Tag Archives: Toddlers

Surviving The Night Terrors

Jacob had night terrors pretty consistently for about a year and a half – it started when he was maybe one-and-a-half to when he’d just turned three. If your kid has never experienced one, first of all, I hate your luck (!), but here’s what it means: You hear your kid crying 1-3 hours after they go to sleep, you go into their room to see if they need a drink or a wee, they start screaming in a possessed-like state and that carries on for anything from ten minutes to two hours. Screaming. Non-stop. Hitting you, lashing out, non-stop, while you wonder if everyone in your area has contemplated calling child services.

I read a lot about night terrors when we realised what we were dealing with and most articles said to sit somewhere nearby to make sure he wasn’t hurting himself, don’t wake him up and ride it out; that he’d grow out of it. So we did that, for a year and a half. We were absolutely shattered but without any real practical advice from anyone, we just sort of accepted it as our reality.

When Eva came along, the terrors got worse. I would just get Eva to sleep, and, hoping to catch some Z’s myself, Jacob would almost immediately kick off. He wouldn’t let Ass Monkey in the room with him at all when he was having an episode, I was the only one who he would scream the LEAST amount around. He was still screaming of course, just not as badly. Then his screams would wake Eva, she’d start crying agin, then I’d have to feed her, then because I hadn’t slept for fucking ages my breastfeeding was suffering and my brain was suffering and…we were all suffering.

Jacob’s night terrors stopped on account of one, all or none of these things happening (who can really say, they just stopped all of a sudden):

  1. We contacted a €300 sleep therapist.
  2. I started crushing half a tablet of camomile into his milk before bed.
  3. My friend said a prayer to her deceased mammy for me.
  4. We cut out his day time nap.
  5. We re-instated his day time nap, but only for half an hour.
  6. We started giving him milk and cookies before bedtime (he used to only want juice, a big dirty habit we’d gotten him into).
  7. I moved Eva and her moses basket into our room with Daddy, because being awake for five hours on the trot with my two kids while he snored was not part of my life plan.
  8. Did I mention the sleep therapist? Don’t worry, we didn’t pay the money in the end. But just like bringing a car with a ‘funny noise’ to the garage that disappears as soon as you get there, Jacob stopped having terrors THE DAY AFTER I sent my enquiry email.

Anyway, I came across THIS ARTICLE ON NIGHT TERRORS today from Lucie’s List, and I wish I’d seen it last year when we were in the thick of it. I haven’t tried the product, I haven’t a clue how it works, or if it works, but if you are dealing with a toddler who turns in to the Exorcist at 10pm every night like ours did, then I’m sure you’ll try anything too. Good luck!



‘I’ll Threeeam and Threeam Until I Get Thick…’

Jacob has a lisp. A tiny one. It’s cute. And his pronunciation is a bit off on certain words. He replaces the letter ‘C’ with ‘T’, and so we send him into each other asking if we’d like a ‘Tup Of Toffee’ on occasion, just for our own personal amusement. I know, we’re assholes ;o)

We don’t make a big deal of it to him, try to correct him or make fun of it. We’ve just decided to let him get on with it, knowing that he’s only three-and-a-half and that it will most likely straighten itself out. And in the interim, I have him on the speech therapy list, you know, just to be sure, to be sure.

But I’ve had to ask several other people to stop going on about it – adults, who also think it’s cute and mean well, and who imitate the very mistakes or mispronunciations he’s making – right in front of him. ‘Oh, he was so cute!’ they’ll exclaim, as he and I look on, shrugging at each other. ‘He asked me if I got a new TAR! He meant CAR, of course, but I had no idea what he was talking about! Tee hee!’

When I ask them to maybe not make fun of him while he’s listening in, in case he thinks there’s something wrong with him, they protest that they wouldn’t dream of making fun of him and honestly just thought it was cute. And I believe them, because if I thought they were genuinely making fun of him, there wouldn’t just be a calm conversation about it, if you know what I mean…

I wondered this week if I was being particularly over-sensitive about the issue, but then I realized that nobody in their right mind would slag off an adult’s lisp or speech impediment, as it would be the height of social rudeness. Like, you’d never roar at your mate down the pub, ‘What did you say you wanted? A Bacardi BREEEETHER??! Oh my god, you’re so cute!’. You’d get decked, right?!

So why is it ok when it’s a kid, because they’re little? Well, what if it does affect them just the same way as it would an adult and hurts their little feelings? And sorry (not sorry), but with my cute kid? Not on my Mammy Watch.

