discovers raising a wild child is easy… when they’re like you.
We have all heard of the problem child. No, I am not talking about the obscure 1990 movie starring a pre- Seinfeld Michael Richards. I mean the child that was sent to try us. To push our buttons. The one that makes us lose sleep for whatever r reason.
We love our family. mily. Our son Leo was a brilliant baby and toddler. He hit all his milestones, estones, was extremely social cial and for many years rs was like our little buddy who travelled led all over with us. Going on adventure ure after adventure.
Then came the e twins. Now, as any y parent of multiples es will tell you, this is a game changer. The ride of life goes faster ster and you not only have to hang on hard, you need to survive.
The first few years ears can be somewhat of a blur. In a yawn and an eye rub you have gone through rough thousands of nappies, pies, grown teeth, been vomited ed on and thrown out furniture ture that smells of vomit, laughed, aughed, cried and hoped to get through to see the golden age of post-toddler land together. That elusive world that never seems to come. You feel as though you are trying to sprint knee-deep through honey just to make it to the age of three. We finall finally made it to this important birthday an and I had a major realisation with the twins. tw 1. Betty is a toddler version of Dame Maggie Smi Smith in Downton Abbey. 2. Billy is a different cup of noodles. Now Now, this led me to think that maybe we had a problem child. Bil Billy was at all times on the go. The m minute he could crawl, he was o off. He was so social he loath loathed being left out of any socia social situation, which meant he did di not want to sleep. He was g getting difficult and temper temperamental. Tantrums and tear tears for no reason were occurring occurring. So, we were losing sleep and t this child started to dominate a and rule our house. In the pa parental trenches I was doubting m myself. We handled Leo so well. He s seemed to respond to everything we were giving him. What the h hell am I doing wrong? Why can’t I reach this guy? While ly lying down on the couch during nap time one day, staring at the ceiling, w wondering how will I cope with this kid, my wife gently pointed out to me that Billy was… me. Not only did this poor kid look more like me, we shared all the same traits: • Lack of sleep because I get too wound up? Check. • Always on the go, doing a million things at once? Check. • Difficult and temperamental… Hang on a second. OK… maybe.
So we treated him not like his brother, Leo, but like me. We gave him a bit more solo attention and guided him through toddler life better. I know how to parent this kid because I was this kid. I still am.
I am pleased to say that Billy is now toilet trained before his sister and we are so proud.
I am also fully toilet trained. My wife does not show the same sense of pride when I tell her this. David co-hosts Today Extra, 9am weekdays, on the Nine Network.
“In the parental trenches I was doubting myself. What the hell am I doing wrong? Why can’t I reach him?”