Monday, March 07, 2016

The Desperation Of Parenthood ♥

Well, here it is, the day when I have well and truly reached the lowest of the low (well in my mind anyway!) when it comes to parenting. I didn't think this day would come so soon, after all, my son is still in the ripe stages of his life at a mere three years and three weeks old, he has a lifetime of learning how to press my buttons ahead of him (seriously cannot wait for all the trials and tribulations that his teenage years will bring), but here we are and quite prematurely, he has driven me to the unthinkable.

You see it all began a couple of months back when my son developed an obsession with washing machines, having watched his daddy and I load, unload and tumble-dry the laundry far too many times without including him in the rigmarole of it all. He began longing to join in with helping with the washing duties (because it's the most fun activity on the planet don't you know?!), so much so that he was sorting the dirty clothes from the basket into colours and was even loading them into the machine, all ready to press the button and let the exciting process of getting them all 'clean and fresh', as he puts it, begin. We began to get quite concerned at just how helpful he was being (he was having tantrums when there was no more dirty clothes to wash!) and decided to get him his own toy washing machine, this, however, has not been a replacement for the real deal.

Everyday my dad Skypes us and all my son says to him is "washing machine Grandad", "press button Grandad" and we have to virtually let him press the button through the screen and pretend that it's started a wash. He even checks out people's washing machines when we visit their house and insists that they do their washing, whilst it was endearing at first it's actually become a nightmare.

His newest 'thing' is watching toy washing machine videos on YouTube, but honest to God, I don't know what's worse, the fact that my son loves watching them or the fact that people have actually spent valuable time out of their lives making these videos, they are awful! Today I had well and truly had enough of washing machines so I desperately racked the 'children's TV programmes' part of my brain to try and find a suitable alternative, or in fact ANY alternative to these washing machine videos... nothing was working, none of his usual favourite Balamory (or stupid bloody Balamory as he's now calling it, for shame!) or Me Too! episodes, the childhood and parent annoyance titan that is Peppa Pig couldn't even win him around, I thought and thought and finally it came to me - what sugary, overly happy, irritating character could little ones love more than Barney, so I bit the bullet and put that big, slightly creepy purple dinosaur on for him... it worked, for a while at least. This is what has become of me... I feel rather ashamed that it has come to this. I never thought that I would let that nasally voiced, overly happy, 'everything is a bed of roses' persona into my life again, he irritated me as a child, you can't imagine how much of an annoyance he is to me now.

It seems the older my son gets, the more the stench of that ugly parent desperation seeps into my life. I've gone from running around the house trying find something, anything to wash to stop him losing his complete and utter shizz because the laundry is done (surely we should be proud of the fact that we reach the end of the laundry basket on such a regular basis!), to offering him the sun, moon and stars to leave the soft play or playground. He's cottoned onto me though, the old reliables of "I'll get you ice-cream" or "we'll go see Nana" no longer work, he knows I'm bluffing - so what do I do now?

When I dreamt about becoming a parent I never knew about this side of it at all (and it's given me a newfound respect for my mother!), the ugly, desperate side that makes one want to give their little darling their body weight in chocolate buttons just so they'll co-operate during the weekly food shop, rack their brains for any form of bribery that may get their child to leave a place quietly rather than making a scene (the screeches of a child who doesn't willingly want to leave a playground are awe-inspiring) and where you'd be willing to give up each and every one of your worldly possessions just for a few moments peace... this is the REAL side of parenting and is apparent 95% of the time, never mind all the fluffy stuff, it's almost fairy-tale like when you have a three year old in tow who is beginning to realise their own mind, wants, needs and ways in which they can beat mummy and daddy in the 'getting their own way' stakes.

So what is it that turns a rational, well put together and health conscious parent into one who will desperately and willingly do anything to get their child to co-operate? A quiet life that's what! That's all us parents really want. It's the reason I buy toy washing machines, cut up old clothes into pieces of fabric so that my boy can 'do his washing', listen to crappy washing machine videos on YouTube (and lose a piece of my mind slowly and surely with each one), resort to the demands of my little one for the sugary snacks at times (I wish he'd stop stealing my Haribo fried eggs and hearts!) and makes me have to rely on a old frenemy such as Barney for backup... this is the desperation of parenthood, please have pity... and send wine (to be consumed after baby number two makes his or her appearance!).



  1. That is so cute! My daughter was once obsessed with washing machines too. When it's on, she'd sit in front of it and watch it go round and round :) She also loved "helping me" put clothes on. I didn't think of buying her a toy washing machine, though come to think of it, she would've loved one. I love the photos, so cute! :) Dean of Little Steps

  2. I hear you girl! My little one is only 20 months but I've already found myself doing some of the things I thought I'd never do! People keep telling me it will get easier, I'm anxiously waiting for that moment ;)

  3. I honestly don't know what is worse that people watch washing machine videos or that they make those videos lol. Still it could be a lot worse hun. I hope that Ty gets a new obsession soon one that you can choose preferably.

  4. Oh gosh Toby isn't far off of this either, although his is more hoovers. It's a nightmare sometimes isn't it?! All the things we swore not to do when we became parents...!xx

  5. I think this is so cute, hopefully he can get the hang of doing the actual washing, which is a great skill to have x

  6. Oh dear! The closest we've got to this is a train obsession ... We've watched a YouTube video of a Russian boy waving at a train at least 100 times now. No other train will do. It's got to the point where at not even two, my little one can repeat the Ruasian words! He'll soon grow out of it and you'll be wishing he'd do your washing again x

  7. This made me laugh so much (sorry!!). I'm not a parent so this is something I'd never even considered, but it's so interesting to see what it's really like - and start wondering how I may have driven my own mum to the same desperation when I was little!

    Jodie x

  8. OH I LOVE THIS!! I can full well imagine how the desperation has seeped in, and I'm sure there's only so much washing machine action I could take, but it's so adorable that your little one loves washing so much! Definitely one to remind him of when he's older. I also can't believe there are washing machine YouTube videos... Kids watch all sorts of crazy YouTube videos. Don't beat yourself up about feeling fed up of it - we can both raise a glass of wine to parenting frustrations once our babies have safely arrived!

  9. I think we all go through this stage, but it is just a stage ad very soon it will return to how it was. Love that he loves the washing machine.

  10. This is the reality, isn't it, of being a parent? Prior to parenthood, we all pretend we'll never let our kids watch too much tv or play video games. They'd all be reading Proust at 3 or bird-watching & playing outside like Tom Sawyer. Oh, what fools we were! We never knew the relentlessness of parenthood. We need these spaces that tv provides to recuperate and stay sane. It's for the best. It's the only way to continue to function. At least until some more laundry comes along!

  11. I think with youtube there are some videos which most parents are grateful are there and there are some which God knows we want to break the screen but its cool that he helps with the loading of clothes shame he doesnt want it to end.

  12. aw bless him Kody was the same and we even bought him a play kitchen as he was always wanting to play with my real pans and spoon etc


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