Whinging, Whining and Wishful Thinking?

I’m in the supermarket, my toddler is complaining that this is the wrong shop, kicking, shouting, making herself heard.

I’m on the  school run, one child runs ahead purposefully, not wanting to be seen with the littler ones, another wants to balance on every kerb along the way.

I’m at home in the morning, one child cannot find any pair of socks or shoes that feels comfortable, we’re running late, he’s barefoot.

I’m on the sideline at football training, the kids that aren’t training are bickering, or whining, or missing. I call them, they don’t reply. I cross the pitch trying to get their attention at home time and they look the other way.

I arrive wherever I’m going bedraggled, bewildered, with my travelling circus in tow.

We don’t do calm arrivals. We don’t do walking along together nicely. We don’t do quiet. EVER.


The kids are always on, they clamour for our attention, competitively eyeing up who has gotten the most time or the most of their questions asked.

When I’m tired it can just be too much, so I shout, or stress.

After a run of crazier-than-usual weeks a couple of months back,  the daddy of the house being away with work, the school musical, Laoise turned three, my cousin’s (beautiful) wedding, my work was really busy, there was broken sleep caused by small people’s bad dreams. The perfect storm.

It was hard. I wrote the above piece then but didn’t post. I thought people who read the blog and know me would just nod along and think  I was looking for absolution. I wasn’t, I needed therapy.

I felt like we’re the only ones who have this wildness in their kids, the loudness, the stickiniess. Other people’s kids seem to not disappear from sight constantly or to be able to stand still for a moment or hold hands.

When I read back now on what I wrote I realise that somehow things seem to have gotten a bit easier. In two months with a summer of playing hurling and staying up late behind them they seem to be easier to manage at the pitch. Maybe it was just summer fever, when the living is easier, but in our house we’re still up and out every day with lots of routines and lunchboxes.

Then I realise I’ve learned too. New tricks to keep things moving. Coping strategies.

Like that snacks are important to keep small people from getting overtired on sidelines at 7pm.

That Elsa dolls and tea-sets and fairy wands and shopping trolleys are great ice-breakers for small girls at GAA pitches to make friends. So we bring them all.

That the more haste really does mean the less speed.

That the uncomfortable socks have no place in a sock drawer and have been banished.

Little steps.

I’ve also relaxed a bit, I’m not in quite such a hurry to get places on time and remembering the real reason why we are late. Sure, hurls and footballs boots are often missing at the time we should be gone, but I’m trying to spend less time shouting about it and more time beforehand asking if they are ready, as all the shouting does is heighten everyone’s stress.

The timing is good. The small girl starts her part-time playschool on Wednesday, the boys start Senior Infants and First Class on Thursday. I’m hopeful for a calmer year. The sibling attacks are surely part of normal life, animal instinct maybe? There will be strops I accept this but if I can limit my stresses then that should have a similar impact on the kids. I hope?

Come on new school year, I’m ready for you. Just go easy on the homework for the first few weeks please.

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6 thoughts on “Whinging, Whining and Wishful Thinking?

  1. Brilliant! I feel we are getting there too, whether we are learning lessons or that leaving toddlerhood behind is making it easier I’m never sure. But sometimes we seem like the ‘has it together’ family that I’ve been craving and when it goes wrong it’s more like a bump in the road than a bottomless pothole.

  2. oh yes, my kids are the noisy, sticky, disappearing kind too. I look at other people’s children standing still beside them and wonder why mine NEVER do that. EVER. *sigh* but yes, a summer has made a difference in our house too. A total clear through of their clothes leaving only ones that fit properly and I’m not ashamed to be seen with them in (even when Daddy dresses them), and a de-clutter of the kitchen so we can all find stuff in the morning (store the drinks bottles with their lids on – those sort of little details) are all helping. Thanks for your post. Sometimes I feel like the only one!

  3. I spent a lot of our holiday this year wondering why so many other kids were holding hands and chatting calmly and not fighting, while mine were fighting and sulking. It’s hard! So I do like to read about other people’s kids who do not always walk nicely together đŸ™‚ But also yes to finding small steps – snacks are a huge thing. I never bring snacks for the girls and they don’t need them but I’ve finally realised they’re critical for the small boy. Small steps but critical.

  4. Similar here Sinead. I always feel like German children are so much better behaved than my half-German ones. But things improve and regress again and again as the boys, particularly the littlest, get older.

  5. This is something you can tell ‘newer’parents but until it happens no one really believes it.
    It gets even better but there is a but. Come back to me in a few more years for that. Until then enjoy the easier days when they happen. Sounds like you’re getting there.

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