Sink or Swim…


Sink or Swim?

Well, if you’re asking me that question in respect to how I am coping with the toddler at the moment, I’d have to say, Sink.

The terrible 2’s are in full flow and his meltdowns are currently reminiscent of Mariah Carey when she requested her dressing room was to be filled with white kittens and someone said that might be a little tricky…how dare they. He’s literally unreasonable. You’d have more chance of reasoning with a house brick.

Last week, ‘Tantrums ‘R’ Us’ was visited by my toddler in epic style, to the point I even contemplated running away to hide in the most disgusting toilets known to mankind, the school swimming pool toilet.

Let me tell you all about it (I suggest you get a cup of tea and least 15 custard creams to dunk in it for this little tale of woe).

 Every Wednesday evening, my eldest 2 boys have their swimming lessons. Their lessons aren’t until 6:30pm, which is a pretty naff time when you have a toddler who no longer naps in the daytime and who, by about 6pm, is about as happy as a grown man who is being kicked in the testicles by someone wearing spiked running shoes . Yep, that happy.

I am normally very lucky and my amazingly fabulous, don’t know what I’d do without, mum often helps me out and will take the boys swimming for me so I can lob the toddler in the bath to de-germify him and then put him to bed before he turns into a mini version of the Incredible Hulk. I’m honestly so lucky to have my mum about to help.

Anyhow, last week, Nanny was busy having a meeting with a nice man who she had organised to come over to her place in order to tell her how much money she was going to have to hemorrhage for a new conservatory, so I was tasked with taking all 3 boys by myself for the first time in a while. (The last time I took the toddler with me, he was under the weather so just laid down on me and went to sleep – it was obviously very sad he was a bit poorly, but on the same hand, it was very helpful that he wasn’t running off everywhere and being a pain in the arse…you have to find the silver lining in these things).

I prepared myself as well as I could by packing snacks, drinks, toys, iPad, a traveling circus (ok, maybe not the circus but everything else was packed) and I dressed him in his Paw Patrol onesie in the vain hope that he might fall asleep in the car and then he was at least ready for bed.

We set off for swimming and did he fall asleep in the car? Did he testicles. He was the opposite of asleep, he was so excited it would appear to an outsider that he survives solely on a diet of Blue Smarties…


“Brace yourself Gemma”, I thought to myself as I undid the car seat and unleashed him onto the school car park path, “this is going to be bad”. How right I was.

The 2 older ones set off running the 2 minute walk to the pool like they are going to be rewarded with a lifetime supply of Haribo if they get to the swimming pool door first, which encourages the toddler to do the same. He’s pretty sturdy on his feet now but, as his momentum increases, he is often prone to weaving like a drunkard in a bumper car and often goes splat on the ground, and no sooner have I thought it than, “Splat!” – he’s down.

“Waaaaaa!!!!”, he yells.

Arse, I think. Here we go.

Incident number one.

I scoop him up and brush him off. He’s completely fine, just a pair of dirty hands, no damage and no sooner than I pick him up, he’s off again like poop off a trowel.

We reach the swimming pool and, despite it being overcast and drizzly, as soon as we step foot in the pool, I realise it’s actually still sweltering in there. Fiddlesticks – maybe dressing the toddler in a fleecy Paw Patrol onesie wasn’t the best idea after all…ho-hum, it’s too late now.

We go in the changing rooms and the toddler sits nicely on the bench while his brothers get unchanged. I think it’s all going well until the toddler pipes up, “me go!” he says with big puppy dog eyes.

“No, poppet, it’s not Ben’s turn today I’m afraid. We have to sit and watch Luke and Zak swim, but mummy has some yum yums and the iPad, is that ok?” I say, eagerly.

“No, mummy. Me go?” he replies again.

Hairy goolies. Now what do I do?!

I get a snack out for him and this pacifies him enough to distract him and I manage to get him out of the changing rooms still in his cosy, fleecy, onesie. Just what you want to be wearing when it’s 30’c in there 😉😂🙈

The older 2 shower and then walk off to their teachers ready for their lessons to begin. And this is when the faeces hit the fan my friends, this is when sh*t goes down.

“Waaaaaa!!!!” yells the toddler. “Waaaaa!!!!” as he points at the pool. “Me go!” he says, “Me go!”.

