A sometimes awful truth

Some days just seem to be bad days just because I wake up a little more tired than usual, and so does Amelia and all day our moods feed off each other and it escalates until bedtime when everyone falls into a heap. This is a scan I made from a very old book of nursery rhymes because I thought it looked like us walking around the Botanical Gardens today (except I managed not to show my underpants despite the strong breeze). Amelia tripped three times and grazed her knees and palms badly with each fall and with each fall she got understandably more and more miserable and therefore more and more tiresome. Anyway, I won’t bore you with the details of the rest of our day except I am proud to say I pretty much kept my temper but oh-boy was it tested. Anyway. There was an opinion piece in today’s Age (here if they have archived it) that I thought I might point out to you if you are a parent of a toddler because it’s one of those “you ain’t alone” pieces that makes you feel a bit better from time to time.

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12 Responses

  1. Oh, I love that illustration! May I ask where you found it?
    BTW I have a pic up on my blog that you might like — a felt porcupine!

  2. Oh yes, being a parent of a toddler is difficult. Particularly on Those Days. Woot for you for keeping your temper!
    You are letting the anger out on really agressive felt creations or red-red-red drawings, though, aren’t you?
    I like the bunny of the month club: http://www.morbidtendencies.com/gallery-main.html
    (though you’re perfectly welcome to think that is just sick)

  3. My son is 11 now (and sometimes we still have our moments), but I remember those trying days of toddlerhood! Especially the “escalating, horrible, no good, bad mood days.” You are not alone.

  4. mdherz@comcast.net says:

    Hi Claire,I’ve just stumbled onto your website and I can’t tell you how adorable it is! I am a product designer from Minnnesota (U.S), and also living with a toddler. (My little Ava is 28 months.) This is a great inspiration to all artists and “non” artists to get their imaginations going!


  5. Thanks for posting this Claire. We haven’t yet quite reached this stage, Jacob is now 16 months and still just a bundle of laughs but just once in a while, you catch a small glimpse of the future. And I was never so glad to go back to work as after my maternity leave! I missed him, but really needed the ‘away’ time. But if someone suggest we leave him with his grandparents so we can go on holiday for a week by ourselves, I’m horrified! I guess its just one of the great parradoxes of parenthood. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them!

  6. I can identify totally with the comment in the AGE. I have never found that parenting comes naturally or enjoyably to me (and my son, at 34 years is sure it didn’t!) I’m not one who is longing for grandchildren either! Its very hard and time consuming work – I often think that its a bit like ‘biology 1 – humans nil!’ But overall – I guess I’m pleased I’ve experienced it at least once! (and I do adore my son!)

  7. They don’t call them terrible two’s for nothing! I’ve been dealing with a cranky sick little boy for two days now! Ugh-thanks for shedding some light on our dirty little secret.:-)
    BTW, that’s why they make ’em so cute, so we continue the effort day after day!

  8. Funny you should write about this topic the day after a post in my blog about pretty much the same thing. http://jaycee.typepad.com/semantics/2005/02/i_cant_believe_.html Parenthood is definitely a trial and I am immediately suspicious of anyone who says they love parentood.

  9. Oh ClaireIt sounds like you were having a very bad day indeed. Hooray for you that you kept it together!

    That article in the Age is particularly negative though, isn’t it? Only 5% warm fuzzies? I reckon it’s a bit more than that. The boredom and frustration at home are no worse than anything I experienced in the office, and paid employment never, ever gave me the joy that I experience looking after my children. For me, it’s the cliche that on my deathbed I won’t be thinking “I wish I spent more time at work”; I know I’ll be so happy that I spent these challenging, frustrating, amazing days with my children.

    I love the opinion pages in the paper, and the letters to the Ed. I wonder what feedback that article will generate?

  10. tiffanyhutton@indigoink.com.au says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I don’t think I’d agree with the article that only 5% of parenting is pleasant, but it certainly is hard work, especially when they’re very little. After practically having to declare war to get my two off to school and preschool today, I was so glad to get to work! I hope today is a better day for you!

  11. So far this week I’ve: Thought about selling my child on ebay, walked away from him in tears, loved him unconditionally, negotiated why he shouldn’t bring the large dump truck on the bus with us, soothed his sore arm, collapsed in a heap, and been distraught at hearing his cries as I left him this morning at child care. I love him, and I enjoy him, but this is hard work for both of us, and yes, I also question anyone who makes out its wonderful and positive all the time.

  12. Thanks, Claire. It is so nice to read and hear from moms who are honest about their sometimes not-so-perfect days.
    I’ve never commented here before, but I love your site! … And your illustrations, and projects. You inspire me! So much so that I have just started my own blog. What a nice outlet.

    I’m jealous that you’re in Australia; my parents live there and we’re here in Austin, TX.

    Have a great day,