“No Mummy NOT Incy Wincy Spider: Big FAT Spider!”

My two-year-old cracks me up.  Every day.  

If you have read my first couple of blog posts, you will probably have already realised that he can be quite vocally demanding.  Bossy, even.  Show me a toddler who isn’t.  But he is also quirky, mischievous and highly entertaining, and I love the bones of him.

Part of the reason for me starting to record his little sayings in writing is because I want to cherish them forever.  Childhood is woefully short and I know that even his most utterly frustrating outbursts will raise a smile and even have me reminiscing in the future.  His ‘little gems’ (as I call them) will have me laughing out loud.

Here is one of them.

At lunch time today I was asked to sing a song. Keen to sustain his good mood, I asked what he would like me to sing.  We started with a thankfully fairly succinct version of The Wheels on the Bus, then entered into an enthusiastic rendition of If You’re Happy and you Know It.  

So far so good.  His little legs were jigging to the rhythm under the table.  In between forkfuls he added the hand actions. His singing was endearing and even pretty much in tune (luckily it doesn’t look like he’s going to take after his dad in that department!).

Next?

Incy Wincy Spider peease Mummy,” he asked politely.  So I gladly complied. He doesn’t often request this and it brings back hazy but fond memories of my own childhood.  We sang it once through with aplomb.

“Again!” he declared happily.

Then…
“No, no, no! NOT Incy Wincy Spider: Big FAT Spider!”

But of course.  What else?  And so another traditional rhyme is creatively adapted according to the whim of a toddler.

This is not by any means the first or only musical demand I have had thrust upon me.  Also common in our household is:

“I want to dance, Mummy.”
Whereby the iPod is duly spurred into action. I have refused to download not yet got around to downloading any children’s songs onto it, but he takes great delight in boogying on down to a bit of Toots and the Maytals.  

I take great delight in watching him try to coordinate his body in time to the music.  His special move is all in the wrists!  Then his imagination kicks in:
“Look at ME Mummy.  I’m a lion!”
Priceless.

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His favourite trick is to reach up on tiptoes and whack the volume up REALLY loud.  When I am not sighing in exasperation, I am smiling broadly as I remember the days when I too used to have regular opportunities to get completely lost in music.

“Let’s make music, Mummy!”*
Which involves him emptying the whole box of toy instruments out onto the wooden floor with an Almighty clatter, then proceeding to bash and crash with much force on his drum, xylophone and pretty much any other hard surface within arm’s reach. If we’re especially lucky, the toy trumpet and the toy CD player will also be worked into the repertoire.

“I want a CDdvd on for breakfast. PEEASE?”
Daddy is the sucker for this one.  My morning head is not usually in the zone to comply.  I want to sometimes listen to the news like a normal human being.  But at the weekends, we are often listening to songs from his baby signing class or a number from the Julia Donaldson boxset that he got for Christmas.  Then, by default, I am singing them either out loud or (worse) on repeat in my head for at least the next 24 hours.

And when I decide to put on some chill out tunes for myself or listen to the radio?

“I NOT LIKE this, Mummy.  Mummy switch it OFF!”


* This is most often requested when I’m just getting/have got the baby off to sleep.

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“Mummy DON’T say that!”

Today, as The Boy stopped me in my verbal tracks for the umpteenth time with these forceful words, it finally dawned on me that our two-year-old really IS the boss of our family.

Surely this kind of phrase (minus the pronoun obviously) is to be expected from a teenager, not a mere toddler?

In past weeks as these words have been uttered, I have experienced surreal flash-forwards to the teenage years.  They seem so remote right now but will undoubtedly arrive in an instant.  I can imagine it so clearly:

“Muuuum, that is SO uncool.” (Or whatever the trending expression of utter distaste happens to be by the year 2025 or thereabouts – gulp).

By then, however, I will surely delight in embarrassing my charges?  The reality is that in the here-and-now I find myself all too often treading on eggshells in order to avoid that ever- bubbling and totally time-wasting toddler tantrum.

Yes boss, sure boss, whatever you say boss!

He likes to set the rules, this boss. And then change them sometimes multiple times a day.

I’m pretty certain that if The Boy was my actual employer I’d have jacked the job in out of pure frustration or at the very least filed an official complaint for unfair expectations.

This job is for life though.  For a (comparatively) easy life, I stop what I was saying and even inwardly chastise myself for causing this unhappy outburst (for now I will inevitably have to  spend the next  ten minutes distracting him from his bad mood).

The trouble is, the mind of a toddler is in equal measures both unfathomable and unpredictable.  It was perfectly fine for me to allude to The Gruffalo last time we were in the woods.  It even raised a laugh or two as I merrily quoted from the story, cowering behind a tree trunk to hide from the beast, peeking out only to point out his purple prickles and feign disgust at its poisonous wart.  The Boy loves this story.  Always has.

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Today though, it is the most taboo subject imaginable.  Of COURSE I am meant to realise that. He is outraged that I have the audacity to engage in such amateur dramatics.

Sincere apologies are due.  On my behalf, clearly.  One day I will find the time to book myself on to that mind reading course.

And on that note I must end my first blog post, before The Boss chastises me for more time-wasting on the job.  He needs his personal assistant to help him with a particularly tricky part of a jigsaw puzzle.  His Gruffalo one, of course.

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