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I have finally dried my tears long enough to write about my thoughts on Olive turning three. My tears are not over the loss of my baby; quite the contrary, I was thinking just the other day how exciting it was to be able to go out for the day without needing to hire a sherpa, or having to calculate the infinite permutations of time vs nappies vs number of spare outfits.

Having older children is actually really liberating in that sense, especially when the youngest is this amazingly chilled out, happy go lucky child, who makes hearts melt with a single smile and all manner of ills vanish, with the squish of her cheek against your own.

Which brings me to the tears.

These are tears of mourning, not (as I said before) over the loss of my baby, but at the arrival of the gorgon she has become. Not all the time, just maybe 30% of the day, when she has hit the wall, and decided that those big emotions she is starting to experience are justification to make us all suffer.

At some point in the last week, Olive made the decision that if she's going down in flames, she's taking us all with her.

My life currently feels a little like being the sober driver at a party, every single night.

First come The Mood Swings.

We all have friends like that, right? The ones that seek you out, throw their arms around your neck, and declare "I love you, man" in a cloud of beery fumes. There's really no point in trying to reply, either with some very English dismissal, or even by joining in, because this is actually the opening line of a soliloquy.

Somewhere in the mix is usually some unwanted affection, some declarations of love, and the slow creeping numbness as the full weight of your new "best friend" compresses your spine into your shoes. 

Then at some point, for reasons impossible to understand, you turn into their worst enemy. All that love suddenly becomes "fuck you man, YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME" and you're left trying to work out how the hell that escalated so quickly, and why you still appear to be holding this person up. 

This is pretty much my life every evening. 

Olive will dive bomb onto me, and gently take my face in her hands to profess that I am her best friend. She will usually squash her cheek against mine, before saying "I love you" through a smooshed up mouth, and falling about laughing. There may be some cute, kitten-esque noises (I dunno, she like to pretend to be a cat or something, go ask her why!) and maybe even a few rounds of raspbellies, on a good day.

The next thing I register, is a sudden realisation that her nails are overdue for a trim, as they slice through the soft flesh of my cheeks. Any attempt to make her understand that she has hurt you, and it's not a good thing, are completely futile. Save your breath. She bathes in the tears of adults.

Now that she has your attention, like any good drunk, she will move on to rousing a practical jokes.

You will understand my pain is you have ever watched an episode of The Science Of Stupid or if you have seen someone who thinks that shimmying up lamppost to set a traffic cone jauntily aloft is hysterically funny, when you just wonder …. Why?

Pick any evening, and imagine me sitting on an armchair, watching Olive running around the house cackling as she hones in on some potential for “fun”.

The other night, for instance, she came to a stop at the crate of Duplo, picked up one handle and started to tip.

Every parent out there knows the sound that makes; that sound of a hollow, plastic landslide, as bricks tumble out into a hot mess. There are few sounds that make me move faster, and I predictably lunged towards the crate, only to grab at thin air as Olive dodged past me, cackling.

Fucking CACKLING, man!

She then ran to the other end of the room (the end from which I had just come), to my wine glass, and slowly picked up a rubber duck. Once she had made sure I had seen her, she balanced the duck on the top of my glass.

I shit you not, this child actually planned a decoy.

It worked too, she passed me running in the opposite direction – still cackling – while I lunged to save my glass, from the inevitable pull of gravity.

I hadn’t even reached my glass before the cackling stopped and the duplo-slide began.

And that is the reason for my tears.


  1. I really relate to your post! I'm sending supportive cyber mummy hugs your way! My 3.5 yr olds favourite line when she is having one of her overwhelmed at life tantrums is "you're not really my mum!". As you can imagine I get a few funny glances from the people around me when those lines come out...*sigh*

    1. Solidarity to you, mama!

      Oh my word!! I would just DIE if Olive started shouting that at me in public ... although my evil streak might also wonder if that meant I could get away with taking her at her word and going for a coffee while she waits for her "real mum" to appear ;D

  2. Sounds like my daughter :). She's just turned two. Cackling - yes, cackling as she knows she's up to trouble and does it anyway :P.

    1. It just chills me to the bone these days. I get such a creeping sense of dread over what the cackle means THIS time, especially when I hear it from another room.

  3. Something I get to look forward to next year! Thanks for the heads up HA! The joys of the cackle!

    Thanks for linking up with us at Friday Favourites.

    1. Thanks for letting me be a part of something awesome.

      You never know, you may get away cackle-free. I have heard these children do exist.

  4. cackling!!! My daughter is only happy when she is in chaos hahahah ;) )shes 7)

    1. Nooooooooooo!!!! I was hoping you were going to tell me that it was all gravy after their 4th birthday.


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