I tell him once again that he can’t get in and he makes a break for the water. I manage to grab the hood of his Paw Patrol onesie and retrieve him. I’m now starting to sweat because I haven’t had a chance to take my jacket off and I’m now wrestling with a slippery, onesie wearing, tantrum throwing, toddler. Wow, I’m living the dream here people.

Living. The. Dream.

I go to sit down next to a good friend of mine in order to have a long awaited catchup chat whilst I let Ben watch the iPad. Well, that was the plan anyway, no such luck was to be had.

“Waaaaa!!!” he yells again, as he wriggles away from me whilst performing a jelly move (you know the one, where a kid makes themselves so floppy you can’t physically get a grip on them? That one).

“Sorry…” I tell my friend, “I might have to take him outside to watch from the window”, and I stand up so I can drag the toddler out. Because our kids are still young and may need toilet visits etc, you have to remain poolside for the lesson, which is normally fine but the toddler was causing such a scene, that exiting the pool seemed like the only sensible option left to me. That or drinking some gin, and sadly I had none of that to hand.

We get to the door at the back of the pool and I tell the toddler that if he can’t behave we are leaving. He doesn’t like this idea so yells at me a bit more so the majority of parents watching their kids swim throw me the sympathy glance. You know, the one that says, “sorry this is happening to you but I’m so glad it’s not happening to me right now”, look. 😉

I ask if he wants food or drink and he yells at me to say no he doesn’t, thanks very much. I start sweating some more and my face now feels like it is on fire. Why are toddlers such unreasonable little douche bags at times?!

My last ditch attempt, after the total rejection of the iPad (much to my shock!) is to get the cars out of the bag to see if they distract him. Thankfully, by some miracle, they do, and the Tasmanian Toddler sits down on the floor – but sadly this floor I speak of is the shower floor which is sopping wet and also a bit fousty smelling – to play. Delightful. I have to join him down there to play cars and now we are both sopping wet and smell as bad as a used husbands gym kit that’s been left in a greenhouse for a year. Totally grim, but at least he’s quiet I suppose.

I manage to drag out playing cars until the very end of the lesson – it’s been smelly and damp, but worth it so the toddler wasn’t on the rampage.

I get the boys dry in the changing room and I manage to ignore the toddler who is now, once again, screaming his head off because I have removed him from his damp and smelly play area. How very dare I.

I restrain him on the bench in the changing room by using my foot/leg to pen him in, as I use my hands to dry the other two boys off. How’s that for multi-tasking, eh?!

Then we have the same race back to the car that we had to the pool door when we arrived. Within 6 metres of the pool, the toddler is down in a screaming heap and I’m scooping him up and brushing him off again. When will he learn?! Wait, what am I saying? He’s male. Probably never.

Back in the safety of the car, I swig one of the kids Capri-Sun cartons and imagine it’s an apple infused gin – it’s totally not, but a girl can dream – and I de-sweat myself with a baby wipe. I’m so glam I am. Thank the lord for baby wipes!!!

Later on my mum texts to see how I got on. I toy with being kind (lying) and telling her it was fine and that I rock at being a mum and that’s we all had a wonderful time, but actually, I decide keeping it real is best and fill her in on all the horrors of my evening. She then says she is able to help me again next week and I cry a little inside. Seriously, I know I’ve said it already, but I totally would be lost without my lovely mum around to help me out. I hope I manage to do as good a job as she has. At the moment, I’ve still very much for my ‘L’ plates, and every day I face a new challenge thanks to my boys, but if it is all part of my ‘mum training’ to enable me to be like her one day, I guess I’ll carry on taking the children/toddler crap for now 😉👍🏻


Will it be Sink or Swim?