Here are a few other things that we say to kids willy-nilly (love that expression!), but would never in a million years say to adults (a few of them are from you troopers on the Facebook page so thanks!). If you can think of any more, send them on and join us on Our Facebook Page for more!! ;o)

  1. Look at that big belly on you. Where did you get that big tub?!
  2. Have you done your poo-poos?
  3. What do they have you wearing today? Have you no decent clothes?
  4. You have to get that hair cut.
  5. Did you wipe your bum? Properly, though?
  6. You are not listening to me and you have to do what I say…just ‘coz.
  7. Did you put clean pants on this morning? Show them to me.
  8. Have you brushed your teeth? Let me smell your breath. Oh you did, well done. Right then, bed.
  9. I can see your buuuuuum!
  10. You smell bad, your hair is like a bag of chips. Go shower.
Don't Put My Kid In A Box ;o)

Don’t Put My Kid In A Box ;o)

***This Post Originally Appeared On HerFamily.ie. Catch ‘A Model Vagina’ HERE!**






‘Mammy, do you have a willy??’

So… THIS line of questioning began this morning while I was in the shower. Jacob, 3 years of age and proud owner of a willy of his very own, joined me in the bathroom while I was washing myself. As usual. (Is it just my partner or does every dad get to shower alone, while I get plagued by my little visitor each time I attempt to close the bathroom door behind me?!)

We discussed the ‘cool bubbles’ in the shower tray as we always do, and he monitored them slipping down the drain. And then we went through our ‘Morning Questions’ ritual:

Me: ‘Did you have a nice sleep?’

Jacob: ‘Yes’ (did he fuck – he hasn’t slept properly for weeks)

Me: ‘Did you have nice dreams?’

Jacob: ‘Yes’

Me: ‘What did you dream about?’

Jacob: ‘I dreamt about the owls and the fire engines and the bubbles and the green tractor’.

Me: ‘Do you feel happy?’

Jacob: ‘Yes’

And we grin like weirdos, trying to ‘out smile’ each other if we can. But then he cocked his little head to the side, as a new question formed – one that hasn’t been (and I hope isn’t about to be!) added to the daily list:

‘Mammy – do you have a willy?’

SO. FRICKIN. FUNNY. I had just been on the telly last night contributing to a piece on nudity in Ireland and one of my main points when interviewed (which wasn’t used in the program), was that I LOVE how kids have no hang ups about their bodies when they are kids, because the stupid media and the stupid society and the stupid other mean kids and the stupid pass-remarkable grannies etc haven’t gotten to them yet. 

So I smiled, and just said ‘No I don’t, just boys have willies Jacob’. I WAS going to say ‘Mammy has a …. ‘ – what word would I use?! What’s the equivalent to ‘willy’? Daisy? Fandora? Front bum?! HELP! But I decided that I didn’t have to go there, coz this morning, we were just talking about willies. And he seemed happy enough with that, nodded his head sagely for a moment before adding:

‘Poppy doesn’t have a willy’. 

Poppy is a girl in his pre-school class. Another 3 year old. Jaysus. I took a little breath and decided against asking him how he knew that Poppy doesn’t have a willy, but to be honest, I’m sure that it doesn’t really matter when you’re talking to a three year old. So instead, I said;

‘That’s right. Poppy doesn’t have a willy. Just boys have willies’.

‘Yes they do, Mammy’ he agreed. And promptly pulled his pants down right there to present his amazing willy to me. The proof was in the pull-ups. Proud boy ;o)



An Uncomfortable Bottom

My youngest brother Noel, when he was a little boy, had what adults around him liked to call ‘Ants In His Pants’. He had so much energy that he literally could not sit still in the same spot for longer than a minute. He squirmed to the left, to the right, watching and observing everything, chattering away a mile a minute, never stopping. Even when he was asleep, he danced around the bed, ending up in the most peculiar positions – I could even hear him talking out loud as he slept from my room across the hall. Noel didn’t stay in bed for long either when he was a child; my mother says she would often wake up and find him sitting there on the floor beside her, smiling up at her; just waiting for her to be ready to play with him.

But whenever Noel himself was asked by some impatient adult or other why it was that he couldn’t sit still, he didn’t think he had ‘Ants In His Pants’ as everyone else so lazily named it. Oh no. Noel would stare at the questioner directly and reply, matter-of-fact; ‘I have an uncomfortable bottom’.

GENIUS kid. It was so funny – and so accurate – that the adult in question would kind of give up on their efforts to contain or calm him. And now that my own Jacob Fynes refuses to sit still for longer than a minute (just like his godfather Noel), that is what we are now telling everyone too.

‘Why did you have to take him outside four times during the Gaiety panto to head to the nearby shopping centre to ride the escalators, where you gave up and brought him to Argos to buy a fire truck that would keep him happy for 20 minutes?’

Uncomfortable Bottom.

‘How come you’re carrying that kicking and screaming kid out of the park that he has literally run around non-stop for an hour, and he’s causing such a scene that people think you may have kidnapped him?’

He has an Uncomfortable Bottom.

‘I don’t mean to alarm you, but it looks like your two year old is traveling around the supermarket aisles in something that can only be described as fast forward.’

Terribly sad, I know. The child has an Uncomfortable Bottom. Completely untreatable, you understand.

Then, as they look confused by the mention of this medical phenomenon that they’ve never heard of before, nod sagely and walk away. It’s probably a little more fun than simply replying, ‘Eh, he’s a KID, you moron’.

Kid In a Box

Kid In a Box