Parenting

The terrible twos – and a brilliant book

I’ll admit it, the terrible twos are not going well for me.

I just do not have the patience to deal with the mercurial temperament of a mini tyrant all day, every day. (Except for Monday, she was alright on Monday, which didn’t quite make up for the absolute horror of Sunday.)

I’m halfway through now, but people keep saying that threenagers are even worse, which just makes me want to stick my fingers in my ears and sing lalalalalalala – or develop the same level of profound deafness as my daughter has when I ask her to do absolutely anything.

It’s exhausting even getting to the point of leaving the house in the mornings. All I want is for her to eat her breakfast and get dressed, but I have to beg, bribe, threaten and still there’s no guarantee that she’ll eat anything or let me put her pants on.

Parenting blogs and groups on Facebook are great, because you know that you’re not alone. I’m not the only parent who is clinging on to sanity by her fingernails. I’m not the only parent who can’t hold it in any longer and shouts, and then feels bad about shouting and resolves not to do it again, only to do it again ten minutes later. And I’m certainly not the only parent who feels the need to reach for coffee, tea, chocolate, cakes and biscuits to get me through the day – or who has seriously considered making her porridge with Baileys Amande. (Other people have done this too, right?)

What is even better than parenting blogs though, which can only be enjoyed when children are in bed/being ignored in favour of a screen (bad mummy), is getting a surprise reminder that IT’S ALL OKAY when you’re reading to your terrible two-year old (good mummy).

This is why We Are Wearing Out the Naughty Step by Mick Inkpen is a work of genius. (Inkpen is his real name, by the way, in case you were wondering.)

I have seen We Are Wearing Out the Naughty Step in the library lots of times but, despite loving Inkpen’s books, I’ve always avoided taking it out. The title just put me off. I didn’t want to give my daughter more ideas of how to be naughty, she’s quite capable of coming up with them herself.

But, last time we went, they didn’t have any Kippers or Threadbears and there are only so many times you can read Wibbly Pig has Ten Balloons without completely losing the plot, so I decided to take the risk.

Now, I never rarely admit that I’m wrong about something but here goes: I was wrong. We Are Wearing Out the Naughty Step is fantastic. I urge all harassed mothers to find a copy of this book immediately. You are not alone and Mick Inkpen knows exactly how you feel. This book is the epitome of relatable. I loved it, and so did my daughter. (But in all honesty I think that this one was written for the mums.)

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