David Camp­bell

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - DAVID CAMP­BELL

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?”

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