Let’s see…


Dear Bear and Beany



  1. July 7, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    Oh my goodness Gemma what a stressful swimming lesson for you – toddler tantrums are not much fun at the best of times but especially not at times like this. So glad you have your lovely mum to help out most of the time! Well done for managing to get through it and sounds like you managed to hold on to your sanity better than I would have done! #sharingthebloglove
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…Parenting Pep Talk #21 – PowerporterMy Profile

  2. admin
    July 7, 2016 / 2:22 pm

    Bless you Lou! Thanks so much. I know I’m not the only one to possess a troublesome toddler but writing a it it does stop me from going insane! Or maybe I already am… Thank goodness for my mum indeed – hubby works so much he’s no help during the week (know you have that same issue!) so nanny to the rescue!!xx

  3. July 7, 2016 / 4:47 pm

    Oh, I remember the joyous days when my three rug-rats were young (RugRats! Do you remember that TV prog? A proper retro cartoon!). I had to drag them all along she only the middle spoilt child wanted to go to ballet, trampoline, Brownies, and worst of all clarinet and saxophone band practice, which required two trips as parents weren’t allowed to stay and listen in case it spoilt our ‘enjoyment’ of the actual concert. So I dropped her off at 5.30 in the middle of toddler tea, and picked her up again when it ended at 7pm when the smallest was asleep in his cot! Many a time I felt like driving five minutes up the road and leaving him asleep….. don’t worry, I don’t think I did that…did I?
    I think you coped very well under the circumstances, and should award yourself a Well Done sticker and a large glass of free gin. Have you finished the free bottle, yet?
    GeorgieMoon recently posted…Thursday Doors July 7My Profile

  4. July 7, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    Oh Gemma you always make me laugh and I needed that today 🙂 Honestly I am not I would have even bothered to brave attempting it, my little Holly would have just the same shouting ‘Me go Mummy’! Your mum sounds like mine and I would be lost without her too, lets hope one day we hand in our training badge for a full fledge mummy badge like them. Thank you for joining us for #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…Sharing the Blog Love…#2My Profile

  5. July 8, 2016 / 2:55 pm

    I loved this – it reassures me that it’s not just me struggling to cope with a rampaging toddler! We are well in the middle of the terrible twos, and what makes it worse is that nursery and my parents all seem to find him an absolute angel! Apparently he saves up all his tantrums and screaming just for me – I feel so special! Thank God for your Mum! Makes me wish mine lived that bit closer 🙂 Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove!
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…A visit to Hampton Court Flower Show 2016My Profile

  6. July 8, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    I’m living in fear of the day my youngest takes to her feet. I will be be having wine on my cornflakes xx
    Nia Patten recently posted…How to Use Face PowderMy Profile

  7. admin
    July 8, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    Thanks so much for the lovely words Katy, and no, you’re really not on your own!!! For me, the toddler years suck. Once they hit 3.5 they normally calm down a bit in my experience but this is a year off for me yet… I know I shouldn’t wish it away but it really can get quite overwhelming some days!
    I know, love my mum to bits. Xxxx

  8. July 8, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    I know this is a really awful thing to say, but reading your post has made me feel much better about the last two days I have been having with my little demon child! It’s so refreshing to hear a humorous take on it too, even if it does sound like you were having the day from hell!!
    Leah Miller recently posted…Politics = Friendship Kryptonite?My Profile

  9. admin
    July 8, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    all the best people have wine on cornflakes x

  10. admin
    July 8, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    Ah, thanks Leah! And that’s the whole idea – I’m glad you feel better for reading it and not depressed!! Just grab the badge and join the club my love! These tots are sent to try us sometimes aren’t they?!xxx

  11. admin
    July 10, 2016 / 7:50 am

    Oh bless you Laura – so pleased I managed to make you laugh, that’s always the aim of the game.
    It’s so tough for the younger ones at times isn’t it. They so want to be like their siblings…
    Thanks for reading and writing.

  12. admin
    July 10, 2016 / 7:51 am

    Indeed it was a bit of a carry on Lucy – perfect choice of word!! Xx

  13. admin
    July 10, 2016 / 7:53 am

    I used to love rug rats!!
    Oh Georgie, that sounds very tough – well done for you surviving that madness. They things we do, eh?! Out of interest, do you think doing all these clubs had an impact on their later life? As in they carried things on or it caused them to be into certain things as adults?
    I haven’t touched my free gin yet, can you believe that?! What’s happened to me?! x

  14. July 10, 2016 / 10:45 am

    Oh no I would panic if iPad bribery didn’t work, that is when things are really bad! These kiddies are sent to try us! Oh and yes I know the slippery toddler trick. Nightmare! X
    Yvonne recently posted…Anniversary: Time to Get a Plan!My Profile

