I’m sitting here having my smug little brew in my favourite Cath Kidston ‘Mum’ mug after winning a little victory in this never ending war against my very strong willed toddler. It was a battle I never thought I’d win; Harry vs. Milk. A few weeks ago, Harry decided that he didn’t like milk anymore. I’ve always been a mum that likes to do things, especially to do with food and nutrition, by the book. I knew that a 1 year old needs 300-500 ml of full fat cows milk a day. I’d need to give him a shitload of yogurts and cheese to make up for that. I tried everything I could think of from bringing out the old bottle of Milton and deep-cleaning his cup before use each time, adding Nesquik to his milk, different temperatures, different times during his meal, different times of day.
But then he stopped having his bedtime milk so I started to worry a bit. All sorts of thoughts started going through my head and triggered my anxiety. Was he lactose intolerant and trying to tell me? (Insane!). Does he not like milk? Are his bones going to crumble? (Even more insane!). I realised that me worrying, being mental about it and staring at him with the crazy-eyes after I put his cup in front of him was not going to be helping him.
So today I changed tack. Whilst all of this anxiety and worry was boiling under the surface, I calmly put his fruit in front of him, let him get started on that and made his milk. 4 small baby spoons of Cadburys hot chocolate powder (the nice type that’s usually too much effort for yourself), his vitamin drops and then heated for 1 minute in the microwave. I just no-big-deal placed his cup on the table where he could reach it and then got on with making my own breakfast. When I sneaked a glance at him, he was glugging away and drained the lot. He even burped and smacked his lips which made me rush over and give him a kiss while telling him what a good boy he was. Harry just looked at me like I was mental while I bragged to Craig that I’d got him to drink it.
Now as I take a breath and drink my barely body temperature coffee, I’m thinking that you just need to take the small victories. Think about what a boss Mama or Dada you feel when:
-You fight off a really nasty bout of nappy rash.
-They have a really ratty and snotty day and don’t wake up the next day with the rotten cold it seems inevitable they’ll get.
-They come to you for a cuddle with no ulterior motive for once.
-They wear their new big-boy underpants for 30 minutes with no accidents.
-Only throw 25% of their dinner on the floor.
-You get to watch an entire 45 minute programme on Netflix WITHOUT having to use subtitles!!!!
-When your husband asks you how your day was and you don’t have to start your answer by rolling your eyes into your head and saying “You’ll never guess what the little shit did today!!”
-Finally my favourite one; You’ve made it through what could possibly be the worst day yet, complete with tantrums and utter misery, but then Daddy takes them up to bed (after death stares and hissing from your soul that it’s the least he can do after the day you’ve had), and you get 30-60 gorgeous minutes of solitude.
All parents are my heroes.