the same token I know that the snack out of my own baby bag that I packed myself has been 100% legally acquired and it won’t set off any alarms at the gates. It’s just how it looks I suppose. However when you’ve got a whinging two year old starting to have a breakdown, everything goes out of the window then. Bribery, I have learned, is the way forward.

2. The hell of soft play/playgroups. Well hell for me but heaven for Ewan so that’s part one of the dilemma. Part two is kind of hard to describe without sounding like a judgy knob but I’m trying my hardest to teach my kid not to be an arsehole and in some ways I’m possibly failing spectacularly with the whole twoligan thing, but by the same token I’m pretty sure I’m not raising a sociopath (and with me as a parent that’s some achievement). I guess what I’m trying to say with the least judgement possible is little Timmy is taking full advantage of the fact his parents aren’t watching if you know what I mean. What do you do in that situation? Bollock the kid? Tell the parent? A bit of a minefield this one so I’ll leave it there I think.

3. Chocolate or poo? Spin the roulette and find out! Actually for me the other day it was more a weetabix or poo moment (it was weetabix but for a fleeting moment, the brown lump I spied did look suspiciously like a devil’s egg on the floor). What to do? Poke the suspicious brown material? Sniff it? A taste test is always the last option unless you’re 100% sure and in that case it isn’t really a dilemma is it? Bloody weetabix/chocolate gets everywhere doesn’t it?

4. When to drop naps which inevitably turns into the much feared danger nap. I remember with misty eyes the time Ewan napped twice a day. Then horror of horrors he dropped his afternoon nap. He must have been coming up to 1. Until fairly recently (he’s now 2.5) he still did have a nap in the day but it became harder and harder for him to go to sleep unless he was in his buggy or in the car and his naps were becoming later and later in the day so I stopped stressing myself (and him probably) and stopped trying for nap time. The result of that unfortunately is the danger nap. It’s fairly dangerous to be travelling home for tea for example as between 3-5 seems to be his preference to fall asleep for a couple of hours, thus ruining a quite well instilled bedtime routine which on most occasions ends in a 7pm bedtime. Most days actually I have to give him some credit as his terrible FOMO means he will avoid sleeping during the day at any cost. There are so many more dilemmas created by this subject, not least the tiny problem of the summoning a demon thing should you wake them up for their tea. Or the one that is summoned later on in the evening, should they have slept, when they are still not asleep after 2 hours of me pretending to be asleep, which leads to (inevitably in my case) falling asleep and waking up not knowing what decade it is a couple of hours later. All along I was really looking forward to an evening of snacks that I don’t have to share with anyone, crappy telly and a gin and tonic or 3.

5. Screen time. My son is 2.5 and is completely proficient in swiping a touch screen of a mobile phone or tablet which is pretty scary. Obviously he doesn’t know codes and passwords and things and everything he sees is appropriate for his age (more or less-there’s some weird ass shit on you tube, a lot involving painting eggs, kids playing with toys, and that fucking finger family song) and in my opinion it is handy for a bit of “quiet time”. However, gone are the days of putting all the episodes of Bing or Twirlywoos on a streaming service for instance. He has now learned saying “don’t like it” means he has choices, and far more than this child of the 80s ever had. Often finding him something to watch or a game to play that he enjoys means he will only watch one episode of something (Tee and Mo, when Tee is a grumpy little shit) or only want to play one game, or listen to one song, over and over again add infinitum until a mental breakdown ensues (me not him obviously). So while I’ve always found screen time very handy (a little shamefully I suppose) it’s also very quickly becoming the bane of my life with all the shit kids telly/games/videos he wants to watch/play. Perhaps it’s not worth it after all…

Is there anything that I’ve missed? Agree or disagree? Let me know! Like I said it’s in no way comprehensive, it’s just based on my less than preferable experiences to date. I’d love to hear some of yours!

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