  15. admin
    July 10, 2016 / 11:30 am

    They truly are limit pushers some days aren’t they?! Xx

  16. July 12, 2016 / 4:37 pm

    Oooh I’ve got all this to look forward to! Although my Dad said today my 9 month old was starting his terrible two’s early!! I have a friend who is wrestling with his two year old a lot these days. He said to me the other day “You know those parents in the supermarket dragging their children round screaming and you think you will never be that parent……well I couldn’t see them today, until I realised it was me. I am now that parent!” Think it happens to everyone eventually! Sounds like you multi-tasked amazingly well!! Very funny, although probably not at the time for you! x

  17. July 12, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    Oops forgot #SharingtheBlogLove !! Mummy brain fail! x

  18. July 12, 2016 / 8:05 pm

    Urgh, I can just picture that swimming pool changing room floor, there’s nothing worse is there! Bleurgh. #chucklemums
    Sarah recently posted…What Is Christmas In July?My Profile

  19. July 12, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    I have one of these but I thankfully don’t ever go swimming as (sadly) I don’t have anyone to look after the other one – so we only ever go when it’s family time and my husband is SO much better at coping with tantrums (and she’s about 45% less likely to have them in his presence anyway…).

    Anyway I raise a glass of gin in solidarity. Little buggers. Good thing they are cute #chucklemums
    Fran @ Whinge Whinge Wine recently posted…What to buy the one-year-old who has it allMy Profile

  20. admin
    July 13, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    Little buggers sums them up perfectly.
    We don’t swim either Fran apart from lessons or as a family at the weekend. My eldest boys didn’t start swimming until the were 4 and they could go in the pool alone. It doesn’t seem to have had a detrimental effect on their swimming. Luckily my mum is taking them again this week. Phew! Xx

  21. admin
    July 13, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    Totally Sarah – it’s got all manner of things ingrained in it x

  22. admin
    July 13, 2016 / 5:44 pm

    Ah, thanks so so much Alice. And yes, you’re right, they do start these tantrums a lot earlier than 2. Terrible 2s is just a myth – it’s pretty much non stop terrible from the off hahaha!!
    I totally feel your friends pain. It’s just the worst.. Thanks for your lovely

  23. July 14, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    My son is 14 months and he’s already started being a little diva! I definitely have all this to come but at least I just have the one to manage at the moment!!
    Emilie recently posted…Living Arrows 28/52 – Arrr Me HeartiesMy Profile

  24. July 14, 2016 / 11:10 pm

    Just found your blog through featuring on sharingthebloglove. I like your writing style, I feel your frustration in it! Least you made it home with all 3 alive! You are probably more like your mum than you realise too!

  25. admin
    July 15, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    Oh, Karen! That’s made me have water in my eyes! thanks so very much.xxxxx

  26. admin
    July 15, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    Haha! Diva. Perfect description for them You are not alone – just remember that in the midst of a toddler meltdown.xx

  27. July 15, 2016 / 2:18 pm

    I will gladly skip the sweet age of two with all my children. What an age of tantrums s and stress #sharethebloglove

  28. admin
    July 15, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    It truly is Charlotte. They’re cute but menacing! xx

  29. July 16, 2016 / 11:13 am

    Well that sounded horrific and borderline life-changing!! Toddler tantrums are just the best – nothing else in life is quite so character building #chucklemums

  30. admin
    July 17, 2016 / 10:02 pm

    Haha!! Oh bless you – thanks James.
    Character building – that’s a positive way to look at it
    Sitting on the warm, damp, germ infested swimming pool floor playing cars was somewhat of a low point

  31. July 18, 2016 / 10:35 am

    Oh my gosh I was sweating in sympathy reading this! I have an almost 2 year old and almost 4 year old – so I feel your pain x #SharingtheBlogLove

  32. admin
    July 18, 2016 / 5:12 pm

    Oh bless you Sian!! Thank you. It’s so tough the toddler years isn’t it?! No reasoning with them at all… I hope you sail through the terrible 2s!!!xx

  33. admin
    July 19, 2016 / 11:17 pm

    Something like that Louise. I drank a G&T when I got home…that felt better x

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