My Little… Darling.

by Lori Dwyer on November 1, 2012 · 18 comments

My daughter is pushing me to the absolute limits of my patience at the moment. That patience is, admittedly, much shorter and finer than it once was…

But really. The child needs an exorcism. Or a multi–vitamin. Maybe a chiropractic adjustment. Something.

I am losing my f*cking mind.

The Bump turned three not long ago, and she is very much the tea party fairy princess. With attitude. And a temper as phenomenal as my own apparently once was– my mum tells me she once locked me, mid hysterics, on the verandah of our two story house, me screaming like a wild thing, banging and kicking at the door. My mum says she was only vaguely worried about me falling– or throwing myself off– because she would hear the house-shaking door kicking stop first.

Honestly, if I was anything like my Bump is right now, I think my mum would have breathed blessed relief at the half–second of silence before she even checked that I hadn’t fallen off (or shimmied myself down the closest gum tree. Either being possible.)

Child reads the Bible. Do not let her cuteness suck you in- that’s her plan.

Now, I love my daughter dearly and she is the very essence of cute. But my god, if she’s not screaming blue murder then she’s prefacing every sentence with the word ‘mum’. I’m not even exaggerating when I say I must hear that four hundred times– at least– a day. (They say the average three year old asks three hundred questions a day, and each of those today was prefaced with ‘mum’. Four hundred actually seems a conservative estimate.)

Things have escalated to the point where I hear the word ‘mum’ repeating in my head long after my kids have gone to bed, like a song going round and round and round. Instead of a song going round and round. I think I’d rather Engelbert Humpledinck.

The frustrating thing is, we’ll be in the middle of a conversation and every sentence still has to begin, and often end, with ‘mum’. (“Mum? What are we doing today Mum?”). Interactions often go something like this…


“Yes, my Bumpy thing?”


“Yes, honey?”


“Yes darling.”


“YES Bump?”

*Cue tears and cute wobbling of pouty bottom lip*

“Don’t yell at me!! You’re my best friend…”

“Yes Bump I know, but you only need to say–”

“NOOOOOOO! Please don’t be mean to me, please!”

*Cue stop, drop and scream hysterically*

It’s enough to make me feel like the worst mother in the world. Really, is it just my kids who are experts at guilt–mongering, or does every child harbor that latent ability? Do I feel worse because there’s no other adult here to bounce things off, to reassure me that she actually being disgusting and it’s not just me being mean– more a case of the Bump just being a three year old?

What on earth do you do with a child who’s afraid of dragons, who’s seems intent on destruction, who refuses to put down her hairbrush and go to sleep because she’s “having a conversation with it”?

I don’t know. I’m too frazzled to form any answers. But as of yesterday I was stressed to the point that my stomach was aching and I was near crying tears of frustration, just wanting her to stop screaming at me for five freaking minutes, please. I find myself staying up later and later just to languish and soak in the silence– I’m so stressed out by the time bath, books and bed rolls around that sleep is an abstract concept until I relax and wind down, at least a little.

Or at least until the Bumpy thing wakes again, as she does most nights, somewhere between two am and four am. For another dummy, for a glass of a milk.

Or, you know, just to scream hysterically at her bewildered, exhausted mother a bit more.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

ros November 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm

This too shall pass. My mantra. Is it annoying or good to hear that it's normal and happening in homes all over the country?! My older 2 kids have both started with 'Mu-ummmmmm-uh'…the annoying 'uh' at the end is a new thing and it is doing my head in.
I like the suggestion of 'Princess of the Universe'…might try that. I've tried "Bestest mummy in the whole wide world" before but i never insisted on it enough. Maybe consistency is the key.
Good luck with surviving!


Anna November 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm

You are NOT alone. Enough said ;-)


Lauren November 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Oh my… When my daughter was little (she's 7 now, but I think it could totally still apply) I threatened to send her to boarding school… I found a really fabulous looking one in Australia. Although that might be a little too close for you… I was in Colorado, US, at the time and it sounded perfect. It was either that or a vacation in a box with a lot of holes to visit her dad who was in Iraq at the time. She did grow out of it (for the most part) and now I am waiting with baited breath for puberty. My three year old son is about to get the offer of a vacation to deployment. It never ends.


Miss Pink November 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I hate the age of three. With a massive amount of passion. It's the worst age, thus far. Both my kids have made me feel like the worst human being during their three year stint.
I feel you. Really. I am just sick of the whingy voiced 'Muuuuuuhhhhhhmmmmm' for EVERYTHING.


Anonymous November 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Oh Lori, I hope that is 'normal' behaviour, as I am going through the same thing. Both my boys skipped the 'terrible twos' but once the older one hit 3 all hell broke loose. And now my second son is 4 and he throws multiple tantrums a day. The tantrums are usually because of something so minor, it really gets me down.
And often I don't know whether I should be laughing or crying about it.
I used to be quite a patient person before I had kids, and now my patience is paper-thin.
And I'd like to say from experience that it gets better, but my eldest is now 6 and can still throw the odd tantrum here and there if it suits him. I also have a daughter who will be 2 in a few months, and I can already see that she will go through the 'terrible 2' stage, and probably beyond if her older brothers are any indication!
Like the post above, I have a second pair of hands in he form of my husband – but who really isn't around much at all for the daily grind stuff – and he laments at what a foul mood I am in most days whenever he arrives home from work (usually after the craziness of dinner time and bathtime is over.) And so then of course, my bad mood causes friction between us daily, just to pile it all on.
I am miserable a lot of the time, and I hate being like this, but some days I can't cheer myself up from the naughtiness of my children and the constant fighting and tantrums that they carry on with.
I just say to myself all the time to be grateful I have healthy children, which of course i am. I do love them dearly, but my word, they are so trying.
Gill xo


insertwittytitleheremomstired November 2, 2012 at 2:56 am

You are preaching to the choir. My daughter will be 4 in February. My lord. The whining does me in every day. We do the same routine every morning, brush teeth then go potty. Why must we whine about having to do about it every day?
Not sure if it makes you feel better, but I have someone else to "help" and vent to, it's still hard as sh*t.


Anonymous November 2, 2012 at 12:43 am

Haven't read you in months….so, it's so good, to pop back, and see you, writing normal things, about your lovely normal little girl.
Enjoy her, Lori, your cute angel bump.
Good wishes to you.

Anon E Mouse


Karen at MomAgain@40 November 1, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Totally a symptom of her age. Expect it to carry on. Mine is nearly four, and it is not any better!
We also get the "Mum" conversations! ;-)


Anonymous November 1, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Just wanted to stop by and wish you a very happy birthday, Lori! Hope your Bumpy Thing behaves for you today (either that or someone takes her off your hands for a while…). HUG!!!



Claire November 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Hang in there Lori, I think it is totally normal and from what I can see of my mother's group it is ( our oldest are all three turning four) although my girls (3yr old and 2yr old) seem to play up a lot. My youngest favourite thing to do on the guilt front is after time out or me just losing it because I am sick of the whinging is to look me in the eyes hold my face in her chubby hands and say "are you happy now mummy, am I being good enough?" They are so good at making you feel bad!

On the afraid of dragons thing, my friend tried this successfully with her little girl who was afraid of monsters at night, she gave her a crystal and told her it was magic and kept her safe and the monsters away. Her little girl now is happy to go to sleep. Hope that helps, just know that anyone who writes with as much love and affection as you is brilliant mother.


Anonymous November 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I have a 3yr old 15mth and 3mth old (boy,girl,girl) girls DEFIANTLY whinge more. but i have to say my 3.5 yr old new thing to say to me is "dont speak to me like that" um excuse me i only get to say that to u!! good luck i have a feeling girls keep the attitude, i know ive still got it :) x


Marie November 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I don't have kids of my own but I'm a nanny and I feel your pain. My name is Marie, which is just the right frequency for "Mari—eeee, Mari—eeee" chanted over and over. And over. Last month I was on a week long camp for cancer kids and just like you, when I was alone I'd still hear the "Mari–eee" in my head. One thing I learned is to tell the children I've changed my name to Princess of the Universe and refuse to answer to anything else.

Try chanting THAT, kiddies. It works.


Melissa Lawrence November 1, 2012 at 11:21 am

Lori, Please don't lose your mind. This will soon pass. Although, as the mother of a girl already past this stage, I must warn that the attitude will stay.


JB November 1, 2012 at 10:03 am

This comment may be completely insensitive and please delete it if you'll think it will offend but I once heard living with a toddler is like living with a wife beater.

One minute they're screaming in your face and kicking you and the next they're stroking your cheek and telling you they just do it because they love you, baby.


Kimmie November 1, 2012 at 10:03 am

Yep! No terrible twos in this household..Three definitely being the age where they are possessed by the devil! One particular son, even up-ended a six foot book case. Down it came books, toys and pet mice!…Everyone survived, unscathed, thank goodness!Yep!definitely possessed. By four, he was an absolute treasure and still is at the age of twenty. Another son at three, felt it was his duty to ask "why" 400 times a day. Testing times indeed, Miss Lori. Do not be guilted into anything…you deserve a big pat on the back for getting through each day.


Spagsy November 1, 2012 at 9:11 am

It's the age. Seb is the same. I thought terrible twos were over but it's nothing compared to three-four. (please tell me that it ends at four???) chop is my only hope!

Reply November 1, 2012 at 9:09 am

I used to throw epic tantrums, one particularly good one was in the middle of a zebra crossing and my mum has never let me forget it. Aparently all I did as a baby was scream and refuse to eat. My poor mother.

I'm really hoping that you get some relief from this stress soon.


CourtneyB November 1, 2012 at 11:43 am

I stay up late to bask in the silence… every night. Totally normal. x o


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